Here are some ways to do that:
- Schedule your next meeting during the present session. If you wait until a later time, the opportunity will slip away.
- Schedule the meeting in the morning. This prevents fires from arising and postponing or interrupting the session.
- Don’t try to schedule all your sessions in one day. The “get them done in one day” presents a typical strategy for dealing with administrative tasks. Spread them out so you can spend time with each individual.
- Use technology. CRM software systems can set up systems that will alert you to follow-up needs. Sticky notes and handwritten calendars are not organizational solutions. Enter all of your loan officers as contacts in your CRM system. Not only will you be able to use the system to track your meetings, but they will also see what you are sending out to your contacts using this tool and this will be another learning opportunity which takes no extra time.
- Combine coaching with other objectives. If you need to spend some time out on the street with a salesperson, coach while taking them out with you. If you need to spend more time recruiting, spend time discussing their involvement within the recruitment process.
The frequency for coaching does not have to be the same for each employee. You may need to meet with a rookie or a marginal producer weekly and a superstar semi-annually. However, don’t fall into the trap of spending 90% of your time with the employees who represent 20% of the productivity of the office.
You must give your undivided attention to the effort. Close the door, turn off the phone, or move to a neutral location, such as a conference room or outside the office. This may be a good opportunity for a breakfast, which is the best time of the day for coaching. Most employees enjoy a private meal with their superior.
You are giving your undivided attention not to talk, but make sure to listen! Great listening skills comprise another one of the keys to great leadership. What do you want to find out?
- Training needs: set up a short term training plan.
- Other support they might need: perhaps marketing materials.
- Accomplishments since the last session. Use the responsibilities agreement as a benchmark.
- Plans for the next period: especially if they did not meet their goals.
- Their short-term goals. Make sure these are more detailed than how many loans they will produce in the next month. You want to cover the actual activities that will produce the loans.
- Their long term goals and how can you help them meet these objectives.
- What other ways can they help you achieve company/office objectives? Perhaps they can help you with a project or conduct sales meetings.
If you find yourself sometimes at a loss to help those who are unproductive, a solution would be to have them journal a typical day. Have them write down everything they did and the amount of time each task occupied. Then have them do it again for a future day as the tasks are accomplished. Compare the two. What percentage of the time is spent on “producing” and how much on unproductive tasks? This is a look that will give you the opportunity to change their everyday behavior.