Leadership is a complex concept with many layers. Organizational development firms like Caliper offer employee coaching and other specialty consulting services aimed at developing high-potential employees. Becoming an excellent leader is not like flipping a switch. It takes time, strategy, and direction. But good leaders know how to bring out the best in their team members, and the key skills required to be a good leader is one we all already possess: The ability to ask questions.

Not everyone has the same motivators, and a one-size-fits-all approach to employee coaching isn’t an effective way to match your team’s motivation. You need to understand individual motivators if you want to see them take action, and the best way you can find out what moves people is to ask them directly.  Having those conversations with your team members and discovering their drivers will give you the insight needed to elicit top performance.

Finding the Motivators

During your employee coaching sessions or one-on-one meetings, include these questions:

1. How do you work best?

What are your team members’ individual preferences when it comes to work environment?  Do they prefer a quiet setting, and are they inclined to do a lot of research and thinking before they make a decision? Or do they prefer a fast-paced, collaborative experience? Or something slower and more methodical?

2. How can I best support you?

Find out what you can do to remove obstacles. If certain employees feel comfortable with frequent check-ins to track progress and discuss project status, then perhaps a sense of structure is important to them. Others might be more motivated by autonomy. The objective behind employee coaching is to learn what resources and adaptations they require to be productive.

You also have to be able to provide development opportunities that matter. Employee coaching is not a one-time event; behavior changes take time and practice. Some ideas to consider:

  • Align your employee coaching and development efforts to the overall business strategy. If you want people to apply learning, put it into a real business context.  A study by the Corporate Leadership Counsel found that on-the-job training has three times more impact on employee performance than classroom training.
  • If employees have different strengths, developmental opportunities, and motivators, it makes sense that they will need specific and customized coaching.
  • Encourage peer-to-peer learning so participants can practice and reinforce what they learn and have the opportunity to share best practices. In turn, new knowledge will cascade to the rest of the organization.
  • To change how your team members learn, invite perspectives that are different from your own.

To learn more about the ways Caliper can help your managers build out their employee coaching skills and work out better ways to approach your training and development, reach out to our experts today to get started.