It doesn’t matter whether your company’s coaching curriculum is more “Camry” than “Maserati;” every “make and model” needs regular maintenance.

It may not be “every 3,000 miles,” but at least twice a year training and HR stakeholders need to diagnose what’s working and what’s not when it comes to enhancing their managers’ ability to coach.

Understandably, not everyone has the time to block a half-day twice each year to assess his or her company’s coaching platform. As a result, we wait until something goes wrong – like when the engine on the Camry starts to knock, or your Maserati makes a strange pinging noise when you throw it in reverse.

Here are three telltale signs that your coaching curriculum might a need a tune-up sooner rather than later:

  1. Training and development investments fall flat. Over the past few months we’ve heard horror stories from clients who have invested a lot of time, energy, and money on a new development platform – e.g., the Challenger Sale, a new selling model, a new CRM, or performance management system – only to have that investment fall flat. The common denominator across these false starts is simple: managers were never enabled to effectively coach to the new tool or system. They didn’t know what, specifically, to focus on and/or how to provide the right feedback. The result: they defaulted to the way they’d always done things, opting to ride out the storm until the next “flavor of the month” came along.
  2. Good people are “looking” (or leaving). Your people managers play a critical role in keeping your top talent. As the old saying goes, “people don’t leave a job, they leave a manager.” It’s true. Your best people EXPECT to be developed and challenged. If your managers can’t work with their top people and co-create a clear path to future success, odds are a top performer will get frustrated, look to greener pastures, and possibly bring one or two others with them.
  3. Innovation is stagnated. When employees don’t feel empowered, innovation suffers. Too often we hear of workplace cultures in which new ideas are given short shift, mistakes or missteps are amplified, and people generally feel afraid to share their ideas. Managers have created a culture of retribution instead of a culture of contribution. They lack the skills, tools, and willingness to effectively communicate “what good looks like” and grow their people. Effective managers take a divergent approach. They look at missteps as learning opportunities, they encourage their people to speak up, and they ensure that individual contributors understand the impact of their work on the larger organization.

If any or all of these situations sound familiar, then it’s definitely time to look under the hood at your coaching and management development offerings.