Performance managing employees is often introduced in organisations across various industries and sectors. However, within the conveyancing sector, it is very common for managers to introduce performance management as a means to improve an employee’s overall output, and to ensure all staff are working together and achieving optimum results for the business.
But what if there was a solution to improving the performance of your employees without having to introduce strict, pressurised measures, and instead could improve the experience and process for both the managers and employees?
Introducing the GROW coaching model
The GROW coaching model is a simple, structured coaching method to help your employee identify goals during each coaching session. The sessions last for 30 minutes and occur weekly. They involve the employee identifying obstacles to achieve goals, and brainstorming options to work through each obstacle. Finally, the employee is asked to commit to actions within their control that they will take away and deliver in the next seven days, reporting back to their manager during the next coaching session.
When we introduce the GROW coaching model to our clients, we recommend the following:
What is the GROW coaching model?
In a nutshell, the GROW coaching model is a simple method for goal setting, problem solving and coaching employees towards self-improvement. The framework itself is simple; it can be used in any coaching setting, but is particularly effective in conveyancing companies. It allows conveyancers to reflect, identify issues, gain insight on how to solve problems, make impactful decisions and pursue consistent goals.
By asking a few simple yet powerful coaching questions, a manager can quickly raise awareness and responsibility in each area during weekly meetings:
Having used the GROW model with a large number of conveyancing clients, we have learned that coaching is an extremely beneficial skill for managers in high-pressure work environments. Not only does it help employees to develop, it can also create long-lasting changes in behaviour, especially when coaching is combined with feedback and reinforcement.
When working with our conveyancing clients, we recommend managers to organise weekly coaching sessions for each of their direct reports, lasting just half an hour each. This gives enough time for a beneficial discussion to be had and goals to be set for the next seven days, without taking up an excessive amount of time for the managers and conveyancers.
How a manager should prepare for a GROW coaching session
In order to prepare for a GROW coaching session, the manager must make note of the following:
When leading a coaching session, the manager allows the employee to do most of the talking – allow them to come up with as many ideas, suggestions and plans as they can on their own, whilst prompting them to get there. For example, if they have a particular goal but they’re unsure how to meet it, you can help them brainstorm ideas by asking guidance questions such as:
As long as the manager has evidence that the employee is making progress each week and being proactive to overcome obstacles within their control, the GROW coaching sessions are being productive. Similarly, this can be said if the individual being coached feels that they are becoming more in-tune with their own self-improvement. They learn how to remove obstacles in the way of them achieving their goals.
With the number of working weeks averaging around 46 per year per employee, the weekly frequency enables at least 46 employee-driven improvements to occur. Individually each change is small, but when added together, 46 annual changes is a big step change in performance.
Example from our conveyancing GROW sessions
When using the GROW coaching model with our conveyancing clients, we have witnessed some incredibly successful and productive results.
Below is an example completed by a head of the conveyancing department, who is coaching a team manager.
What do you want to achieve?
I want to find 30 minutes per week in my schedule for 1:1 coaching with each of my case managers. With ten direct reports, I need to find five hours for the coaching sessions, along with ten minutes per case manager preparation time. The total time to find is close to 7 hours, i.e. a full working day.
How will you know when it is achieved?
My schedule will show that I have completed coaching sessions for each case manager, every week over a sustained 3-month period. I will provide evidence by way of the GROW model reports.
What’s happening now in terms of the goal?
I do not have time to coach case managers due to my own workload, the ad-hoc interruptions, escalations, technical queries and work approvals.
How far away are you from the goal?
I can probably find 30 minutes per day, but that means I still need to find another 4.5 hours.
What is standing in the way?
There are several obstacles standing in my way, such as:
What options do you have to resolve the obstacles?
The manager, through prompts and guidance questions from the head of conveyancing, came up with several resolutions including:
What option will you commit to in the next seven days?
From the above options, in the next seven days:
Completing these actions in the next seven days will release five hours, so that I can schedule coaching sessions for my team.
The conveyancing example GROW model described above allowed the manager to find time so that she could coach case managers to improve performance. She moved from a high-pressure, autocratic leadership style, to one that enabled case managers to self-improve. Over the following three months, case manager morale and sickness levels improved. Overall, it was a win for the business, managers, customers and most importantly, employees.
Get in touch
If you would like more detail on how GROW coaching sessions work in the conveyancing sector, or further examples of how they have worked for Time Consulting Group’s Legal Services clients, please don’t hesitate to get in touch for a chat with one of our partners.