HCMx Radio: Training Without Coaching is Not Worth the Investment

In Brandon Hall Group’s research we see less than half of managers who are skilled in performance coaching and have the ability to provide timely and actionable feedback. But two-third of respondents to our 2015 Performance Management Study indicated that it’s critical to hold leaders accountable for employee performance. So it’s imperative that organizations improve managers’ ability to coach employees in order to improve overall business performance.

JPEG-1400-Pixel-HCMx-LogoIn our latest HCMx Radio episode we talk with Sarah Vita, who leads the sales training organization at Prudential. She talks about how empirical coaching drives accountability and results. Sarah also discusses how Prudential successfully implemented coaching across the entire sales function to create thought-provoking partnerships and foster self-motivated problem-solvers.

When I asked Sarah what types of coaching approaches she finds most effective and why, her answer hit home to me. She said, “We cover a lot of different types of coaching, I’ll share one example, and that’s about coaching to accountability. There’s a big difference between saying, ‘I need you to complete this goal by Friday,’ and, ‘How will I know you’ve completed that goal?’ Besides the tone and delivery, in the former example, you’re telling them what they must do. In asking the question, you’re putting the impetus on them to drive. As a result, they’ll be significantly more bought into taking that action, and more motivated because it was their idea.”

This may seem simple but many managers don’t exercise this approach. It takes continuous practice and commitment.  In my early years of managing, when I didn’t take time to emphasize the importance of the goal and see how the team member could accomplish it in a reasonable timeframe, I didn’t always get the results I wanted and at times became frustrated.

If you have had similar frustrations – and I am sure many of you have — listen to our radio show to learn more about successful coaching practices that Sarah implemented at Prudential. You can download it anytime at the HCMx Radio site.

Rachel Cooke, Chief Operating Officer, Brandon Hall Group

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Mike Cooke



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Mike Cooke

Chief Executive Officer of Brandon Hall Group Mike Cooke Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Mike Cooke was the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of AC Growth. Mike held leadership and executive positions for the majority of his career, at which he was responsible for steering sales and marketing teams to drive results and profitability. His background includes more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, management, and operations in the research, consulting, software and technology industries. Mike has extensive experience in sales, marketing and management having worked for several early high-growth emerging businesses and has implemented technology systems to support various critical sales, finance, marketing and client service functions. He is especially skilled in organizing the sales and service strategy to fully support a company’s growth strategy. The concept of growth was an absolute to Mike and a motivator in starting AC Growth, in order to help organizations achieve research driven results. Most recently, Mike was the VP and General Manager of Field Operations at Bersin & Associates, a global analyst and consulting services firm focused on all areas of enterprise learning, talent management and talent acquisition. Tasked with leading the company’s global expansion, Mike led all sales operations worldwide. During Mike’s tenure, the company has grown into a multi-national firm, conducting business in over 45 countries with over 4,500 multi-national organizations. Mike started his career at MicroVideo Learning Systems in 1992, eventually holding a senior management position and leading all corporate sales before founding Dynamic Minds. Mike was CEO and Co-Founder of Dynamic Minds, a custom developer of software programs, working with clients like Goldman Sachs, Prentice Hall, McGraw Hill and Merrill Lynch. Also, Mike worked for Oddcast, a leading provider of customer experience and marketing solutions, where he held a senior management position leading the company into new markets across various industries. Mike also serves on the Advisory Board for Carbon Solutions America, an independent sustainability consulting and carbon management firm that specializes in the design and implementation of greenhouse reduction and sustainability plans as well as managing the generation of carbon and renewal energy and energy efficiency credits. Mike attended University of Phoenix, studying Business Administration and Finance. He has also completed executive training at the Chicago Graduate School of Business in Chicago, IL.