By: Larry Fish, President
Coaching is a regular and natural method to improve performance in the world of sports and athletics. I think that candidates for green industry general management positions and owners of leading green industry companies can learn from these principles and become more effective coaches as well as help employees improve their performance.
Becoming a good coach in the green industry is a process composed of some thoughtful, well-defined steps that include:
- Define what the unsatisfactory performance is. If you are not getting the results you want because of the fact that someone is performing unsatisfactorily, then you should try to define what that person should do differently so that he/she will achieve the desired result. This holds most true for operations and sales performers.
- Expend your coaching time wisely. Stay focused on the main events of performance. Don’t get side tracked into spending time on isolated incidents or incidents over you which you have no control and, in the final analysis, have little to do with improving performance.
- Determine whether or not people really know that their performance is not what it should be. Your employees should have some measure of what is expected of them so they can see how they are performing against that standard.
- Try to determine if there are legitimate reasons why an employee cannot do what is expected of them. Sometimes, when we take the time to try to see the job as an employee sees it, we realize that there are obstacles that prevent a person from performing well. These obstacles may be beyond the control of the employee. A good coach removes these obstacles.
- Ensure people have been adequately educated and trained to do the job. This sounds pretty obvious, but in many cases we assume that people either know their jobs well or they have received the necessary training to perform well.
- Do not set up situations in which the reward for high performance is perceived as being more negative than positive. Sound familiar? A good example of this may be rewarding your top operations worker with more work to do because he or she finished their assigned tasks before everyone else. Once they see this happen a few times, how do you think they will adjust their performance?
Now ask yourself a couple of questions:
- Have we inadvertently established positive rewards for people who don’t perform very well? Sometimes we over use our good employees by continually assigning very important tasks to them that we need to get done correctly and quickly. Meanwhile, their co-workers whom we do not view as being as competent are sitting back with far less to do than they should. These non-performers get their raises and keep their jobs just as if they were carrying their fair share of the load. Sound really familiar?
- In your heart of hearts, do you really believe this person could perform the job if he/she really wanted to do it? It’s judgment time. If the answer is no, then you have a decision to make about the future of this employee in your company.
The resulting action can become a real “gut-check,” but that is what coaching is all about!!
Are you seeking a better career opportunity in the green industry? Contact GreenSearch® and let us “coach” you through the process toward earning a gold medal.
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