A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.

John Wooden

Coaching sessions for employees (video 3) – inputs vs outputs


In the third in our series of six videos unpacking the most common coaching errors YakTrak’s Brad Thomas looks at inputs vs outputs. Leaders are under pressure to hit performance targets and it’s easy to get stuck on the outputs – after all these are what we’re all measured by. But achieving team performance goals relies on more than setting KPIs.

Businesses are more likely to see results when team members are engaged, understand what’s expected of them and how they can contribute to team success. Focusing on the behaviours driving the results can help achieve this. Employee coaching can make an enormous difference by showing team members what they can do to get those results.

Work out the inputs that will drive the change

There are different employee coaching styles and methodologies that you can use, but no matter what approach you take, you’ll be able to build performance through coaching when you take a balanced approach focusing on what the team member does and the behaviours they display, in addition to the targets they achieve (or not).

Taking a balanced approach can transform your employee coaching sessions. When leaders stop fixating on results, and start talking to employees about the type of behaviour that they want to see, coaching and performance shifts. It becomes about advice, support and engagement, not an opportunity for the team member to hear again that they really need to improve their sales conversions or that the NPS (net promoter score) has gone down. This approach will motivate your employees to address the actual behaviour that’s causing the performance issue – so the input changes the output. It’s a win-win for the employee and the business.

Behaviours that drive performance

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So, what's the best way to conduct an employee coaching meeting?

Here are some tips that can help you to focus on the behaviours.

Start with a list

Before your next session, create a list of the top three or four metrics that you want to see change.

Work out the inputs that will drive the change

For each of these metrics spend time working out specific behaviours that will drive the change. Here you’ll want to focus only on one or two behaviours. It could be a clever idea to spend time with your team to work out the inputs that are needed – and workshops can help team members focus on some of the hurdles. Once you’ve got these worked out, these behaviours are going to be the focus of your next employee coaching meeting.

Focus on one behaviour at a time

Now it can be tempting for leaders to try and fix everything at once but tackling one behaviour at a time will mean that your employees will be able to make the changes you want to see. You might even find that one shift in behaviour changes performance in multiple areas.

Use your coaching time to talk about the inputs and keep focused on the behaviours for as long as it takes to drive the change.

Document the changes

Remember to keep track of your employees’ progress in coaching meetings and make a note of every time the input drives the result you’re looking for. Using YakTrak to track your employee coaching success will help to drive sustainable results and tackle inputs in a way that engages employees.

Don’t forget to celebrate success

By using a system like YakTrak to keep track of the shifts you’re seeing, you’ll have documented reasons to acknowledge your team members’ wins. Once your team has celebrated their success achieving their first win, you can move onto the next behaviour (and metric).

Need more coaching and people development advice?

Have a 30 minute chat with YakTrak’s people development expert