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A Coach’s Most Important Job
Chuck Coonradt – CEO, The Game of Work
Morale is one of the most valuable products of a successful coach.
The higher the morale -- the better the communication, teamwork and RESULTS. Individual performance improves, productivity improves, problems diminish, and innovations are more likely.
The way employees feel about their organization is in direct proportion to how they feel about their supervisor (coach). When your employees feel good about your organization, it not only improves morale, it can be a strong force in public relations. Happy employees tell their family members and friends about the great organization where they work. This wins friends for your organization.
What happens when morale is low? Employees are not engaged. They don’t feel a responsibility for the success of your organization. There is excessive absenteeism and turnover. Quality suffers. There is friction, stress, and tension that saps energy and is bad for the health of the individuals and the organization as a whole.
Successful coaches take great pride in high morale and team spirit. They know when people become a team, their capacity for improving performance and results is dramatically improved. They also know that high morale starts with the coach. Here are eight things you can do to build morale in your organization:
- Keep score — Uncertainty contributes to low morale. Knowing that you are winning contributes to high morale. Even if you are losing, the certainty of what needs to be done to win can improve morale.
- Always celebrate “better” — Look for improvement, no matter how small. When you reward improvement you are more likely to get more improvement, which will create a success environment and improve morale.
- Keep people informed — Being “in on things” is one of the strongest motivators for most employees. When management fails to provide the necessary information to people, the “grape-vine” kicks in and that can be destructive.
- Help people feel important — Even the person in the most humble job deserves to know that his/her contribution is important and he/she is highly regarded.
- Conduct regular one-on-one coaching meetings — Giving people personal attention is one of the most powerful ways you can improve morale. These coaching meetings need to focus on results, behaviors needed to get even better results, ways you, as coach, can help him/her improve and ways he/she can improve. Each coaching session needs to include specific action steps that can be taken by coach and player between coaching sessions.
- Listen to what people say — Listening to people is the starting point for understanding them. Understanding people on your team enhances your ability to improve morale.
- Know your people — What are their strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, wants and needs? Do you know his/her goals? Do you know about his/her family? It is difficult to motivate a stranger. The more you know about your employees, the easier it will be to improve morale.
- Give appropriate feedback — The severest form of criticism that can be given to a person is not to find fault but to ignore him/her. The denial or withholding of feedback is the strongest form of psychological punishment known to man. Give frequent feedback. Positive feedback. Specific feedback. Feedback that reinforces the behaviors you want repeated.
An effective coach brings out the best in people, helps people get to a place they didn’t think they could get, and their teams win. Building morale is one of the best ways to bring out the best in people, help them achieve, and help your team win. Use the eight steps listed above to improve the morale in your organization and you will get better results, have less problems, and win more.
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