The Importance of Ongoing Feedback for Performance Management
Employees can’t reach their full potential on their own. Even someone like Lebron James has a number of coaches analyzing his approach to the game of basketball to give him pointers to help him become an even better player.
Similarly, from entry-level workers to employees in senior management, all members of your team need outside assistance to become the best they can be in their respective roles.
Just like athletes are coached, business professionals can benefit tremendously from their bosses supporting them, assessing their strengths and weaknesses, and offering feedback and advice to improve performance and make sure everyone’s on the same page.
But the benefits of ongoing coaching extend far beyond that. Organizations that invest resources in this quickly find out that it:
01. Improves productivity
There has likely been a time in your life, either personally or professionally, when you’ve found a better way to do something. Maybe you read a book that gave you a great new idea. You may have even stumbled across a more efficient approach on accident. For example, someone splitting wood with an ax for the first time might think it’s a spectacularly difficult task. But after learning the right technique and letting the tool do most of the work, suddenly splitting wood becomes that much easier — and maybe even enjoyable.
Ongoing coaching allows a seasoned lumberjack, to continue the example, to show the novice how it’s done. As a result, productivity improves because folks learn the most effective approach to the task at hand.
02. Builds strong relationships
Odds are you’ve had a boss who was standoffish by nature. This person didn’t care much about how you felt at work or whether you wanted about doing your job better. All that mattered was whether you got your work done. Suffice it to say, such an approach doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in employees.
Ongoing coaching, on the other hand, ensures regular interactions between employees and their managers. They get to know each other better on both a professional and personal basis — which helps establish strong bonds. This helps improve camaraderie and reinforces company culture.
03. Keeps employees engaged
Ongoing coaching requires managers to take active roles in their employees' work lives. Whether workers are coached on a biweekly, monthly, or even quarterly basis, they’ll know that their managers are invested in making sure they are doing things correctly and learning the tricks of the trade. This active approach to management should help improve employee engagement. As a result, the quality of the work your employees turn in will be noticeably stronger.
04. Increases employee retention
According to our Engagement Report, though a majority of workers are interested in growing, only 25% of them feel as though their employers offer adequate opportunities for career development. It’s a lot harder for employees to feel motivated at work when management isn’t invested in their development.
On the other hand, when managers are visibly interested in helping their employees reach their full potential, workers are inclined to stick around.
Don’t forget that millennials, in particular, are really interested in professional development opportunities. By coaching your team on an ongoing basis, you’re almost certain to see your employee retention stats improve.
05. Eliminates surprises during review time
When managers don’t ever coach their employees, it can be difficult for workers to know for certain how well they are doing their jobs. Ongoing coaching involves bosses meeting with members of their team on a regular basis. The frequency of these meetings essentially forces conversations that otherwise might not occur until performance is reviewed.
Instead of waiting months to tell an employee that they’re failing behind, ongoing coaching lets employees know where they stand and whether they are achieving their goals. This increases the chances that, come review time, all involved parties are on the same page and nobody is surprised.
06. Helps introverted employees learn new skills
A lot of workers might be too nervous or shy to speak up and ask questions — that’s just human nature. When companies make ongoing coaching a top priority, these kinds of workers are much likelier to ask questions that would otherwise be left unsaid. As a result, they will learn new skills.
07. Teaches coaches something too
As the Harvard Business Review observes, if you want to become a great manager, you need to be a great coach. Yes, employees stand to benefit tremendously from ongoing coaching. But managers potentially have a lot to learn too. Remember, every single worker approaches their job differently. You never know when an employee might say something that gives their boss a eureka moment of sorts. On top of that, ongoing coaching helps managers learn how to interact with a more diverse set of personalities thereby sharpening their management skills.
08. Encourages new ideas
Ongoing coaching is a great way to facilitate conversations between all members of the team and their bosses. You never know when a simple statement or observation can get the creative juices flowing and help everyone see something from a new perspective. By encouraging regular interactions, your company can increase the chances that an amazing new idea is discovered. Not only can a new idea help grow your company’s bottom line, it can also help managers and employees feel more valuable to the organization after such an idea is put into practice.
Even the smartest and most talented person in the world doesn’t know everything. To ensure your employees are constantly learning and doing things the right way, stress the importance of coaching at your organization.
Your employees will become more engaged and more productive — and therefore likelier to stick around for the long haul. Who knows? You may even unlock an amazing new game-changing idea unexpectedly.
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