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Tips to Lead Your Team to Victory

CoachingAs a manager or supervisor, one of your most important roles is retaining the talented employees under your leadership. In fact, 61% of HR professionals polled by HR Executive magazine stated that there's currently a war for talent. Experts agree: one of the main ways to win the talent wars is to recognize and reward employees.

That's why feedback, recognition and coaching are vital skills for any manager to regularly employ. However, they are also some of the greatest weaknesses in most organizations. Many managers view feedback as unnecessary, time-intensive or negative, and thus they avoid it. They assume that the people working for them are doing what they can and don't challenge them to improve. Workers in turn discover the level of work their supervisor will settle for as “good enough” and then become comfortable working at that level. In other words, both employees and managers are part of the problem of low performance at the workplace.

  • Here are some quick coaching tips to help you engage your workforce, raise productivity and become a better manager.

    Give regular feedback. You shouldn't wait for review time to talk to employees about their work. Over 60% of employees say they don't get enough performance-related feedback. Most experts suggest scheduling a regular time to meet with each employee between once a month and once a week, depending on the preferences of the employee.
  • Address low performance. The primary reason most employees perform poorly is lack of feedback. Failure to address low performance perpetuates the problem and forces other employees to take up the poor performing individual's slack, draining your team and increasing productivity problems. That's why it's vital to tell employees who are performing poorly that they're not meeting expectations. You must also tell them the specific consequences that will arise if they don't improve their performance.
  • Differentiate employees. Realize that you don't have to treat all employees the same. In fact, unless all your employees are performing on an equal level, it's in your best interest not to treat them the same. If you treat low- and high-performing employees identically, there is no reason to do more than the bare minimum. After all, everyone on your team can tell who's pulling their weight consistently and who's not. Plus, the best way to lose your star employees is to treat them the same as average or low performing employees.
  • Reward top performers publicly. Give positive feedback and visible, tangible rewards to your high-performing team players. Recognizing your talented employees will give others on your team something to work for, and it will also make your top performers feel appreciated for their hard work.
  • Create meaningful rewards. According to a survey by the Compensation and Benefits Review, 81% of employees said they are not rewarded for increasing productivity, and 60% of managers don't feel management is rewarded for their work either. Salary reports indicate this is true as well. Typically, only 3% of base salary separates average employees from outstanding employees. If your top performers are making only 3% more than average or low performers, or worse, if they are all at the same level, why would they be motivated to work harder, much less stay at your organization? As a manager, you should spend the majority of your money on top performers and keep the remaining for average performing ones. It's also important for low performing employees to receive no rewards. Rewarding them takes away their incentive to improve and causes top performers to become frustrated and leave.

You can use feedback and reward systems to elevate your workforce to new levels of productivity and at the same time help retain your best workers. Implementing these tips will help set your organization apart as world-class as you learn to coach your team to personal and career success.

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