Spectators and players know that the coach can make the difference between winning the championship and watching from the sidelines. From throwing legendary tantrums to giving inspiring locker room speeches, some coaches and their styles have become synonymous with success.
Workplace Coaching for Employees
In the workplace, an individual’s coaching style can have a tremendous impact on performance and company culture. It is important to remember that coaching styles don’t just apply to managers and executives. Even rank and file employees have opportunities to take the lead on a project, demonstrate a procedure to the team, or assist a coworker. Observing employees at all levels and identifying coaching styles can help HR and managers develop desirable traits in their workforce. Here are four common workforce coaching styles.
Common Workforce Coaching Styles
The Encourager relies on positive reinforcement, cooperation, and incentives to obtain desired results. They spend a great deal of time developing those around them and collaborating on projects. This is often considered to be the gold standard of coaching styles, but it is important to strike a balance between time spent on the individual needs of the employees and efficiently meeting the goals of the organization.
The winner-take-all coach focuses on results. Successfully meeting goals is everything to this type of coach, and only top producers receive attention, while others are left to sink or swim. Some individuals may respond well to heated competition, but others may become discouraged and less productive. In the correct situation, this type of coach can generate impressive results. However, companies should be careful that it doesn’t create a revolving door of fleeing talent.
The Commander will not tolerate dissent or deviation from his or her instructions. “My way or the highway” is the motto of the Commander. While nobody enjoys working under draconian conditions, there are instances where this style of coaching might be the right fit. Tasks which have no room for error, complex jobs, or highly regulated industries may benefit from a narrowly defined set of instructions.
The babysitter is more of a nanny than a leader. They hover and check others’ work, sometimes even taking assignments away from subordinates to do it themselves instead of teaching the required skills. This person is either not suited to a leadership position, or lacks the confidence to share their expertise. While not ideal, The Babysitter may be sufficient to supervise rote tasks at the earliest entry-level positions. However, employees whose positions require independent thinking and skill development will quickly become frustrated with this style of leadership.
Just as no individual is one-dimensional, the best leaders and companies will assimilate different styles, based on the specific situation at hand. Within an organization, there may be a Babysitter watching over the summer interns, an Encourager training new associates, a Winner-Take-All driving the sales department and a Commander ensuring compliance with federal regulations. The key is to identify and develop the mix of qualities that best serve your industry or organization.
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