In Brandon Hall Group’s research we see less than half of managers who are skilled in performance coaching and have the ability to provide timely and actionable feedback. But two-third of respondents to our 2015 Performance Management Study indicated that it’s critical to hold leaders accountable for employee performance. So it’s imperative that organizations improve managers’ ability to coach employees in order to improve overall business performance.

JPEG-1400-Pixel-HCMx-LogoIn our latest HCMx Radio episode we talk with Sarah Vita, who leads the sales training organization at Prudential. She talks about how empirical coaching drives accountability and results. Sarah also discusses how Prudential successfully implemented coaching across the entire sales function to create thought-provoking partnerships and foster self-motivated problem-solvers.

When I asked Sarah what types of coaching approaches she finds most effective and why, her answer hit home to me. She said, “We cover a lot of different types of coaching, I’ll share one example, and that’s about coaching to accountability. There’s a big difference between saying, ‘I need you to complete this goal by Friday,’ and, ‘How will I know you’ve completed that goal?’ Besides the tone and delivery, in the former example, you’re telling them what they must do. In asking the question, you’re putting the impetus on them to drive. As a result, they’ll be significantly more bought into taking that action, and more motivated because it was their idea.”

This may seem simple but many managers don’t exercise this approach. It takes continuous practice and commitment.  In my early years of managing, when I didn’t take time to emphasize the importance of the goal and see how the team member could accomplish it in a reasonable timeframe, I didn’t always get the results I wanted and at times became frustrated.

If you have had similar frustrations – and I am sure many of you have — listen to our radio show to learn more about successful coaching practices that Sarah implemented at Prudential. You can download it anytime at the HCMx Radio site.

Rachel Cooke, Chief Operating Officer, Brandon Hall Group

Rachel Cooke

Chief Operating Officer Rachel Cooke Rachel is responsible for business operations including overseeing client services, research events and project management. Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Rachel was the Chief Operating Officer Co-founder of AC Growth. Rachel has over 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, business development, and sales performance management. Prior to AC Growth, she held several senior management roles and was on the leadership team at Bersin & Associates, a pioneer analyst firm in e-learning and now industry leading HR and talent Research Company. In her Senior Director role, Rachel developed the strategy and led the commercial execution of the solution provider vertical, and grew the vertical into the company’s largest market segment. In her role as Director of Sales, Rachel developed and led a team of senior account executives focused on acquiring global strategic accounts. Rachel was solely responsible for developing key business relationships with over ninety companies including industry icons, such as: Adidas, Hewlett-Packard, Toyota, Oracle, Starbucks, Avnet, Boeing, Kaiser Permanente, Safeway Inc., Wells Fargo, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Clorox and Affiliated Computer Services. Rachel began her career in the banking, media and hospitality industries. In these industries, Rachel held several key senior management and executive sales positions. Rachel received a BA in social science and interdisciplinary studies with honors from Florida Atlantic University. Rachel continued her postgraduate education by completing a series of executive management education courses from American Management Association.