Risk & Business Magazine General Insurance Service Spring 2021 - Page 23


The role of the manager is currently undergoing a transformation . Historically , managers embraced the role of coach and mentor . Through informal conversations during the commute to work , over a coffee break , or while enjoying a burger after hours , managers passed along crucial information and knowledge about the organization ’ s culture . Even more formal conversations , like one-on-one meetings and small group gatherings , transferred insight and understanding to employees . This invaluable information wasn ’ t found in textbooks , from a class , or over an app , but given from someone with years — decades even — of experience .

But today , tighter budgets , flatter organizations , a heavy workload , and too many direct reports often leave managers without the time — and sometimes without the skills — to shoulder the responsibility of being coach and mentor . And yet , this function remains critical to the long-term health and productivity of the organization .
This erosion in the role of the manager has not gone unnoticed . As part of a recent research project into how top executives view training and development programs , executives overwhelmingly said the most urgent problem they face is igniting their managers to coach employees . What ’ s more , it ’ s also the challenge where executives said they are most desperate to find and deploy effective solutions .
In response , my team has compiled six practical tips to help managers slip back into the role of coach as effortlessly and efficiently as possible . These tips include :
USE REGULAR ONE-ON-ONE CHECK-INS . Regular check-ins , as opposed to waiting for the annual performance review , allow you to work collaboratively with your direct reports to offer regular insight , knowledge , guidance , and suggestions to help them solve pressing problems , and to help them stay on track for their professional development goals . This is one of the most powerful tools that you can use to elevate coaching . Some managers we spoke with make it a point to schedule regular phone conversations or in-person meetings on a monthly — and sometimes even weekly — basis .
ENCOURAGE MORE PEER-TO-PEER COACHING . Peer-to-peer coaching offers some of the richest , most valuable learning in an organization . An easy way to incorporate more of this type of learning is to use your regular staff meeting as a collaborative problem solving session . This builds cohesion among your team , and inspires them to think creatively about how to solve pressing organizational challenges . It ’ s also an easy way for you to coach multiple people in one setting at one time , thus maximizing your time and efficiency