Modern workers don’t just want to be managed — they also want to be coached.
No longer is it enough for managers to simply delegate tasks. With five active generations in the workforce — including millennials, the largest slice of the workforce and Gen Z, the fastest-growing demographic in the workforce — much more is expected of today’s leaders, including training and development opportunities.
You need managers and coaches to have an effective workforce. We’re going to dive into how to build these essential skills, but first, let’s explore what’s the difference between the two.
While “managers” focus primarily on authority and directing, “coaches” focus on teaching and facilitating. The modern manager must wear both hats to bring the best out in their employees.
Think of coaches and managers as two sides of the same coin: Both drive employee efficiency, efficacy, and ultimately performance both on an individual and team level. But their roles and approaches differ in a few important ways.
Here's a few tactical differences:
Managers capture employees’ potential by:
Coaches bring out the best in employees by:
Understanding the responsibilities is one thing but recognizing when to apply them is another. It’s important to know which situations call for donning the manager hat and which call for the coaching hat.
You may be a seasoned manager and an all-star coach — but when do you need to step into either role?
There’s no question coaching skills are valuable to the modern manager, the employees they supervise, and the organizations they work for. At the same time, there’s a time and a place for a manager to focus on their role and responsibilities as a director.
Situations that require a manager’s expertise include:
While these administrative and project management duties are necessary, today’s workers also expect leadership to provide them with personal and career growth opportunities. To make this a reality, managers must recognize when their coaching skills are required.
Some situations that call for a manager to step into a coaching role include:
A strong performance management model requires supervisors to act as both managers and coaches. While there is some overlap in each role’s skillsets, mastering the unique qualities of both makes for a more effective leader.
Have your leaders focus on developing the following skills to grow their managing and coaching abilities:
What unites coaching and managing is the need for highly advanced communication skills, including awareness of both verbal and nonverbal communication, listening, clarity, and more. These skills are just applied in different situations.
So, we've learned the difference between coaching and managing, why they’re both important, and the skills required to do it well. Now how do you go about fostering great coaches and managers in your workforce?
The foundation of both coaching and managing is communication.
That’s why it’s critical to invest in building strong communication skills. There are many ways to go about this (a lot of it involves practice), but here are a few ideas:
It's one thing to talk about career development theoretically, but actually dedicating work hours to growing these skills signals that it’s a priority to your organization. Plus, it allows HR pros to play a more direct role in fostering strong managers and coaches.
Consider launching your own in-house manager training program tailored to your organization. Leverage a learning management system (LMS) to house your coursework and assign your managers to complete the curriculum. Encourage participants to engage with the materials, making time for group discussions or individual journaling sessions where employees can reflect on what they’ve learned.
Worried about the time commitment? A training program could be as simple as assigning a book or online resource about managing/coaching, then meeting to discuss takeaways.
It's often best to learn by example. Consider having some of your all-stars mentor other managers, or host a training session for your organization.
Keep whatever materials are generated from these role model courses (recordings, PDFs, and online resources, for example) and store them in your LMS. That way, your future managers can reap the benefits of this expertise as well.
When it comes to nurturing the best managers (slash coaches), you’re not alone.
Thanks to HR technology that can be integrated into the platforms that workers are already familiar with, managers have resources to make this tall order much more, well, manageable.
Integrated HR tools, like Paylocity’s all-in-one HR and Payroll software, make for a seamless experience across roles and departments, setting the stage for successful managing and coaching.
Request a demo of Paylocity’s HR software to learn more about how our solution can empower your managers to coach, and manage, effectively.