One of the most important things you do as a leader is coaching your employees. This is especially true if you own or manage a specialty retail or service business that depends on frontline employees to deliver a great experience that will result in a sale and/or creating a loyal customer/advocate.
How are you doing as a coach? Take this quiz and find out, or if you want you can just jump down to some tips on being an even better coach.
Score yourself on the following:
1. My staff knows at this moment what I believe their strengths and areas of opportunities are.
a. Absolutely. Score 3 points
b. I think so. Score 2 points
c. We’ve talked about it within the last three months. Score 1 point
d. Nope. Score 0 points
2. I regularly praise my staff on specific behaviors and actions.
a. At least once a day. Score 3 points
b. From time to time. Score 2 points
c. When they do something amazing. Score 1 point
d. Does buying them coffee count? Score 0 points
3. I set aside specific time to observe my staff and give feedback.
a. At least once a day. Score 3 points
b. A few times a week. Score 2 points
c. When I can. Score 1 point
d. Who has time to do that? Score 0 points
4. I am comfortable giving my employees feedback about what they can do better.
a. Sure. My staff seeks out this type of feedback. Score 3 points
b. I do, but I hate it. Score 2 points
c. Only when someone screws up. Score 1 point
d. Why would I do that? Score 0 points
5. I don’t equate coaching with confrontation.
a. Agreed. It’s just feedback. Score 3 points
b. I do, but do it anyway. Score 2 points
c. With some or most people I don’t. Score 1 point
d. If you had my problem employee you would give me ten points. Score 0 points
6. I meet regularly with all of my employees.
a. Yes. At the start of every shift, and a sit-down once a month. Score 3 points
b. Yes. We meet one-on-one every week or every month. Score 2 points
c. Sometimes, but not on a regularly scheduled basis. Score 1 point
d. Not if I don’t have to. Score 0 points
7. My employees are held accountable to store/company standards.
a. They are, and they all appreciate that everyone is held to the same standard. Score 3 points
b. Mostly, although I know we can do better. Score 2 points
c. On operational things. Score 1 point
d. What does that mean? Score 0 points
8. I am always looking for ways to improve our store/company’s performance by elevating my staff’s performance.
a. Of course. To grow my business I have to grow my people. Score 3 points
b. I do, but sometimes I’m not sure where to look. Score 2 points
c. Yes, but I’m not always sure how to get my staff where they need to be. Score 1 point
d. Are you sure I can’t get points for buying them coffee? Score 0 points
That’s it. Now add up your score, and let’s see how you did.
24-20 points. Great job. Stay focused on growing as a coach and you’ll continue to be a great resource for your team.
19-15 points. Chances are you just need to invest more time and focus on reaching that potential.
14-10 points. Good news – bad news. Good news: Your store/company has a lot of growth potential. Bad news: You’re much less likely to reach it without helping your employees grow and develop
9-0 points. I’m sure your staff appreciates all the coffee you buy them, but they would appreciate even more your focus on helping them be successful. Time to step up, Coach!
How did you do? Now let me give you some quick insight on these coaching points:
1. My staff knows at this moment what I believe their strengths and areas of opportunities are. People rarely improve or grow without this knowledge. If people aren’t moving forward, you're missing opportunities.
2. I regularly praise my staff on specific behaviors and actions. Praise not only fuels the soul, it’s a great teaching tool. Yes, they are just doing their jobs, but we want to recognize when they do it well, try new things, and go above and beyond for others.
3. I set aside specific time to observe my staff and give feedback. As leaders, we have many demands on our time and focus. It’s really easy for coaching to take a backseat to everything else. Great coaches keep a coaching priority.
4. I am quite comfortable in giving my employees feedback what they can do better.
5. I don’t equate coaching with confrontation. These two go hand in hand. When leaders see giving feedback as a good thing and not confrontation, the entire team grows and develops faster and reaches higher levels. Most impediments to being a good coach lay within our belief systems. Change your beliefs and you’ll change your business.
6. I meet regularly with all of my employees. It’s important to meet with each employee at the start of each shift whenever possible. The goal is to help that person be successful that day. That’s what good coaches do. It only takes a minute or two. Regular one-on-one meetings are also important to an employee’s development. Meetings take time, but if you don’t have time for your staff… you don’t have time to succeed.
7. My employees are held accountable to store/company standards. In most stores there is a good-sized gap between what we say is important to do, and what the staff is expected and held accountable to do. Our work with retailers and leaders fills in that gap to increase staff effectiveness and sales/service performance. It’s the easiest way to create incremental sales.
8. I am always looking for ways to elevate my staff’s performance and improve our store/company’s performance. It’s one thing to coach what is expected of people. The best leaders learn to identify opportunities within their store or business, and then coach their employees to a point of maximizing their opportunities. You have to do all of the things covered in today’s quiz well to be able to do this. The good news is that the payoff is huge.
So let me ask, what opportunities have you identified to grow and become an even better coach?
Note: One way you can become an even better coach is to join me in my next coaching class staring on Tuesday, June 10th. My Four Weeks To Becoming A Next Level Coach And Developing A Winning Retail Team program will help both seasoned and new managers and owners to become more productive coaches.
More than 98% of past participants report they are more comfortable and effective coaching their team than before. You’ll be amazed at how fast you can develop in just four weeks. This is the only time I’ll be teaching this program before next fall. Learn more and reserve your spot here.
I also work with companies to integrate Next Level Coaching into their organization. We have programs for both frontline and multi-unit managers. Contact me at 781-861-7803 to discuss your opportunities.
Doug Fleener, a proven retail and customer experience expert and consultant, helps companies dramatically improve their customer experience and their results. Visit the Dynamic Experiences Group website, or call Doug at 866-535-6331 to discuss how he can help you create extraordinary results.