Coaches Handbook – Goal Setting and Mentoring

This week’s entry to the Coaches Handbook focuses on strategies for helping your employees meet their personal career goals within the context of your company’s overall objectives.  Every employee wants to feel they add value to your organization, no matter what role they play.  Some employees may be perfectly content in their current role and have no desire to take on more responsibilities.  Other employees may want the chance to grow within an organization.  As a manager, your role is to be aware of the wishes of each individual employee and partner with them to achieve them as best you can within your company’s overall objectives.  Even if employees want to stay at their current level, they need objectives to strive toward.  A best practice for doing this is setting annual SMART goals; goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time bound.  By doing this, not only does an employee understand the expectations for the year, the employee is working toward personal growth.  Letting an employee be involved in setting their path within your organization ensures ownership by the employee. 

“The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall.” – Vince Lombardi

Even star athletes (employees) require mentoring; someone to help keep them motivated, challenged, growing (even if they desire to remain in their current role) so having a culture where taking chances is understood, is important.  However, we know that with chances comes falls.  Mentoring helps your team rise after a fall.  As a mentor, a best practice for you to implement is that when an employee makes a mistake, you take the time to “coach” them and help them understand alternative ways the situation could have been handled.    Always remember to thank the employee for their efforts; and provide encouragement when they are moving in the right direction.  Show acknowledgment by incorporating their ideas in the business plan whenever you can; and if you can’t, make sure you’ve communicated the WHY back to the employee so the employee learns and grows. 

Implementing goal setting/mentoring with your employees does require a good part of your valuable time; however the rewards of doing so will score a huge win for your organization.

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