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Speaking to physio business owners around the world over the last 20 years, one of the common challenges we discuss, is gaining high levels of consistency across their whole team. Here are some common scenarios;
- They are the expert clinician, and they struggle to get the rest of the team to their level.
- They have some clinicians performing well on their benchmarks and not others.
- Some team members perform well and then drop off for no reason.
What is clear is that the holy grail, of a team all consistently performing at a high level as defined by the business owner often seems impossible.
This blog post is written with the purpose of assuring you that not only is it possible, but that through a complete performance coaching framework, it will not only lift and maintain your team, but ultimately become the pillar of your high performing business.
Normally in true Simon Sinek style I would ‘start with why’ performance coaching is so important to your business. but given the fact that it is such a broad term and understood by different people to be different things, I want to first start by defining what it is.
What is Performance Coaching?
Your objective as a business owner is to performance coach your team, within each business sector to the level where each is providing an elite service; a service you can be proud of, a service that you know is reaching its optimal state. This includes clinical, customer service, administrative and adherence to defined pathways.
Why is that important for my business?
- Consistency of Service
As mentioned above this is one of the biggest challenges facing clinic owners. One of the biggest drains on you, is having to pick up the pieces when a member of staff has not achieved the standards set out by you and your business. As the saying goes “prevention is better than cure’.
- Retention of staff
Another challenge that some of you have is retaining staff. In fact, I spoke to a business owner this evening who asked what the secret was. In truth there is no one secret it is a combination of many things. However, people like to feel like they are progressing in life and in their career. One of the things that can help with that is high quality and consistent performance coaching.
What are the keys to effective performance coaching?
- Define the process – We use our ‘Performance Coaching Scorecards’ with the businesses we work with in that cover 7 key areas of clinical and commercial skills. Whatever system you use, it is critical to have a consistent process in place.
- Know your KPI’s – You must know the KPI’s of the individual with whom you are performance coaching, as you must quickly be able to link KPI’s that are not at a benchmark level to the behaviours, skills, and actions that you observe.
- Link to core values – Most likely you have defined ‘Core Values’ and your team know what they are. A performance coaching session is an ideal time to embed these and the defined behaviours that underpin them.
- Peer to Peer and Manager to Peer – It is imperative that it is not a case of juniors/new staff getting observed all the time and senior staff doing what they want. It must be across the team with any specific intervention based on performance and not level of experience.
- Consistency – If this is something that happens when ‘things are bad’ or ‘when you remember’ then the process will lose validity. It must be monthly and feed into the quarterly and annual review process.
No matter what else you do, the way in which you performance coach is vital, because if it is done incorrectly, it can create a negative effect, leading to loss of confidence and buy in from the member of staff.
Here are 5 ingredients for positive coaching feedback that can help you ensure your feedback has the desired result of helping the other person improve.
- Convey your positive intent (link to the shared vision/goals)
- Describe specifically what you have observed
- State the impact/result of this behaviour
- Invite a response
- Seek solutions
Performance coaching is vital to achieve a consistently high performing team. With that will not only come a team that feels motivated and supported, but the customer satisfaction that will ultimately drive your business success.
It is key that you don’t abdicate your success, to somebody else’s standards. You need to drive them; you need to know what’s happening on the floor. Everybody needs to be accountable for their activities, and responsible for them. Remember, if you can’t inspect it, don’t expect it.