Coaching your employees will enable them to get on the same page with your leadership style. When possible, it should start when they become new hires. The employee onboarding process is the time to let new employees understand that you will be coaching them along with your existing employees. Before you start, you want to have a good software program in place that will let you track your managers’ interactions with your employees.
Provide Training for Your Managers
Managers cannot be expected to be good coaches without proper training. You do not want to assume that they know how to do this. Training your managers in coaching techniques will put them on the same page and they will be using similar tactics. Investing in their training before implementing a coaching program will enable your company to reap many benefits when it is done correctly. Among the benefits you can expect will be greater contentment among employees and better performance in daily tasks.
Start by Listening to Your Employees
Before you can do much coaching, employees need to know that you are listening to them. This is especially important with remote employees who may already be feeling the loneliness of being at home – isolated from other employees. Listening will help them feel connected. One way that you can cut down on the feeling of isolation is to use video communications with them, which will let them see your face and vice versa.
Make Your Expectations Clear
Coaching is only valuable when what you expect is made clear to your remote employees. They need to have no uncertainty about what is expected so that they can meet them and feel content about having reached those goals. They can increase their level of productivity on their own once they understand what they need to work toward.
Progress charts can be used to show how they have improved over time. Various types of rewards or recognition may also be given when levels of improvement have been significant or in accordance with expectations.
Identify Behaviors That Lead to Success
Employees like to know what you are expecting from them to be a desirable employee. Some of them will look for promotions and they will want to know what needs to be done to reach the next level and possibly enter management.
Create Regularly Sessions of Contact
Remote employees often need regular contact. This will help to create the feeling of being on a team. Personal or group meetings, conducted via video conferencing, that are done once a week (or more if needed) will help them feel more like a normal employee. During personal meetings, add a personal touch by finding out how they are doing, asking if their equipment is working well, and do they have any questions. While these meetings will enable coaching and goal setting, be careful not to micromanage them – too much communication reduces productivity.
Develop Good Relations with Remote Employees
Remote employees will often work better if they feel that you show some personal interest in them. When starting the call and before getting down to business, take a little time to chat about their family, understand health problems in the kids or in their schooling, their hobbies, or find out how a trip or weekend went. Showing that you have concern for them will help them to be more engaged in their work and feel easier about contacting you with problems when they arise.