Everyday Coaching: A Better Way to Manage Performance

by Ian Kristic, Ph.D.

What is one of the most hated practices in business for both managers and employees?

  1. Manage-by-objective review meetings
  2. Critical incident feedback (That’s when an employee makes a mistake and gets called in to explain what happened.)
  3. Annual performance reviews
  4. All of the above

 *4 is the correct answer!

These manager-employee interactions are rituals of corporate kabuki: endless hours generating paperwork in preparation for, conducting, and following up on conversations that employees and managers dread but must endure. Instead of supporting performance, these rituals restrict open communication, thwart collaboration and skew (or skewer) relationships.  

Good News!

Many companies are rethinking performance management and, in many cases, are abandoning their traditional performance management process altogether.

Why? Typical managerial conversations aim to hold people accountable for past behaviour rather than improving future performance or developing employee capability for next week, next month, next year.

Forward-thinking companies have embraced the concept of performance development. In addition to providing online templates guiding conversations and noting key insights and action items, managers are trained to conduct coaching conversations for routine situations: problem-solving, performance feedback, and career development.

Improving overall engagement and retaining talent are ancillary benefits to companies who develop their managers’ ability to practice performance development with their direct reports.

Interaction Associates’ conducts a leading-edge learning program called Leader as Coach that equips people managers with the mindset and skill set to conduct everyday coaching conversations with direct reports and peers.

Progressive leaders know that good management is all about focusing and bringing out the best in people so they, in turn, contribute their best to the team. That can happen when managers and employees learn to share responsibility for having collaborative conversations every day.