Good leaders don’t just manage employees. They serve as coaches and mentors, investing in employees’ future careers. In return, they’ll get fully engaged workers who work hard to boost their business.
If you’re a leader, it’s important to look at your job as coach rather than boss. Below are some tips that will help you motivate and inspire your team. It may take time, but they’ll get you started on your road to becoming a more effective leader.
Get to Know Your Employees
Before you can successfully coach your team members, you need to get to know each person. What are their special skills? Where do they hope to be in five to ten years? Take note of what you learn from each of them and use the information to come up with a coaching plan that will work.
Adjust for Experience
You won’t just individualize your coaching approach to each team member. You should also make adjustments based on an employee’s time with your company. A newcomer will need different coaching than someone who has been with your business for several years. Make sure you’re continuing your investment in your employees at each career stage.
Provide Ongoing Learning Opportunities
In addition to personally coaching your team members, you should also make continuing education opportunities available. Paying for certifications or training through sites like LinkedIn Learning benefits your company in multiple ways. You’ll not only get improved retention and engagement, but your business can market your team’s credentials as a way to earn new business. Just make sure your employees are taking the courses they want to take rather than the ones that boost your company’s reputation.
Describe What Happens Next
Don’t forget to communicate your intentions to your employees. As you identify together what they’d like to see happen next, outline a plan to get there. Training and certification is one way to accomplish things. But you can also volunteer your own services or those of a senior team member to serve as a mentor. With a mentorship, an employee gets ongoing help from someone willing to act as more of a trainer than a coach.
As you get to know your individual team members, you’ll naturally begin to feel invested in their individual career paths. Over time, this will help you act as a cheerleader for their success. If possible, make sure you promote from within rather than bringing in outsiders. That small move will give other employees hope that they will be next in line when an advancement opportunity becomes available.