Posted: July 21, 2023, 11 a.m.
In all my years as a manager, business owner, and consultant, I've trained a lot of people on how to coach and develop their unique teams. But I always have one common pitch: “you should work to develop the people on your teams so that they move to the next big thing – even if that means leaving your team.”
Taking a coaching approach makes everything easier. When you coach well, it leads your team to self-efficacy. You foster teams full of accountability and ownership. You empower people to lead from within and effectively manage their own goals and pursuits. When you coach well, you actually manage less. And I can tell you from experience that the most effective teams are the ones who are led by effective coaches.
I still remember the first person that mentored me in my first role as a manager for restaurants. She joked that she used a “give them enough rope” technique. What she meant is that she would give me the tools to do what I needed to, but really let me figure out how to tie the knot. I knew that if it started to get tangled I could go back to her and she would then give me some guidance. This lead from behind approach allowed me to thrive. She would start by working with me to create goals, identify paths to success, and then let me try knowing that I had her support if things went awry. Rather than giving me everything she coached me and that gave me ownership over my wins…and my opportunities for learning.
Seeing people who have worked for you go on to greater success is immensely fulfilling. I think back to the time in the mid-2010’s when a high profile magazine highlighted the top bars and restaurants in Missouri. Of those listed, 15 of them were either owned or managed by people that first became managers in my establishments. That is the power of good coaching.
Benefits of good coaching
1. Developing your employees develops your team
When you work to develop the people on your team and you coach them to be the best they can be, you are going to have a better team. Your employees will feel more supported, more trusted, they're going to work harder, and at the end of the day they're just going to be more skilled. When you develop your employees, you develop your team and end up with higher productivity, stronger team alignment, and more satisfied employees.
2. Long-term positive impacts on your reputation
Next, think of the long term benefits for your organization’s or your personal reputation. When you develop people to move beyond you, when they finally go on to bigger and better things - they're running their own divisions, their own companies, their own projects - they're going to look back and say positive things about you. This future reputation equity can have long-term positive effects.
3. Coaching employees helps with recruiting
Coaching employees up and out also helps you recruit better people on your team. If I've got a choice of working with manager “A” who I know lots of people languish under and they just don't move up, or Manager “B” who I know supports the team, develops the team, and ends up with people getting better positions after being on that team - I'm going to want to work for manager “B”. Be prepared to have the pick of the best people because they will want to be on your team. Choose wisely, then follow through.
4. When you develop your team, you personally benefit
When you're known for being the manager that supplies the rest of the organization with solid managers, solid workers, solid employees - you are going to be looked on favorably by your supervisors and you're more likely to be promoted or given opportunities for growth in your own career. When you do right by your team, you do right by yourself.
There are many benefits to developing your team and taking a coaching approach for your employees’ success. You need to be working with your team to find out where they want to go. You need to work together to identify the gaps separating them from where they want to go, and then collaborate on an action plan that benefits them and the organization. Good coaches lead their employees to empowerment -- and it’s not something you GIVE them, rather something you INSPIRE within them.