Coaching or Training?

Posted by Kristin Baird

This morning I had a discussion with one of my clients about accountability. Like many leaders, she finds that holding others accountable is one of the most difficult aspects of her work. During our conversation, she shared that her organization recently started recording phone calls to be used in quality assurance and training. When reviewing calls, the manager identified one service failure from the greeting to the final click.  Her response was, “Everyone needs to go back through training.” Do they? Or does this particular individual need coaching? 

What About Coaching?

Training helps people understand the standards and develop specific skills. Regular observation ensures consistent performance of standards. Coaching is what will assist each individual in understanding his/her strengths and opportunities for improvement. 

In this situation, the individual who delivered the poor service needed to understand her performance. This is best accomplished by playing the recording back to her and discussing where she had fallen short of the standards. 20 other recorded calls served as great examples of the standards in action. The other staff did great, so why should they attend training again? 

Training is an important step in service success, but so is coaching. Sometimes I think that managers jump into the training because they’re more comfortable saying everyone needs a refresher. Solution: get comfortable with coaching in real time so you can recognize the people doing things right and guide those who are falling short.

  1. How NOT to Talk to a Disengaged Employee
  2. Words Reinforce Behaviors
  3. Let’s Free up Some Futures!
  4. Are you Coaching or Fixing?
  5. Training Without Coaching is Quickly Forgotten

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