Coaching Employees Who Don’t Want To Be Coached

Everyone has someone in their team who thinks they’re beyond coaching.

While it might seem a lost cause, it could be an opportunity to strengthen your leadership ability.

You might think the fault lies with the employee, and it might. But it’s likely there have been several missed opportunities along the way for you to develop a plan for growth for that employee.

Reasons They Don’t Want Coaching

Understanding why your employee resists change, training or engagement isn’t easy. Some factors could include:

A lack of motivation – This can range from not knowing how their job fits within the company goals to receiving negative or rarely any feedback. Remember, not everyone is motivated by the same things, so dive deep with your employee on what brings them to work. 

A lack of knowledge – Employees may not understand what they’re supposed to do. They may lack the skills to do the job and don’t want to admit it. There could be a fear of failure attached to this. In addition, it could be a matter of pride.

A lack of trust – Employees could dwell on their history of being let down, a lack of support from a previous supervisor or teammate. It could even be a lack of faith in the decisions being made. It’s also likely that your new employee came from a workplace with a horrible company culture.

Overcoming These Barriers

To begin with, your employees need to know you care about them. It doesn’t have to be on a personal level but as a leader. You also need to tell your employees that you are committed to their success.

As a leader, one of the greatest achievements is developing your people so everyone can be successful. But it starts with trust.

How to Build Trust

Transparency is the quickest way to developing trust. While you may not be able to share everything, communicating with your team is the cornerstone of establishing a trusting relationship.

Remember that leaders aren’t invincible. As a leader, you probably have the same concerns and fears as your team. Talk to them about strengths and weaknesses and how you can help each other work on those.

If your employees believe there’s a hidden agenda and you’re not honest, it’s going to be difficult to coach them.

For example, if your organisation is going through a tough time, be honest about it. Let’s say you’ve had a rotten year, and you’re coming up on the fourth quarter. You and your team need to overperform, or adjustments need to be made at the first of the year.

You don’t have to say that there will be layoffs if your team doesn’t meet its goals. But, you can tell the truth about being behind, that you have a plan for fixing it and how they play a part in turning things around.

Share Business Goals

All of your employees should know what they’re working toward. Teams and individuals within the company also should have their own goals. Let your employees know how their talents contribute to those goals and why they’re important to the team.

For example, you might have a department that isn’t processing customer documents in a timely manner. Eventually, this will result in a delay in receiving payments. Telling your employees how their delays result in a financial burden for the company shows them how their work plays into the company’s goals.

Remember, you are only as successful as your team.

Understand Their Motivation

Sit down and have individual conversations with your employees to find out what really motivates them. If it’s not incentives or a higher pay grade, then you might be chasing your tail.

People find passion and inspiration in different places. You can’t expect the things that motivate one employee to work for another. You might have one person who gets excited by seeing an idea come to light. Someone else might enjoy the process, and others just want to hear they did a job well done.

Let’s say you have an employee who is motivated by positive outcomes. But you take their successes for granted and only talk to them when something negative happens. Eventually, they won’t want to engage with you because they know every interaction will be a negative conversation.

Coach and Build Relationships

So, you’ve built trust, you’ve shared the company’s goals, and you’ve told them how their jobs play a role in the bigger picture.

Now, it’s time to start coaching employees and continuing to build relationships with them.

Coaching can be painful, awkward or scary. Employees can feel exposed and vulnerable when you discuss strengths and weaknesses. For these employees, it’s important to stay close and consistently refer back to their goals and objectives. Goals aren’t something you write down and forget until performance review time in a year.

It’s important to discuss goals regularly and determine what’s working and what’s not. And, don’t forget to find a way to acknowledge their accomplishments, according to what motivates them. If you’ve done this right, employees should never be surprised by the results of an annual review because you should’ve been going over their performance goals all along the way.

Learn More About Coaching Employees

You may have to go through this cycle multiple times with the same individual when coaching employees. Life events can get in the way, and motivations can change. Don’t be disheartened if you need to start over. The next time you do, it should be much easier.

If you want to learn more about coaching employees, then make sure to follow the Better Boss Blog. You’ll find tips, tricks, and advice on how to manage your people. Follow pwf services on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, so you never miss a post.

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