Extensive Use of Coaching: Forming the Third Element of Your New Performance Management System

by Roger Longden | Aug 09, 2016

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Although in this series of articles I’ve made references to the end of traditional performance management systems, and the overtaking of them with a better structure, I have to admit that some organisations still come close to successfully pulling off traditional performance management. But how? How have they managed to overcome the dissatisfaction and limitations so often found in the old way of thinking?

It’s simple: the leaders in those businesses are natural coaches. They have an innate ability which puts them into the coaching elite – and they may not even know it.

Knowing that this skill can lead to success in performance management is crucial to understanding the importance of the third element in your fantastic new PM system.

Why Coaching is So Important

An organisation with a coaching culture is easy to spot: they build capability in their people through learning and reflection, they encourage independence by supporting employees to find answers themselves, and mistakes are seen as an opportunity to learn.

Although these may seem like concepts which give too much freedom to individuals, it’s actually not the case. Instead, they have just enough freedom – enough freedom to no longer need to depend on leaders for everything, and enough to develop in line with a growth mindset.

This independence has been shown to have huge benefits for productivity and creativity, as well as diminishing the need for management to focus on low-value activity. Imagine what can be achieved in the time freed up by your team managing themselves!

Coaching and the Growth Mindset

This performance management element is intrinsically linked to the previous element we spoke about: Adopting a Growth Mindset. It goes without saying that a coaching culture is evidence of an organisation which has a growth mindset in place.

In fact, it could even be referred to as a natural extension – your team are now receptive to opportunities for growth and development, and extensive coaching is giving them that chance to flourish and evolve the organisation from within. Remember as we continue with this article series that these elements are interconnected and rely on one another, and you’ll have the most effective performance management system you’ve ever encountered in place in no time!

Be Curious About Your Coaching

In order to make coaching work effectively within your organisation, you have to ensure that your managers are actually undertaking coaching with individuals. A recent study showed that although 88% of managers thought they were adequately coaching teams, only 46% of employees agreed.

This is something which requires direct action and an attitude hungry to capitalise on the growth mindset you should now have started to cultivate. Once this element has been mastered in conjunction with the previous elements we’ve spoken about, then you’ll start to see the foundations being laid for your new PM system. Just remember that you have to lead by example every step of the way!

In the next article in this series, we’ll be exploring what role ‘Direct Line of Sight’ plays in your business’ performance management, as well as how to ensure it is properly in place. In the meantime, reacquaint yourself with the first element and second element and be sure to ask your employees for honest feedback on the current coaching within your organisation.

If you’d like to find out more about the changing world of performance management, please feel free to download my recent research paper, available over on my website.