How can you support staff to perform their best? 

How can you support staff to perform their best? 

Successful businesses depend on a confident, motivated workforce. And when staff feel trusted and empowered, it increases their loyalty to their employer. Find out how coaching can help you train and retain valued staff.
Coaching can help a business create a positive, reliable workforce. Picture: Ruth Downing.
Coaching can help a business create a positive, reliable workforce. Picture: Ruth Downing.

This TIAH Guide outlines the benefits of coaching to managers and owners of farming and growing businesses. Find out how people are looking for more from their employer than just pay and how coaching can help create an empowered and motivated workforce.

A thriving business relies on motivated and productive employees. So, as a manager or supervisor,  how can you support your team members to perform at their best? 

Coaching is a valuable tool that can help you achieve this. 

Whether working with a single member of staff or heading up a large team, every manager can learn essential coaching skills that, with practice, they can develop to become a great workplace coach, resulting in more fulfilled and loyal employees.

Changing times

There are many changing demands on farming and growing businesses that impact productivity, sustainability, and profit. Among these are the evolving desires and needs of employees. The emphasis on what's important has shifted, and today, job satisfaction is about much more than just levels of pay.

Development opportunities, feeling valued, and being part of a team or community are regarded by many as vital aspects of a good job. Most people want to work in a business where they're treated with respect and dignity, listened to, and their wellbeing is high on their boss’s agenda. 

The role of coaching in the workplace

Put simply, coaching is the process of instructing, guiding, or prompting people as they use their skills to work towards desired outcomes.

It involves supporting employees to gain the knowledge, tools, and opportunities necessary for them to be effective. Coaches encourage two-way feedback, draw out an employee’s strengths and support them to maximise their effectiveness. It can be used as part of onboarding, developing, and retaining staff.

It’s not about giving employees the answers but supporting them in solving problems. Coaching can be summarised in the maxim: “Give a person a fish, and you feed them for a day. Teach a person to fish, and you feed them for a lifetime.”

Coaching for wellbeing, performance, and business success

Staff coaching has been shown to have a powerful, positive impact on self-confidence, wellness, and work performance. According to the International Coaching Federation, 80% of people who receive coaching report increased self-confidence, and more than 70% benefit from improved work performance, relationships, and more effective communication skills.

A further 86% of companies report that they recouped their investment on coaching and more. 

Business benefits include improved productivity, time savings, better working relationships, and more loyal employees who will stay with you longer. All these factors can contribute positively to the bottom line.

Mark, an arable farmer from Herefordshire, explains his coaching approach: “We try to keep all our staff informed about what we’re doing in the business so they all feel involved. 

“We set staff tasks to investigate and implement things on the farm. We make the ultimate decision, but they often come back with suggestions, so we regularly adapt and improve what we are doing. It’s a good sense check for us, and all staff feel engaged and part of the end goal. 

“We’re also always looking at how we can help staff reach their potential, which is vital for our business.”

Getting started

Developing coaching skills can take a bit of time and commitment, but this investment can reap huge rewards. Learning involves considering the role, skills, behaviours of an effective coach and understanding the different ways you can use coaching techniques to get the best outcome for each of your team members and your business.

Develop your coaching skills

For a limited time, you can jump into coaching with TIAH’s free, certified Essential Skills: coaching for staff retention learning modules.

With the modules all available online, you can complete them at times that suit you and gain up to 20 CPD (Continuous Professional Development) points!