julia@iclc.com.au leonie@iclc.com.au

Coaching your direct reports, overcoming the challenges

Posted by Julia Milner on Jun 27, 2017 in Blog

Hi its great to be talking with you I hope you are incredibly well. Across the planet at the moment, managers, supervisors, executives, team leaders, anybody who has people reporting to them have been told and encouraged to use a coaching methodology. They are being told, if you coach your direct reports what you are going to see happen is you are going to see people engaged in a different way they are going to give you that discretionary effort in the workplace that you are looking for.

And yet what we are also seeing is that people across the planet are struggling to do exactly that. So again managers, leaders, team leaders, supervisors whatever language you want to use they try to implement a coaching methodology , try with all sincerity to do this, and they start to struggle then they give up and say coaching just doesn’t work. So why would that happen?
Well before I answer that lets look at why you would even want to coach, its not just about employee engagement, its not just about seeing people passionate and excited about coming to work, thats great if you get that, thats awesome, but its also about the bottom line.
So this actually increases the productivity in the workplace. Let me give you one quick example of how that works. I worked with an organisation that spent years training their staff members in a new customer service methodology , a new way of interacting with their customer base. They spent years, as I say, doing this and they also spent tens of thousands of dollars training every single staff member to actually implement this new skillset. Then when they measured how well the impact had gone they found that in fact only 25% of people were actually implementing this new skillset. That is not unique to this company, its not unique to the sector this company works in its not unique to the industry type or anything like that what we know is as people attempt to implement a new skillset in the workplace only about 30% of all training actually makes it back into the workplace environment. So people go away they get trained they are enthusiastic about the new skill that they have learnt they go back to their workplace and all the practical things get in the way. “I would love to do this but I cant because of this reason” “I would really love to do this but I cant because of that reason” so this is called the implementation dip.
Often misinterpreted by managers and supervisors as lack to motivation to deliver this new skillset in the workplace, then overtime that implementation dip causes people to lose the skillset, lose enthusiasm, lose passion for it and eventually it drifts away.
So if you think about your particular industry, your particular business, your company, your organisation and think about numbers of dollars you are spending on training people right now. You might be spending hundreds of dollars, you might be spending thousands of dollars you might be spending millions of dollars but if you look at the consistent pattern we see that tells you that seventy per cent of those dollars are wasted because they don’t make it back into the workplace environment thats an enormous waste of dollars.
But we do know that if you coach people around the new skillset, so not just generic coaching but actually coaching them specifically around that skillset, how do you implement it, how do you overcome barriers, how do you get past the particular challenges. If you do that you can reverse those figures so 70% of all training makes it back into the workplace.
So for the organisation that I talked with you about before to coach their employees around this particular customer service methodology would treble the efficacy of the training dollars that they are using, thats massive its a huge impact. So yes coaching does encourage, workplace coaching does encourage people to become more engaged in the workplace, yes it does increase peoples discretionary efforts but it also in many ways impacts upon the bottom line and the example I have given you is just one example .
Knowing all of that, again, why do managers and leaders struggle to do this because if you look at the generic coaching models they were never designed to be used in the workplace environment, they weren’t designed for people who were trying to manage people and coach them at the same time, they weren’t designed for people who have a power imbalance. So when I am being coached by my boss there is a real significant dynamic going on here that is not taken into account by most coaching models.
So this is where I come to what we can share with you. LEADER. This model tracks you through how to overcome the challenges we have talked about. So how do you as a leader or a manager actually coach your direct reports, and take into account the organisational dynamics so when Billy says I want to go over her and you know that tomorrow you are going to be having a very difficult conversation with Billy how do you deal with all of that? So LEADER model takes that into account.
Where did LEADER come from? Myself and my business partner, Professor Julia Milner, we saw that this struggle existed and we also experienced that struggle so we managed and we supervised people and we saw that the traditional models did not work and we also have studied coaching at at very high level, in fact Julia is a Professor of both Leadership and Coaching. We have authored both academically and practically around coaching frameworks so we really understand at an intellectually level coaching but we understand coaching at a practical delivery level too, and I have personally trained now thousands of managers around the world I have trained hundreds in this framework LEADER that you have seen in how to actually coach within the workplace environment and what we find is when people are given that skillset they get it it makes sense to them now they can use coaching. So as we have implemented this in many different industry sectors what we found is people say yes this is what we’ve been looking for.
If its what you have been looking for and you want to talk to us then please reach out it will be fantastic to have a conversation with you. Thank you