- "Oh yes. Our employees are our most valuable asset."
- "Given the way things are these days, we work very hard to retain our employees."
- "We've provided coaching and mentoring training to all of our management staff!"

Well good for you. But why is it that your staff seems nervous and slightly on edge when you're around?
Why is it that your staff doesn't know what's happening in other departments or with the company?
Why is it that your staff looks with skepticism when they hear: Coaching for Results, Living Performance Management, and Holding Positive Performance Reviews? The topics seem foreign to them and yet you've provided coaching and mentoring training. Hmmm, now isn't that something. It must be because the trainer wasn't any good. That has to be it.

Well, that could be it. But then again, maybe the problem is that all of the things you say you do -- you really don't. Maybe you and your management team don't really communicate regularly and clearly with staff. Communicating once a quarter isn't "regularly." Maybe you don't apply the foundation concepts shared in training programs. Sitting in a training program and then leaving isn't "learning." Maybe you all have the best of intentions by talking about communicating more effectively and by attending the training, but then you get fouled up in the follow-through part. Maybe. Maybe not.

The trend I'm seeing lately in organizations is that there's a disconnect in what managers say they do in coaching employees and what they're really doing. Without fail, every manager understands that coaching is a buzzy term used to describe the activity a manager does that is specifically targeted to address a desired behavior change. The manager could desire an employee to change a negative behavior to a more positive one. Or, the manager could desire an employee to change a current skill level into a more advanced one.

Coaching addresses negatives and positives. Just as a sports coach constantly addresses performance -- negative and positive -- in athletes. Yet even though the managers understand what coaching is and how it's supposed to be used, it invariably comes into play most often when they are reprimanding employees and need to say something in order to have complete documentation packet put together when they write up an employee.

So you say you coach your employees. Well good. But if you say you do, take some advice: Actually do it.
Employees like athletes can tell a good coach from one that's faking it. Employees like athletes don't stay with or perform well for poor coaches. So if you want to succeed, do what you say you do and coach your employees.

Copyright 2009 - Liz Weber, CMC - Weber Business Services, LLC.
WBS is a team of Strategic Planning and Leadership Development Consultants, Trainers, and Speakers. Liz can be reached at liz@wbsllc.com or (717)597-8890. Additional articles on strategic & succession planning and leadership can be found at http://www.wbsllc.com/articles.shtml or http://www.liz-weber.com/articles.php

Author's Bio: 

In the words of one client, "Liz Weber will help you see opportunities you never knew existed."

A sought-after consultant, speaker, and seminar/workshop presenter, Liz is known for her candor, insights, and her ability to make the complex "easy." She creates clarity for her audiences during her results-oriented presentations and training sessions.

Participants walk away from her sessions knowing how to implement the ideas she's shared not just once, but over and over to ensure continuous improvement and management growth and development.

This former Dragon Lady has been there, done it, and learned from it. Whether speaking to corporate executives or government agency personnel, Liz's comments and insights ring true.

As the President of Weber Business Services, LLC, a management consulting, training, and speaking firm headquartered near Harrisburg, PA, Liz and her team of consultants provide strategic and succession planning, management policy & systems development, employee training, as well as marketing and media outreach services.

Liz has supervised business activities in 139 countries and has consulted with organizations in over 20 countries. She has designed and facilitated conferences from Bangkok to Bonn and Tokyo to Tunis. Liz has taught for the Johns Hopkins University's Graduate School of Continuing Studies and currently teaches with the Georgetown University's Senior Executive Leadership Program.

Liz is the author of 'Leading From the Manager's Corner', and 'Don't Let 'Em Treat You Like a Girl - A Woman's Guide to Leadership Success (Tips from the Guys)'. Her 'Manager's Corner' column appears monthly in several trade publications and association newsletters.