There are two main challenges that often keep managers from spending more of their time coaching.

  1. Most managers report that the number one challenge they face when trying to coach is a lack of time. No doubt, there are a lot of demands placed on today’s managers – by their organizations, by their bosses, and by the people they are hoping to coach. That said, managers who see the value in coaching will always find the time to coach.
  2. Managers often say it can be a struggle to get their teams – the “coachees” – to take an active role in their own development. A lot of managers find themselves in the role of “Problem Solver in Chief” – a title that extends to coaching and professional development.

As surprising as it may sound, there is a way to address both of these challenges by integrating Actionable Coaching into the way you and your managers coach. In this article, we will discuss what Actionable Coaching is, how an LMS enables it, and what is needed to utilize this effective type of coaching in your workplace.

Actionable Coaching and the BASICS of Coaching

According to research conducted by Echelon Performance, Actionable Coaching is one of six criteria associated with quality coaching provided by top managers.

These criteria – known collectively as the BASICS – include coaching that is: Balanced, Actionable, Specific, Immediate, Continuous, and Specific. All six of these coaching BASICS are important to effective coaching, but in this article, we’ll be diving deeper into Actionable Coaching.

Actionable Coaching occurs when a manager asks their “coachee” to address identified gaps in performance on their own time.

An effective way to do this is through the utilization of your company’s learning management system (LMS). LMS’s by definition, are designed to help managers and their teams gain access to the training, tools, and resources employees need to extend learning beyond the classroom and drive professional development.

Once managers can identify the areas they want their coachees to “own” and couple that with easily accessible LMS resources, coaches can save time and get coachees to take a more active role in their development.

A sales manager using their LMS with Actionable Coaching might sound like this, “Samantha, we talked a lot about closing today. Please go to our learning management system and review the training module on gaining commitment. We can talk about it during our next one-on-one or virtual coaching session.”

What Is Needed To Utilize Active Coaching

The challenge faced by many managers is that they don’t know what content, tools, and resources are on the organization’s LMS and/or how they can efficiently access them.

Bridging the gap between a manager’s current comfort level with the LMS and their ability to leverage Actionable Coaching can be achieved through this three-step approach.

  • Step 1: Take Inventory – Managers need to take inventory of what LMS content is available to them and their team at least every three to six months. As part of that inventory, make sure managers are giving feedback on how the LMS can be even more useful during the coaching process.
  • Step 2: Communicate – Although manager and coaches should be familiar with the LMS, it is vital that regular communication about the tool and its content are sent out. Providing quarterly or even monthly updates to managers is a great way to keep the LMS and its contents top-of-mind. Think of it as marketing the LMS to your managers.
  • Step 3: Purge – It is important to assess if any resources in the LMS are outdated, if content should be refreshed, and if the organization of the content still makes sense. When a company’s LMS is full of meaningful, up-to-date content and your managers know about it, they are more likely to use it.

Following these three steps will create an environment where managers understand their LMS and get value out of the tool through their Actionable Coaching. If you’d like to read about how to build an effective coaching program, we have another article addressing that issue.

Both coaching and using a learning management system are great ways to improve employee engagement, productivity and knowledge in an organization. Combining these two resources through actionable coaching creates tangible results for both managers and employees. Employees will have more of an active role in their development, while managers will have more time to coach. 

About Knowledge Anywhere 

Knowledge Anywhere is an eLearning company focused on providing flexible, modern learning and development solutions that enable organizations to harness the power of an engaged, knowledgeable workforce.

Our Learning Management System, Virtual Reality Training, and Course Development services, combined with our experience and customer support enables our users to create a learning and development program that boosts sales and drives company growth.

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