Using a Dynamic Coaching Platform for Performance Improvement

 
Lee Waters
Posted by Lee Waters

In this world of different work environments—in-person, remote, hybrid—employee coaching has taken on more significance than ever.  We all know maximizing employee performance is crucial for any contact center’s ongoing success. What often gets overlooked however is just how critical employee coaching is for performance management and, equally as important, employee engagement. 

Coaching helps leaders share vital feedback with employees so they can improve on their strengths, address opportunities, and develop more meaningful careers. This, in turn, helps contact centers increase employee engagement and retention in an industry famous for high turnover. Taking the time to invest in employees through coaching can help call centers save a significant amount of money that would be lost to reduced productivity, recruitment costs, missed business opportunities, and other issues caused by employee turnover.

But, how can you ensure that the coaching you provide generates results? Simply providing feedback to employees is not enough. In fact, according to Gallup, “only 26% of employees strongly agree that the feedback they receive helps them do better work.” There are many reasons for this: changes in an organizational hierarchy, lack of context for feedback, insufficient time spent on driving engagement with feedback, etc.

This is where dynamic coaching can prove to be important for performance improvement and engagement. Using a dynamic coaching platform with advanced coaching tools that simplify the process of identifying employee strengths and opportunities for improvement helps create context and make coaching sessions more effective.

What Is Dynamic Coaching?

Dynamic coaching is the practice of coaching employees while taking into account both the employee’s and the organization’s needs. It replaces older coaching methodologies where communication was a one-way street as higher-ups in an organization passed directives down from the top.

In dynamic coaching, the coach balances the organization’s needs with an understanding of the employee’s motivations, challenges, and obstacles before generating feedback. This way, feedback can be dynamically adjusted to best fit the situation at hand. 

For example, say that a call center employee was 5 sales short of their goal of 40 sales in a two-week period. Instead of telling them to “try harder,” a dynamic coaching approach would analyze the situation to see what factors affected the call center employee’s success while also examining previous results.

Was the employee tasked with new responsibilities during the week they fell short of their goal? Do their results line up with other employees in the same department? Do they have the necessary training and access to support materials needed to be more effective? Have they met or exceeded the goal before? Were the leads they sold qualified? Did any significant changes occur in the product or service being sold (such as launching a new product/service or the price increasing)? 

Dynamic coaching seeks to identify the underlying issues impacting employee performance so they can be addressed. It’s how to be a better coach—one who actively supports employees so that they can realize their true potential. This, in turn, can help create a positive impact on your organization’s bottom line.

What Is Team Dynamic Coaching?

Team dynamic coaching is distinct from dynamic coaching, though the similarities in the two terms can cause some confusion. Team dynamic coaching focuses on identifying and improving the “team dynamic” (the way that employees relate to and work with one another or impact one another’s performance) to reduce organizational friction and improve employee behavior.

Where dynamic coaching focuses on helping individual employees improve performance, team dynamic coaching is designed to help foster positive workplace relationships where employees support one another—thus improving teamwork and results for the team as a whole.

Using a Dynamic Coaching Platform for Employee Performance Improvement

One of the major challenges of dynamic coaching is that it requires a lot more information and effort than less detailed employee coaching strategies. To get a complete picture, you need more than just basic performance metrics—you may need information from different parts of the organization and from the employee themselves.

But, how can you collect all of this information? A comprehensive performance improvement platform that combines employee communications, talent management, performance tracking, knowledge management, employee learning, and quality assurance to empower your coaching strategy can help.

For example, you could use a team communication solution to collect employee feedback about the workplace, other employees, and specific obstacles that they face. This helps not only close the feedback loop between leaders and employees but to provide extra context that can be used to help create more effective coaching sessions.

Performance tracking solutions that make it easy to track employee engagement and performance metrics can help identify specific weaknesses or strengths in employee performance—making it easier to recognize top performers or spot trends.

For example, if a large number of employees all struggle with meeting the same performance goal, then that could indicate an issue that needs addressing across the whole of the organization. This could be a training issue, a problem with the goal being unachievable, or a potential systemic issue that needs resolving. Getting feedback from employees could be crucial for determining which of these are the root cause of the performance problem.

Resolving systemic training or employee knowledge issues could be done with a learning management or knowledge management solution. A learning management solution could be applied to help improve employee training—ensuring that every employee has the right skills they need to meet their goals. On the other hand, a knowledge management system could help ensure that employees had access to information and resources that they might need to meet their goals.

With a comprehensive dynamic coaching platform, it’s easier to identify performance issues, determine the underlying cause, and modify your one-on-one sessions with employees to improve their performance!

Top Tips for Dynamic Performance Improvement

When engaging in dynamic coaching sessions, there are a few things that you can do to make your coaching more consistent and effective. Some top tips for dynamic coaching sessions include:

1. Prepare Your Discussion Points before the Meeting

This is a very basic piece of advice, but one that bears mentioning because of how easy it is to fall behind on meeting prep when you’re busy. Preparing some discussion points before the coaching session can do a lot to help keep your sessions on-topic and avoid wasting both your and your employee’s time.

When reviewing an employee’s performance before the meeting, assemble a quick list of top items to discuss and add them to your notes so you don’t accidentally forget them. Try to prioritize them in order of importance so that, if your coaching session runs over on time, you can address the most important items first and don’t have to push back other coaching sessions or meetings.

2. Leave Room to Receive Employee Feedback

Truly dynamic coaching is a two-way street. To best address the issues that affect employee performance (and keep employees engaged with work), it’s necessary to gather feedback from the employee being coached. This is where active listening can help.

What is active listening? It’s a strategy for improving mutual understanding between yourself and your employees so that you can seek solutions to their problems. This can be as simple as asking questions like: “Is there anything that you think affected your performance last week?” However, highly skilled active listeners might also learn how to read body language to pick up on unspoken dialogue cues. These unspoken cues can go a long way toward letting you know exactly how your employees actually feel so you can provide the best possible support for their growth.

Gathering feedback from employees in a private, one-on-one meeting can help you get information that they might not be comfortable sharing during a larger-scale, open team meeting.

Alternatively, you could collect feedback outside of dedicated coaching sessions. For example, you could set up a “suggestion” or “feedback” box or system to collect anonymous feedback from employees so they can share comments or concerns.

3. Provide Recognition for Extraordinary Results

When employees achieve a major goal or produce extraordinary results, it’s important to provide them with recognition. Why? Because, as noted by Gallup:

“Workplace recognition motivates, provides a sense of accomplishment and makes employees feel valued for their work. Recognition not only boosts individual employee engagement, but it also has been found to increase productivity and loyalty to the company, leading to higher retention.”

In short, it helps you make employees more engaged, productive, and likely to stay rather than pursue new opportunities elsewhere. Starting a coaching session by congratulating an employee on their achievements can be a great way to set a positive mood for the meeting and putting the employee in a mindset where they are more engaged with your feedback.

Even outside of coaching sessions, providing recognition and rewards to high-performing employees can be a great way to drive engagement. By providing public recognition, for example, you can demonstrate to other employees that their work will be appreciated if they achieve similar results.

4. Follow Up Coaching Sessions

Even after a coaching session is complete, it’s important to follow up with the employee and check their progress. This helps to keep the coaching session content top-of-mind for the employee and demonstrate your dedication to improving their performance.

Consider asking if they are experiencing any problems that might be impacting their work and if there are any reasonable accommodations you can make to help them. Even if this follow-up is a simple two or three-minute chat, it can help you stay on top of your employee’s needs.

5. Always Use Examples When Coaching Employees

When going over areas for improvement, it’s important to provide employees with the data showing why they need to improve and provide examples of how they can improve when possible. It isn’t enough to simply say “you were short of your sales goal last week, sell more.” Instead, employees need to have an idea of how they can meet that goal. 

So, it’s important to always use examples whenever possible during coaching sessions. Examples highlight not just what successful employees did, but how they did it can prove invaluable for stimulating employee engagement and performance growth. How? Because it helps give underperforming employees a more concrete idea of what they can do to improve. 

It can also help to set up mentorship programs—having high-performing employees share their experience and advice with others outside of your coaching sessions. This helps improve individual performance and the team dynamic as it encourages cooperation and communication.

6. Make Coaching about More Than Just Performance Improvement

Feedback can (and should) be about more than just improving performance. Too often, organizations of all kinds ignore professional development and demonstrations of how they’re investing in their workforce only to find that their employees leave for other opportunities. 

Coaching sessions are where companies like call centers can demonstrate their intention to invest in their employees by taking time to understand what the employee wants to achieve. So, consider taking the time to discuss personal and professional development during a dynamic coaching session. 

There might not always be room for this discussion, but it’s vital that employees are given a clear path to achieving their own goals. You can learn your employee’s goals by using active listening techniques during your dynamic coaching sessions.

With competition for qualified labor at an all-time high, it’s little surprise that, if you fail to invest in your people, someone else will.

Get Started withC2Perform

Are you ready to transform your coaching sessions? Get started by trying out C2Perform! Our platform is the most comprehensive employee engagement and performance improvement solution on the market—providing all of the tools leaders need to understand their employees’ performance so they can start maximizing it.

Topics: knowledgebase, knowledge management, employee management

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