How to develop a great employee coaching plan
Looking to create an employee coaching plan? Congratulations. You’ve chosen one of the most effective strategies for building continuous high performance. But to get the most benefit from your employee coaching program, you need to put in some time upfront. Read on for our guide to developing an effective employee coaching plan.
What’s an employee coaching plan?
An employee coaching plan offers a structured approach to coaching and development. It ensures that coaching is maintained and follows a regular cadence. It usually includes specific employee coaching goals, timelines and activities to help an employee improve their capabilities and behaviours.
An employee coaching plan allows you to set clear goals for your employee, track progress against those goals and provide a personalised approach to coaching.
What’s included in an employee coaching plan?
A typical coaching plan will start with an assessment of the employee’s current capabilities and behaviours. Including this step in your coaching plan will help you identify capability gaps. This should be done with the employee and focus on behaviours that you’d like to see rather than outputs.
The next stage is to consider the professional goals that you’d like to set and that your employee would like to achieve. Aligning your goals with your employee’s goals promotes a collaborative environment where you’re both focused on achieving the desired outcome.
Once you’ve defined the goals it’s time to identify one to two you’ll work on first as part of your coaching plan. Working on one to two of these goals at a time means your coaching sessions will be focused and more likely to lead to changes in performance and capability. At YakTrak we recommend trying employee coaching goals focused on micro-behaviours that can be easily and regularly practised. Including micro-behaviours that your employee can work on each day is a great way to get the most out of your coaching plans and is likely to deliver big gains.
A coaching plan should include realistic timeframes to review goals, provide constructive feedback and discuss employee performance in scheduled coaching sessions.
Successful coaching relies on building rapport and trust. Ensure that your coaching plans allow time to check in with and help motivate employees regularly. Training and regular coaching conversations are incorporated into effective coaching plans, ensuring that the team member is supported and encouraged. Regular check-ins can also help maintain focus on the goal and provide an opportunity to help where needed.
Ready to get your coaching on track?
Create a coaching plan
Ready to coach employees? Developing a coaching plan as part of the employee coaching process forms a strong basis for the coaching work that you will do with team members and will deliver significant ongoing benefits. Before coaching employees get your coaching plan right with these steps:
- Use a template for your coaching plan that captures the key elements to effective employee coaching. Tip: use the same template across an organisation to create a baseline and alignment.
- Plan for a capability assessment to identify gaps in behaviours that can be worked on to improve an employee’s performance. Capture these gaps in the coaching plan.
- Discuss goals (both long-term goals and short-term goals) and capture agreed focus areas for coaching. Identify and note the goals that will be focused on first. Remember: one to two at a time will help your employees grow. Set clear expectations here!
- Identify the resources and support that will be offered. New skills can take time to develop – ensure that you provide team members with the help they need to achieve the desired outcome.
- Set a coaching conversation cadence. Regular check-ins with a session agenda will help keep the focus on the behaviours you want to see. Measuring progress in these conversations helps keep the focus on the behavioural outcomes too!
- Note when goals will be reviewed. Remember to measure improvements and celebrate when a desired outcome has been achieved.
Don’t rush the goal-setting process
This is an essential part of a coaching plan and is worth spending time on. When setting goals focus on the behaviours that you and your employee want to see. For example, if you’re coaching a team member who is struggling to build rapport with clients, a behaviour-related goal that you’d like to see them try could be: ‘I am going to develop in the skill of asking Open Discovery Questions over the next two weeks; specifically, this will help me learn more about our customers and build better rapport’.
Including this type of clear goal in your coaching plans will help the team member focus and practise the actual behaviours that will deliver the results you want to see (in this case improving the employee’s ability to quickly build rapport with clients).
Once you’ve set specific goals, it’s important to track and measure progress through regular observation and feedback.
As a coach you’ll be able to observe how your team member is tracking and give them targeted coaching. When tracking how a team member is going, look to see if they are demonstrating the new behaviour regularly and consistently, and, if yes, evaluating if that new behaviour is having a positive impact (in the example we’ve used, you’d be assessing if it is improving the employee’s ability to quickly build rapport with clients by asking open questions). You may also like to assess if the behaviour being developed is impacting key metrics that are important to your business. If not, you may be working on the wrong behaviour.
Ready to get your coaching on track?
Getting the most out of your employee coaching plan
Returning to your employee coaching plan throughout the coaching process is key, and once the coachee is consistently using the new behaviour you can then turn to the next goal.
When this approach to people development connects to the daily operational reality of your workplace, it lifts capability where it matters and provides sustainable high-performance outcomes.
Setting up an organisational coaching program like this will also help your organisation build a coaching culture – a recipe for organisational success!
How YakTrak can help
YakTrak’s coaching software is designed to develop your teams where it matters – in the workplace.
- enables learning and development where it happens most – on the job
- improves visibility over the conversations and goals that build capability
- sustains high performance by motivating employees with regular tracking and feedback
- embeds coaching into the daily experience of your workforce
- ensures you track, measure and coach for specific results
- keeps the focus on targeted outcomes
- makes a difference where it matters with visibility over what’s working and what isn’t
- supports targeted performance training.
With YakTrak’s customisable coaching forms, you can focus on coaching for the behaviours that drive results for your business.
Head to your dashboard where you’ll be guided through who needs to be coached, and when – all you need to do is open a form and start coaching! You’ll be guided through the goal-setting process and given tips using best-practice coaching methods. You can then track progress and watch your employees’ performance grow on one easy-to-use dashboard.
Watch to find out more.