PLA 2018: Coach Your Team to Greatness!

Friday, March 22 at 2 pm | Maggie Snow and Stacey Hendren from Anoka County Library

50% of employees who leave, site their manager as the reason they quit.   How comfortable is an employee going to their manager with any type of question – gauge of job satisfaction.

With coaching, you can actively engage your employees and move forward.

County transitioned to a coaching model.

Handouts: Work Outcomes (.doc) |

Effectiveness & Success – people want to feel valued and know they are making a difference in their job. Coaching fosters great harmony between management and staff. Regular coaching brings focus back to goals. Gets to heart of things before they escalate.  (Wow – wish I could have worked in a system with supervisor training and mentoring opportunities – down-side of going directly from library school into a Director position).

Blah-blah about the history of the process. Created new work outcome statements based on a mass of post-its about what everyone does – helped with staff buy-in. Boiled down to categories and found some that apply to everyone from janitor to Director. Expectations of everyone in every position. Bottom up – people who do the job said what they do.  Coaching training provided for all supervisors. 

Coaching: Collaborative initiative where supervisors guides and prompts forward movement. Inquiry and open-ended question asking that encourages people to reflect and take self-guided action. Engage employees, accelerate growth in high achievers. (Lisa Gates Linda.com training) Actively engaged employees show passion for work. Coaching supports all types. Allows supervisor to identify needs and skill level of staff. Skill v. Challenge. Flow is complete emersion and peak performance. Otherwise, you are anxious or bored. Bored folks look elsewhere. Anxious people are unhappy. Communication and open-ended questions get staff into the flow channel.

corrective and positive feedback – Corrective address and identify situations quickly and describe behavior and shared responsibility for behavior. Expectations – where not being met.  Express continued trust and support of person. Describe specific behavior and the results and impact. Discuss the importance – value, making a difference and express gratitude. Private or public? Frequency – individual supervisor meetings. Prepare for discussion, have examples and action items. Train and share skills and be confidential. Mentoring along with supervising and keep boundaries between the relationship. 

How often do you discuss goals and performance with those you supervise?  Monthly? Weekly? annual? 

How to Coach: 

Set goals at the annual review. meaningful goals that align with interests, strengths and goals.  Annual meeting means the goals are forgotten about. Coaching method delves deeper – why is learning about ebooks important? How are you going to do that? What are you going to do with that knowledge? Measure? know impact? 

Coaching a reminder and check-in on goals (quarterly). If you haven’t had the time, supervisor can help make the time or help them with skills or coaching/teaching. Grow method – goal, realities, options, will – realistic goal? applicable? options – how refine? will – is this something you really want to learn or care about and want to do? Will unlocks actions, accountabilities and roadblocks. What is causing you to struggle with this goal?  “Because I hate it and don’t know why I wrote it down.”

SMART goal – Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timely goals. 

Develop a schedule – meet once a month or 5 minute check in – How are you doing, what are you challenges, do you need support from me. Quarterly meet in the office for an hour – no rules for how much or how often, as long as it’s more than once a year. 

Prepare with corrective and positive feedback. Prepare open ended questions. “What has been the best part of your week?”  

Coach – coaching worksheets with topics for discussion (handouts section). Look back at job description. Get updates on training quarterly to make sure training is appropriate and helpful. Updates on progress – Know what folks are working on and help create projects and give support. 

Discussion of ideas and challenges.  Updates on teamwork to get broader perspective as supervisor. Follow-up after coaching session. Supervisor notes throughout the quarter for each staff member. 

Talking individually with staff and supporting their development. Provide support and feedback necessary to keep staff actively engaged. 

Differences in who is supervised – Start with a self-reflection. How do you communicate and like to be communicated to? Talk along same channels. Director supervises upper level management – touch base and get out the way. 

Continuous Improvement – Learn from each other. Take 5 minutes to write down a paragraph of what you talked about (performance review done!) Library system talks about communications and communication plan. Douglas county presented on a communication plan. (PLA 2 years ago). Email sent out on Thursdays. Sharepoint, etc. Staff know who we will communicate with them and cuts down on gossip. Follow the chain of command to find the correct answer. preferred method of communication – in person or email? Make it known and use it. Community development program – facilitation training from university extension service. Rewarding – helps with coaching, teams, community conversations.  Public services team – 10 minutes for training at meeting and supervisor training through county (cohorts). 

Coaching methods improved leadership skills and improved communication and gained personal satisfaction and self-knowledge. 

Staff need to operate effectively and with integrity and coaching helps make that happen. 

Talk about what the staff member is passionate about – ex. art degree. Assist with displays, give ideas for design. Actively engaged by using her passion throughout the building. 

Bite-size management training – example? Opioid training on what it is, what’s going on in the county, and possibilities for library and then discussion. Sexual harassment in libraries – questions sent prior to the training! 

How have you changed appraisal process? Just added. Still once a year form completed and given to HR. Just more documentation and meetings. Work outcome statements included in document. 

ON PLA web site – handouts available.

  • How do you go from complaints to constructive?  Script out what you want to talk about and stop them and get back to the script. That happened, how can we make it better and what did you learn?  Get back to the open ended questions from the form to redirect the discussion. Acknowledge the problem what is our shared responsibility. (Growth mindset session – look into that).
  • Resources to help? Linda.com training, coaching and developing training. strategic thinking and emotional intelligent. Drive by Daniel Pink. Leaders eat last by Sinek, Simon. 
  •  How do you coach managers? Open ended questions can go from the employee to the manager!  Push the manager to give you what you need as the employee. Have a conversation with managers about job descriptions. Coach managers on this process. This is what we are going to do, here is the training, and create this as an expectation of the managers. Why – I’ll provide training to make it happen. 
  • Diverse community coaching – Communication piece. Focus on the individual and their strengths and issues. 
  • What do you with the data from the sessions? Communication piece again, how does the supervisor prefer to be contacted – are you burying your request in their inbox because they hate email? Believe the person you are working with is not out to get you. Not intentional – how do they best respond and want you to communicate with them.  How you best want me to follow up with you? 
  • Challenge others to pay attention to community and libraries. What are you going to learn to drive our library forward!  Become an expert on something. Personal and professional goals. Do strategic thinking about what you want to do – personal, branch, system goals.  Brand new v. journeyman.  Different experience level = different flow = different coaching.  What can you teach or mentor to others, as a journeyman? Turn expertise into a benefit to the rest of staff. 
  • How do you pull back-end staff into this process and strategic plan. Increase access to information, ideas, and stories – Web site, new products, usability, MLA, metadata, RDA, align organization to new techniques.  Sit on committees statewide. 
  • confidence needed as a new managers – fake it till you make it. Build a strong relationship with your supervisor – always complain up, vent up. Find an accountability partner to bounce ideas off of. Confidentiality with and talk with them about the issue. When performance is lacking, the rest of the staff all know it and look to you to do something about it. Deal with it directly, so staff trusts you and maintain your integrity. Script it out, read through it, and stick with the script. Roll playing for hard conversations. Acknowledge that you don’t know it all. 
  • maggie.snow@co.anoka.mn,us (call)
  • Stacey Hendren – stacey.hendren@co.anoka.mn.us (email)
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