We are now in the process of working with Lore to design and deliver a refresher course on Effective Coaching into our continuing curriculum at Atlantis University. We are also working with Lore to develop our in-house capability to deliver the two day Effective Coaching Workshop, so we can have a cost-effective means for training our new supervisors, managers, and executives who were brought on board as part of the Phase III expansion.
And finally, keep in mind, as I mentioned earlier, that coaching was already incorporated as a performance expectation in our performance planning and appraisal process.
Dr. Myszkowski: You mentioned earlier that there were key principles and “ah ha's' that your managers experienced in the workshop that allowed them to supervise their people differently. Which of those seemed most important?
Beverly: I think the first 'ah ha' for the participants was that different people prefer to be coached using different styles. It is not 'one size fits all.' The workshop gave us a framework to define what those different styles were and how to adapt our styles of coaching to the coachee.
Second, 'getting the monkey off your back' and, as a manager, not having the employee's problems thrust onto your shoulders. The workshop showed us that we were spending too much time in our own heads and trying to solve the problems for our employees. The workshop gave us the framework, tools, and skills to engage our employees to think about what was the cause of the problem, the alternatives to solving the problem, and using the employees' experience and intimate knowledge of their roles to come up with solutions that worked and they were committed to. We got the monkey off of our backs.
And finally, I think the biggest 'ah ha' for most of us was realizing that we were often addressing the presenting problem that our employees were bringing to us and trying to solve that problem, rather than taking the time to discover what the underlying problem was and helping the employee find a solution. It was like repeatedly treating
a fever and not the underlying infection. It reminded us that 'Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.' By helping the employee use their minds and problem solving skills, they became less dependent on the supervisor.
Dr. Myszkowski: How have you evaluated the effectiveness of the training so far?
Beverly: I personally looked at every evaluation completed anonymously by the workshop participants at the end of the first day and at the overall evaluation of the program and the workshop faculty at the end of the second day of each workshop. Lore also compiled a report of the evaluations including people's anonymous comments. The ratings of the program and the faculty were among the highest we have ever had. There were no complaints about having to attend the training— remember it was mandatory. There was no negative feedback at all.
Next, we looked for evidence that the coaching behaviors were actually being applied back on the job. There were plenty of anecdotes of managers feeling more self-confident about using the coaching to get their employees to think and solve more of their problems. At the same time, they saw their ESIs start going up. It did not take long before we had some emerging wins. For example, Ian, our SVP of Food and Beverage, found that his ESI (Employee Satisfaction
Index) jumped three points shortly after a critical