Coaching for Labor Productivity


One of the most valuable aspects of leadership is coaching.

It can be the catalyst to dramatically lift labor productivity.  The objective is to help people to lift their personal productivity through guided practice. It requires a plan, patience, an understanding of human behaviour, well developed listening skills, consistency and a sense of humour.
Managers and supervisors who have been promoted from the workforce and who had developed leadership skills make valuable coaches.  They know the work environment, the products, the people and the problems. 
One-on-one coaching is an effective way of helping people to improve their productivity.  A skilled coach can coach three or four people at the same time.  He or she will understand that feedback and positive reinforcement form the most powerful combination of techniques to bring out the best performance in people.
One of the situations which can cause some problems, is when the learner makes a mistake which they will do inevitably.  One of the best techniques to use when this occurs is to ask the following questions. “If you had to do this job again what would you do differently?” This enables the person to look critically at what they have done, reflect on the process used and decide how it could be improved.  This question can be followed up by another question,
“What did you learn?” Again, this will call for some mental repetition and cement the newfound knowledge in place.  Finally, the last question could be,
“If you were to instruct someone how to do this job, what would be the main points that you would emphasise?”
The interesting thing about this approach is there is no blame, it is positive throughout the process and you can be reasonably sure and certain that the person has learned from the mistake because of the last question.
A further benefit from the use of mistakes and errors as a training and coaching tool, is to get the person who actually train someone. There is an old saying, ”To train is to learn twice”  which sums it up.
Keeping it positive can be testing, given the pressures and urgency of the workplace.  However provided there is plenty of feedback and positive reinforcement there will be a lift in labor productivity is you coach all the members of staff.

Peter Mitchell




Peter L Mitchell has 36 years of practical experience in business consulting and training. He specializes in workplace behavioral change through performance management. Peter has helped many businesses to improve productivity, to dramatically reduce workplace accidents and increase bottom line profits.

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