How to mentor and coach productive workforces

By: Kirk Theriot

Is middle management an outdated concept? Some theorize that the act of managing productivity is a misguided, man-made concept. Supervising, overseeing, enforcing, and other “policing” acts sets up a hostile workplace that doesn’t support our human nature.

Management should be adapted to the particular demands of the situation, the particular requirements of the people involved, and the particular challenges facing the organization.

In a landmark 2000 Harvard Business Review study on leadership, Daniel Goleman and his team completed a three-year study with over 3,000 middle-level managers. Their goal was to uncover specific leadership behaviors and determine their effect on the corporate climate and each leadership style’s effect on bottom-line profitability. The research discovered that a manager’s leadership style was responsible for 30% of the company’s bottom-line profitability… and that’s huge.

Turn managers and supervisors into mentors and coaches.

In order to help your employees reach their full potential and thus become more valuable to your organization, management needs to mentor and coach team members for success. Investing time in your employees and giving them the tools they need to develop is incredibly important for output quality, morale, and retention. You spend valuable resources training employees in order to establish a well-informed, high-performing workforce. Coaching employees will help employees master tasks and increase performance. Mentoring employees will build strong work relationships and develop individuals not only for the current task, but also future leaders and talent pool. Mentoring and coaching works for both mentor and the mentee. Kim Ades, CEO of Frame of Mind Coaching, writes that when mentoring is done with the right intention, the mentor walks “lit up, inspired, and ignited with energy.”