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Sonny's-Carwash College™ Tip of the Month

Coaching Employees

CarWash College™ Tip of the Month

December 28, 2009
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In a follow-up to last months management tip, this month I am going to cover some of the basics of coaching. The purpose of coaching is to help employees develop job skills by using a systematic approach. This approach utilizes explanation, demonstration, and reinforcement techniques for successes and allows provisions for corrective feedback for performance improvement, all while maintaining an employee's self-esteem. The measurable outcome of coaching will be whether the employee has corrected their behavior or not.

Observation of performance should be an ongoing part of any manager’s day. Far too often, managers only look closely at an employee's performance when the manager is suspicious of incorrect behavior. When this is the case, the employee will tend to "shape up" only when the boss is around and return to the unfavorable behavior when the boss isn't "over his shoulder". Ongoing observation and coaching with help to solidify favorable behavior and put the employee at ease when the manager is around. It will also allow the manager a more immediate opportunity to correct unfavorable behavior before it goes too far.

Observation of performance is critical to identifying the precise behavior that needs to be corrected. You cannot effectively correct behavior that you have not witnessed. Moreover, you cannot correct unfavorable behavior that you can’t pinpoint. For example, a doctor will not begin treatment until he knows what ailment he is treating!

Evaluate the Behavior

  1. Unfavorable Behavior – Once you have identified the specific unfavorable behavior, evaluate the situation and ask yourself the following questions:
    1. Have I properly trained the employee on the correct behavior?
    2. How detrimental is this behavior to the quality/speed of my service, safety of my employee, safety of my customers and their vehicles?
    3. Is this a behavior that I can correct?
    4. What led to this behavior?
    5. What was the outcome of this behavior?
    6. What could’ve been done to prevent this behavior?
    7. What would’ve been a more appropriate behavior?
    8. What did this behavior cost the business?

  2. Favorable Behavior – Once you have identified the specific favorable behavior, evaluate the situation. and ask yourself the following questions:
    1. Has the employee done something above and beyond their training?
    2. How did this behavior positively affect the quality/speed of my service, safety of my employee, safety of my customers and their vehicles?
    3. What led to this behavior?
    4. What was the outcome of this behavior?
    5. How much has this behavior saved the business?

Whether the behavior is good or bad, close evaluation is necessary. When formulating what you will say to the employee regarding their behavior, keep in mind that it will be most effective if it is immediate and precise. Use these tips to help evaluate your employees and save yourself time, money and lots of headaches.

Robert Andre is the President of CarWash College™. Robert can be reached at RAndre@carwashcollege.com. For more information about CarWash College™ certification programs, visit www.carwashcollege.com or call the registrar's office at 1-866-492-7422.