4 Employee Coaching Style Differences & When to Use Each Type

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4 Employee Coaching Style Differences & When to Use Each Type

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Employee coaching

Coaching your staff members is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your practice continues running efficiently. Without employee coaching, team members may lose enthusiasm for the role, and you could miss an opportunity to identify unlocked potential.

Check out two main types of employee coaching and when each applies.

Directive Employee Coaching

Directive coaching can be helpful when you’re working with an employee who’s got a lot of commitment but lower competence levels, or even staffers with low commitment and confidence. These employees require very direct tips to help them meet their career goals and that allow your practice to meet its goals as well.

Directive employee coaching involves:

  • Stating your expectations clearly. Rather than saying, “Make sure you contact Blue Cross today,” you might say, “Let me know by 11:00 am what the response is from Blue Cross and what the next steps are in appealing Mr. Jones’ claim.”
  • Discussing potential consequences. Instead of saying, “Don’t be late to work anymore,” you might say, “If you’re late two more times, we’ll have to put together a performance improvement plan.”
  • Allowing less autonomy. Rather than saying, “Create a process for appeals,” you might say, “Here’s an outline of the process to use for appeals.”
  • Focusing on performance improvement. Instead of saying, “Take some time to develop your customer service skills,” you might say, “Some ways you can develop your customer service skills are listed in this email.”

With directive coaching, you’re spending more time with the staff members and giving them firm directions on how to develop their talents. It may take additional resources, but it should pay off in the future.

Consultative Employee Coaching

When your employees seem to get the hang of their role and show great potential, you want to keep them at all costs, since losing these star performers could be time-consuming and expensive to replace. With staff members who have high commitment and high competence, you can use a consultative approach, meaning you collaborate with them on what their future will look like.

Consultative employee coaching involves:

  • Asking open and insightful questions. Instead of saying, “That process didn’t go as well as I’d hoped,” you might say, “How do you think that process went?”
  • Making suggestions rather than telling the employee what to do. Rather than saying, “Call Blue Cross by 11 a.m.,” you might say, “It might help to talk to someone at Blue Cross today.”
  • Allowing for more autonomy. Instead of saying, “Here are the steps to get a pre-authorization,” you might say, “I’d love to see you create a pre-authorization process.”
  • Focusing on development, new challenges and advancements. Instead of saying, “You can’t get promoted without mastering your soft skills,” you might say, “What skills would you like to further develop and how would you like to do it so we can make sure you get the next role you’d like?”

With directive coaching, you’re spending more time with the staff members and giving them firm directions on how to develop their talents. It may take additional resources, but it should pay off in the future.

You can improve your staff’s performance levels dramatically with employee coaching tips from Merikay Hunt, MS. During her online training, Master Difficult Conversation Skills to Improve Employee Performance, Merikay shares concrete examples that can help you develop a cohesive and efficient staff. Register today!


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