Coaching Employees is Job #1


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Whether you’re a team leader, a super­vi­sor, or con­tact cen­ter man­ager, coaching—giving feed­back to your employees—is one of the most impor­tant thing you do leader. As a leader, your job is to set goals, and guide your team toward those goals as you inspire them toward new heights.

The term coach­ing refers to the prac­tice of giv­ing feed­back to improve per­for­mance. Coach­ing can be one-way or two-way. One-way coach­ing is when you do all the talk­ing and two-way coach­ing is when you and an employee have a dis­cus­sion about per­for­mance. Most often, one-way coach­ing is brief, spon­ta­neous and timely, while two-way coach­ing is more likely to be sched­uled, longer in length, and off the floor in your office or con­fer­ence room. Over time you will be able to tweak your coach­ing tech­nique to best suit indi­vid­u­als and team needs.

Not only does coach­ing val­i­date an employ­ees’ job per­for­mance, it also shows that you take the suc­cess of your team and the com­pany seri­ously. Being seen as ded­i­cated to con­tin­ual improve­ment is very inspir­ing and will no doubt be moti­vat­ing for your staff.

Being a great coach comes nat­u­rally for some. But for the rest of us it requires some study, patience and prac­tice. Here are the two main skills to focus on:


It’s hard to feel good about your­self and your job when all you hear are neg­a­tive com­ments. To ensure your employ­ees per­form at opti­mal lev­els they will need to hear words of
encour­age­ment and praise from you. There are many effec­tive ways to praise but we have found the below exer­cise most effective.

B = Behav­ior. Iden­tify pre­ferred behav­ior so the employee can con­tinue doing it.Praising Employees

E = Effect. Explain how the behav­ior con­tributed to the customer’s pos­i­tive expe­ri­ence, com­pany bot­tom line, or any­thing else that details why the behav­ior is desired.

T = Thanks. Always thank the employee. This shows appre­ci­a­tion and rein­forces that the employee per­formed well and encour­ages them to con­tinue per­form­ing in the same manner.


Although not as much fun as prais­ing, cor­rect­ing is a very impor­tant part of coach­ing. It is not easy to tell some­one that they did some­thing wrong or are not behav­ing per com­pany guide­lines, but avoid­ing such issues will affect your team’s pro­duc­tiv­ity and morale. Use this easy to remem­ber exer­cise to effec­tively cor­rect performance.

B = Behav­ior. Clearly point out the incor­rect behavior.

E = Effect. Explain the effect the incor­rect behav­ior had on the cus­tomer, call, etc.

E = Expec­ta­tion. Clearly state what you expect the employee to do dif­fer­ently next time.

S = Secure Com­mit­ment. Secure a com­mit­ment from the employee to try what you’ve asked.

Avoid Using “But”

In some cases, coach­ing ses­sions will involve both prais­ing and coach­ing. Always praise first. This will relax the employee and allow the employee to be more recep­tive to cor­rect­ing. How­ever, avoid using the word “but” as a tran­si­tion from prais­ing to cor­rect­ing. Using but will quickly negate all the pos­i­tive things you just said. Instead use a segue such as, “Now let’s talk about…” as a smooth tran­si­tion from prais­ing to correcting.

Use these skills reg­u­larly to praise and cor­rect your employ­ees and watch their per­for­mance improve.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Peggy Carlaw
Peggy Carlaw is the founder of Impact Learning Systems. Impact helps companies develop and implement customer service strategies to improve the customer experience. Their consulting services and training programs help organizations create a customer-focused culture while producing measurable business results. Peggy is also the author of three books published by McGraw-Hill including Managing and Motivating Contact Center Employees.


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