Use Coaching to Boost Employee Engagement and Retention

by | Feb 3, 2022 | Leadership Coaching, Personal Development

It’s a challenging time to hire new employees and retain the ones you’ve already got on staff. With uncertainties around Covid, remote vs. in-person work, hybrid work schedules, and salary expectations, there’s a lot to juggle.

So how can you keep the great employees you’ve got and boost retention?

How can you inspire your employees to perform at their best?

What can you do as a leader to boost your team’s overall performance? 

In a word: coaching.

The best leaders are great coaches. 

Coaching requires a different leadership mindset, one that’s based on caring and curiosity rather than control.

Coaching is a relatively simple process. But simple doesn’t mean easy. 

It takes time, it takes effort. It takes a commitment to the whole person, not just the person that shows up at 8:30 a.m. each day.

How can you integrate coaching into your role as a leader? 

Here are five coaching steps I recommend:

  1. Check your own story.
  2. Get their story — be curious.
  3. Dig under their story.
  4. Uncover their beliefs.
  5. Challenge those beliefs.

What does this coaching process look like in the everyday world of a nonprofit? 

Suppose Sarah is your development coordinator. You walk into her office one day and see her with her shoes off and her feet up on the desk, talking on the phone to what sounds like a friend or family member. She was late to work yesterday and the whole scene in front of you annoys you. You ask her to come talk to you when she’s finished with her call. 

Your story or version of what’s happening here may include: Sarah was late yesterday, and her body language indicates she doesn’t seem to be working too hard today. You don’t know why she was late yesterday, but it bothered you and she never explained the reason. 

In your mind, you’re developing a whole story about Sarah, her lateness, and perhaps her lack of professionalism in the office.

If that’s the story you went with, you’d probably have negative feelings towards Sarah. And focusing on the negative means that over time, you’d start to see other negative things about Sarah and her performance.

But hold on. 

Is the story you’re telling yourself the actual story?

Sarah was late to work yesterday because she stopped to pick up something from the event rental company for your upcoming fundraising event. They didn’t open until 8:30 a.m., which made her a little late to work. It seemed like a small detail in an otherwise busy Monday, so she didn’t want to bother telling you about it. The important thing is that she picked up the rental items. 

When you walked into her office, she was indeed relaxed and with her feet on the desk. But what sounded like a friendly conversation was actually Sarah on the phone with the program director, brainstorming possible ideas to submit for grant funding to your local community foundation. It sounded like Sarah was spending time on a personal call because she has a good rapport with the program director, and the conversation was flowing and casual. What you didn’t know is that they came up with a list of three possible projects to submit for funding.

We tell ourselves stories all the time. About every possible subject. And at least half of them are wrong. 

We make assumptions about people and their attitudes, their performance, and their motivations. We let the story we’re telling ourselves about the situation take over and we never bother to get their story.

So how can we apply coaching to our everyday work of leading and managing staff?

We can start by experiencing great coaching, so we can learn how to be better coaches for our staff.

By supporting employee development through coaching, we show employees that we are investing in their future and providing them with growth opportunities. This investment in the personal and professional development of employees often results in increased employee retention. 

Small Investment Leads to Big Payoff

According to Forbes, one of the best ways to keep employees feeling cared for and engaged is through coaching programs.

As a leader, you’re juggling so many tasks and projects any given day. The overwhelm is real.

But, a small investment in coaching can have big payoffs for you and your staff. Payoffs in performance, thinking, motivation and employee retention.

To learn more, contact me. Let’s have a conversation.