Benchmark Business Group

Train in Quick Moments

January 21, 2020

As a small business it can be difficult to find time to train and coach your team. Often, those who have the knowledge and experience are stretched thin on time.

This week we challenge you to create small coaching moments with your team. Training doesn’t have to be done in large chunks of time. It doesn’t have to mean that you shut your doors and close the business for training.

There is a time and place for larger training sessions, but in many small businesses that is not practical on an ongoing basis. The secret is to seek and create opportunities for coaching moments throughout a busy day.

A few things you can try include:

  • Pop Quizzes! Pick one question a week and ask your team members the question randomly throughout the week. It could be product information questions. Or how they would handle certain customer scenarios. Keep it short. Make sure that if a team member gives you an answer that needs feedback you turn it into a coaching moment. Don’t just give them the answer but discuss why it’s important to do it a different way.
  • Role Play. Yes, the dreaded role play. Take one scenario and carve out 10 minutes with the employee to go through the scenario. This gives them practice and allows you to give immediate feedback, and can be done in 10 minutes!
  • Coach Immediately. When something isn’t done right it’s easy to do it yourself. Or even to ignore it. Or ask for it to be done right, without taking the time to coach the team member on what needs to be different. To make this a coaching moment:
    • Make sure they can tell you in their own words what isn’t working and WHY
    • Have them tell you what they need to do differently moving forward
    • Make a note to follow up with them
    • If needed, ask questions to change the way they think about the issue. Especially if they don’t understand what was wrong. Don’t just tell, but ask, to help them understand.

Pro-Tip #1: Be careful not to embarrass a team member in front of a client, vendor, or co-worker. Coaching should be done as soon as possible, but not in a way that undermines your team member.

Pro-Tip #2: Be sure to practice "catching your employees doing great work." Complimenting what is being done well is as important as focusing on what isn't getting done right.

Small coaching moments can easily be created if you approach the situation with creativity and a mindset that 10-15 minutes can make a difference. You don’t have to fix everything at once, but you can make a step forward with every problem or area of improvement.

The difference is that instead of letting it go or even telling your team member to change it, you give them a chance to practice the new way or even challenge the way they think about the problem. Remember, change happens when there’s a plan in place to do something different.

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