Coach Early & Often

Gorason business coach

Here we are again, at the start of a brand new year.  This is a great time to put into action new plans, ideas and methods.  Since we received so much positive feedback on our last newsletter about employee engagement, let’s continue to touch on that key point.


There’s lots and lots of talk, evidence and research around the various age groups in the workforce.  Especially Millenials!!  The funny thing is that the more I read about that specific group, the more the identified needs of that group seem to stretch across all age groups today.  It is constantly stated that “they”(Millenials) need to have lots of personal contact, recognition, internal coaching, mentoring and most important of all a specific, tailored development plan/career path. Without that we are told we will lose their interest or engagement as an employee and performance and ultimately, their retention as an employee, will suffer.


Based on my experience in a variety of work environments, that same need or concern can apply to almost all age groups today.  Why?  We are leaner than ever.  And in turn expect more of our employees than ever before.  We have added many new duties to their job responsibilities.  And we expect them to perform this all at a high level with minimal complaining.  Oh, really!


The following is a reprint from a friend and business associate, Bud Haney, President of Profiles International.  Bud offers some great thoughts I fully support on how to manage, coach and develop our employees in today’s workplace.  The following is an excerpt from a recent article I received from him and wanted to pass it along to you.  The key that strikes to the core of what GCI believes and preaches every single day is COACH EARLY AND COACH OFTEN.


Coach Early and Often

Even the best organizations want to improve employee productivity in order to grow overall business performance and corporate value. But the tool most often used to evaluate and improve performance-the performance review-really isn’t capable of helping organizations reach their overall goal.


The biggest strike against performance reviews is that they are the equivalent of looking in the rearview mirror to see where the employee has been-and perhaps failed. Why not look ahead to see where the employee can successfully go?


Additionally, since performance reviews occur once a year, if at all, they require us to look back over a long period of time. They make the manager look petty (“Let’s talk about your performance on that project nine months ago…”), and even if viewed positively, any corrective solutions are generally too late to do any good.


Here’s a helpful idea: Coach early and often. Early, to catch potential problems before they happen. Often, because the continuous interest shown in, and feedback given to, employees through coaching guarantees better performance.


Coaching provides counsel in real time and clearly identifies goals in the context of the employee’s job. Good coaches understand the current reality of the employee’s world, and are aware of issues that might prevent a worker from reaching his or her goals. Good coaching provides the right environment to development strategies that allow an employee to achieve his or her goals.


Imagine a husband and wife sitting down on their anniversary each year for a formal chat: “First, let’s review all the things you’ve done well over the last year and then we’ll set goals for the coming year.”  Doesn’t sound like much of a relationship, does it? I’m certainly not suggesting that a manager should be married to his or her employees, but a healthy marriage is a relationship built on daily dialogue and frequent two-way communication. The same culture of dialogue can benefit employees and managers alike. Conversely, a once-a-year meeting more likely resembles a gripe fest: while one side lists frustrations and shortcomings, the other side could be taken aback and either retreats or goes on the defensive. The bottom line is that no one wins.