How frequently should I have coaching conversations with my team members?

The frequency of your coaching conversations will vary depending on your employee and their needs. There are a few rules you can follow to help you better assess when you’re going overboard and when you’re too absent.

For new managers, knowing when and how often you need to check-in and guide team members can be difficult. However, there are certain guidelines to follow to further your management skills and cultivate a strong feedback chain.

1. Milestones

The most straightforward time to check-in is when your employee has reached a benchmark in their improvement. During your goal planning session with them, you should have come up with SMART goals which can be tracked and measured. You must recognize this with encouragement.

2. When results are due

Even if your employee didn’t reach the benchmarks you set together, when results are due it’s time to discuss what they did do and what they could have done differently to reach their objective.

3. Weekly, bi-weekly, monthly?

It all depends on the type of work your employees are doing. Are their assignments more long or short term? A weekly check-in is ideal in most cases but make sure you give your reports time to show improvement. At the same time, if you notice something that may hinder their progress it’s always ok to jump in and send them some helpful advice. For example, if your employee is trying to improve their teamwork skills but you notice they have trouble voicing their opinions during meetings, offer some tips that will help them the next time.

4. Ask them

After initially setting up goals with your employee, ask how often they would like you to check-in. Would they like you to set up a standing appointment with them once a week or would they like a space of 2-3 weeks so they can integrate and produce some results? They may or may not have an idea of how often they want to be coached but asking the question demonstrates your willingness to provide advice when they need it.

With these guidelines in mind, be sure to implement strategies and timelines that work for your employees and for you. Establishing a strong, open line of communication and feedback is essential to develop your teams.

Download our Manager's Guide to Using Feedback to Engage Your Team learn more on how to support, motivate and develop your team.

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