At some point in our lives, many of us have gone to the baseball field and watched a T-Ball game. As we reflect and visualize the young players on the field, wearing hats and gloves that engulf them and watch them being more interested in butterflies and clouds than they are in fielding and hitting, is a very enjoyable and memorable experience. So what can we as business leaders learn from T-Ball?
As you reflect, you will remember that most T-Ball coaches were not in the dugouts screaming and yelling as in higher level leagues, but they were out in the field coaching the players. Because the young players have not yet mastered the basic principles of the game, the coach was on the field, normally right beside them in many cases, telling them where to stand, where to look, where to run — in essence, how to play the game. Of course as players mature and move up to higher levels of play and leagues, coaches take a more hands-off approach to the extent that the focus is on providing motivation in maximizing skills and abilities that the players developed over the years.
This T-Ball coaching style is appropriate for many that we lead in our respective businesses. Whether it is a new team member, a newly promoted team member, or especially a new leader or manager, we as coaches must take a more hands-on approach to ensure that our "players" understand who we are as an organization, where we want to be as an organization, how that "player" impacts our goals and, most importantly, how they can ensure their individual success as well as ours through effective performance on a daily basis.
How many times have we seen in our organization or others, the manager or leader spending most (if not all) of his or her time in their office? When they come out of their office it is only to yell at, discipline or criticize an employee or address a quality problem or customer complaint. Unfortunately, this is often the norm, as managers today are having to do much more than ever. The question is — are they doing what really needs to be done?
In many cases, managers are primarily responsible for reports, quality measurements, customer service, monitoring production and results, and other administrative work which normally requires them to be behind the computer at their desk.
This unfortunate reality is at the crux of employee satisfaction, employee motivation, employee retention, and employee productivity. Leaders must return to "the floor" to coach, help and support.
Those organizations that employees tell us are "great" places to work ensure that their managers are trained as coaches They recognize that their employees are their most valued asset and that reports, systems, and processes need to be developed and "pushed down" to other more administrative professionals.
These organizations, in fact, promote coaching. Where an organization has developed and promotes coaching, the result is:
• Best efforts
• Customer satisfaction
SESCO Management Consultants is available to assist with your human resource issues, including leadership development. You may contact us by phone at 423-764-4127 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .