In step 5 of our previous blog, we talked about following up on opportunities. The 6th and final step in creating a Proactive Service® culture within your service team is to provide coaching and support. If we want to see results, we must create an environment that fosters learning and encourages the desired behaviour.
It is important to keep in mind that, as managers, we are not measured so much by what we do, but by what our employees do. That means that we should be trying to spend as much of our time as possible in helping our employees do their jobs better. However, the reality is that we are in a fast-paced, real-time business that often forces us to put coaching and development activities aside to address more urgent matters. When we allow this to happen too often, we find we spend little or no time providing the critical support that will truly help our employees excel. And that can be costly in terms of our team’s effectiveness and therefore our overall performance. Some research has demonstrated that with new skills adoption, as much as 75% of an initiative’s success will be dependent upon the actions of management to support and coach their employees. A large association of training and development professionals found that training, followed by coaching, showed a four-fold improvement in skills adoption.
Coaching isn’t the only factor that will determine how well our team adopts and contributes to a Proactive Service culture. We must ensure that we also “walk the walk”. Leading by example makes it clear that we are serious and that this is not just another management fad. It also provides a reference for the team in understanding exactly what is expected of them.
Coaching and leading by example to support new behaviors plays a critical role in new skills adoption. For some, taking a more proactive approach to discussing opportunities that will help the customer run their facilities more effectively is a challenging task. It takes time and practice to become comfortable. Without coaching and reinforcement, most of our technicians will simply revert back to their old ways and our efforts will be lost. It is helpful to think of coaching as a form of maintenance. We would never expect a piece of equipment to run very long or very well without maintenance so why would we expect our service team to perform well and consistently at new skills without coaching?
I have written an article that summarizes the key steps I have written about in the last several blogs for instilling a Proactive Service® culture in your service team. I thought it could be a handy reference. If you are interested, you can download a complimentary copy by clicking here.
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“You must be the change you wish to see in the world”
– Mahatma Gandhi