We need to validate coaching and what it can do for an organization outside of just simply sales or customer service metrics. One of the best ways we can measure the effectiveness of coaching is our ability to recruit through our staff as well as reducer turnover. It has been researched that hiring new talent can cost organizations anywhere from 25 to 40% of the first year salary.
If an engaged boss who coaches needs more talent, he or she can use their staff as a great resource. If a boss has staff that are loyal and willing they can find required new talent without having to pay a headhunter or a fee associated with the staffing company. In addition, if a manager is measured every single year based on employee retention this can prevent an organization tremendous return on investment.
This begs the question what can a manager specifically do to retain and recruit top talent? Here are four strategies we would encourage every manager to adopt in order to increase their staff retention as well as ability to recruit new talent:
- Provide constant positive reinforcement verbally. This seems so simple but when things are going well most managers tend to rest on their laurels when in fact this presents a huge opportunity to retain top talent. When things are going well a manager’s talent becomes more marketable; therefore, are more susceptible to competitors trying to hire them away. This can be done by bringing an employee into the office and simply thanking them for a job well done on specific projects and tasks that are currently working on.
- The second strategy is to provide feedback nonverbally. A manager can send a card or a note to an employee’s home thinking them for specific job well done. This again is so simple but think about it what happens when that person opens the card. They will typically have family nearby asking who that is from. When an employee says it’s from my boss guess what happens? The family becomes your partner as a manager in coaching as they praise the manager for something so considerate.
- Facilitate goal-based coaching. One of the biggest mistakes a manager can make is to simply have goals that are business driven and not open to the employee’s personal goals. Let me give you a brief example. We have a client who had an employee in a call center and after receiving his business goals the manager asked about personal goals in his response was extremely revealing. He specifically stated:” my lifelong dream is to take my family to Ireland”. I suggested to the manager not to coach this employee for 60 days but rather changes PC screensaver to a picture of Ireland, purchase a book on traveling in Ireland and place it on his desk, provide travel brochures and tours about going to Ireland, etc. needless to say the impact was tremendous. His call volume and productivity went up 31% without ever being asked to do so!
- Facilitate peer-based coaching were staff members work in groups of two. Again this seems so simple but there’s an art to this. The key ingredient is to ask employees structured questions that facilitate positive feedback about one another. For example:” Tom what was one of the best things about working with Susie and were you think she had the greatest impact in this project”. This type of dialogue gets staff talking about one another and facilitates a stronger team bond; therefore, making it tougher to leave the team.
Coaching is a skill set that managers can improve and constantly practice. If a manager is engaged, provides constant positive reinforcement and feedback, and ultimately needs to retain and recruit versus a manager who does none of these things who truly has the advantage in the marketplace?
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