The coaching process doesn’t end with the session itself. A good team leader (typically responsible for conducting coaching, though this may differ in your own business) should take an active role in cultivating an employee’s development.
But how do you know what this actually involves? A nd what can you do to measure coaching effectiveness in the long run? After all, if you don’t track the impact coaching has on workers, you have no idea if you’re throwing valuable time and money away.
Let’s take a look at what comes after coaching sessions, gauging their effects and more.
Understanding Coaching Responsibilities and Follow-ups
Providing employees with coaching is a fundamental element of building a superstar team. Sadly, not all businesses actually invest in helping their workers improve, choosing a more complacent approach to performance instead. They may not realize how poor their team’s work is until they notice a dip in customer satisfaction and retention rates.
A comprehensive coaching strategy will prevent your business falling into that trap, and once you’ve got your coaching sessions up and running, you need to focus on following through. The aim is to encourage and support employees to work to a higher standard, whatever this involves.
For example, a customer service agent could be achieving poor Customer Satisfaction Scores or causing people to end interactions out of sheer frustration before their issues have been resolved. Coaching in this case would focus on improving their ability to engage customers and solve issues sooner.
The team leader or person delivering the coaching sessions for this employee would be responsible for checking in with them shortly after. Have they changed their approach to dealing with customers as discussed? Are they making an effort to build a connection during interactions and resolve them faster?
It’s vital to forge a bond of trust and transparency during coaching: make sure employees know they can be honest and open about their thoughts and feelings. If the coach asks how they’re progressing and gets nothing but lies in response, everyone’s time is wasted. Including that of your customers who still aren’t receiving the service they deserve.
Following up on coaching
Conducting regular follow-ups between coaching sessions allows you, as the coach, to determine what’s necessary for subsequent discussions. To continue with the example above, the agent might feel they’re engaging customers more easily but still can’t quite get their Customer Satisfaction Score higher.
In this case, you would need to consider other ways to help. You might find videos covering this area on YouTube and include these in another coaching session. You could even approach one of your top-performing customer service agents for insights into their approach.
Either way, you may actually drive the agent to make a breakthrough and boost their scores over time. But if you had jumped straight to another area of performance entirely after the initial coaching session, it’s unlikely the outcome would be as positive.
This applies to all employees in your business, no matter their role. Coaching has to address personal and professional obstacles lying in their way of success, with guidance, support and advice tailored to their individual strengths and weaknesses.
Tracking Coaching Effectiveness and Driving Improvements
Effectiveness is key to your coaching strategy: if you have no idea whether the time, resources and money invested is actually driving improvements, you could be wasting all three.
One of the most efficient ways to measure coaching effectiveness is through tracking performance results. You can do this quickly and easily with the best QA software, using data gathered from evaluating interactions.
Different metrics can be used to focus on various aspects of service quality. A common one is First-call Resolutions — measuring the rate at which service agents resolve customer interactions at the first point of contact.
This is a huge benefit for your business, giving fast results and eliminating the need for the customer to reach out again (saving time and, if they’re using a helpline, money).
If a coaching session set the agent a goal of increasing their First-call Resolution rate by, say, five percent in one month, you could determine coaching effectiveness by comparing their performance results from before and after that period.
You would have clear evidence of the coaching’s success or failure within moments. This could be presented to the agent and prompt further coaching, perhaps incorporating different techniques.
Let’s not forget that the problem could lie in your coaching too, rather than in the agent’s skills (or lack thereof). High-quality quality assurance software lets managers and admins create coaching sessions for team leaders or anyone else responsible for coaching. This is vital to ensure coaches are capable of supporting employees and driving improvement.
If they’re not up to the task currently, this can have a domino effect: those receiving their coaching sessions will be without the help they need, may still make the same mistakes and, ultimately, fail to provide customers with the best service.
Even if coaches are achieving positive results through their ongoing sessions, they could still benefit from their own coaching to unlock their full potential.
Increasing Coaching Engagement Through Employee Recognition
Coaching sessions should take advantage of diverse content in your learning library. Videos, documents, quizzes etc. can all help to increase sessions’ engagement, demonstrating techniques and revealing insights more effectively than text alone.
You may recognize employees for their efforts after coaching sessions in different ways, such as assigning recognition badges, points or a reward. This motivates them to keep improving and inspires colleagues to do the same.
Over time, recognition can help build a better team and — perhaps more importantly — a quality-focused company culture.
Understanding the role coaching plays in your business helps you get more out of it. Your coaches have a great deal of responsibility, and have to take the task seriously: employee performance has a direct impact on your customers’ experience — and if they don’t like it, there are probably many other businesses for them to try in your sector.
Follow the tips discussed above to ensure your coaching sessions inspire workers to grow, make real progress and lay the foundations for future sessions too. Keep measuring coaching effectiveness to minimize wasted time and maximize results with each session.
What do you think is important for effective coaching in your business? Which techniques have proven valuable for you? Let us know!