The position of a manager seems fairly straightforward - you are responsible for overseeing the execution of all daily tasks, employee processes and related activities. However, in order to be effective in this role, QA management must go beyond simply managing to actively coaching their staff members.
There are a few reasons why effective coaching can be beneficial to teams:
1. Helps further goals
Employees who are distant from the business objectives are less likely to find satisfaction in their jobs or pursue the best ways to achieve company goals. However, using coaching techniques, managers can provide constructive reviews and offer advice on what actions to take. This will better instill an organization's aims and better motivate staff to succeed.
One thing to note here is that coaches can't just center their efforts around furthering business intentions. They must also ensure that they are developing their employees. Forbes contributor Candice Frankovelgia noted that coaching can strengthen bonds across teams, allowing peers to work better together, while ensuring that individuals are getting the skills, support and experience that they are pursuing.
"Coaching focuses on helping another person learn in ways that let him or her keep growing afterward," Frankovelgia wrote. "It is based on asking rather than telling, on provoking thought rather than giving directions and on holding a person accountable for his or her goals."
2. Creates a conversation
Managers know the experience of communicating in a directive manner. However, when observing coaching methods, it's better to engage in a conversation. Harvard Business Review contributor Monique Valcour suggested that helping QA team members articulate their challenges and enabling them to find their own answers will allow them to devise strategies that they are committed to putting into action.
"Follow-up is critical to build trust and to make your coaching more effective," Valcour wrote. "The more you follow through on supporting your employees' developmental plans, the more productive your coaching becomes, the greater your employees' trust in you, and the more engaged you all become. It's a virtuous cycle."
Extending this activity to brainstorming sessions across the team could be significantly beneficial to improving product quality and creating better solutions for pain points. This will help the team run more cohesively and smoothly.
3. Mitigates problems faster
Many employees are accustomed to the yearly performance review, but is this really as effective as it could be? Will looking over the past 12 months provide the motivation for doing better in the future? According to 7Geese, the annual cycle for these evaluations often comes too little too late when adjusting performance issues, creating costly and time-consuming consequences for teams. However, coaching can help managers identify these types of issues and handle them before they become more of a problem.
The conversation and employee development aspects of coaching techniques will also help mitigate problems faster. With brainstorming and goal defining sessions, staff members can gain the skills they require to initiate better defect management and create lasting solutions to deter future problems.
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