Coach-the-CoachAmong the organizations Training magazine chose for its 2008 list of the Top 125 providers of high-quality employee training and development is Choice Hotels International.
In addition to its citation as one of the Top 125, Choice was among the smaller group of organizations whose training techniques were written up as best practices. In Choice's case, the best practice relates to how their call center handles incoming calls. You can read a summary, including a brief interview with Christopher Yellen, Choice's VP of associate development and quality assurance, here.
The item in Sarah Boehle's interview that particularly caught my attention because it touches on an area of skill development that is increasingly important in today's service-oriented economy was a tip Yellen offered to others seeking to emulate Choice's success in generating incremental revenue through better handling of incoming calls:
Coach the coaches. We have spent a significant amount of time coaching our supervisors on how to coach, and we continue to look for ways to make the coaching we offer more robust and effective. One upgrade we'll make this year, for example, is to move from a manual call-monitoring process to an electronic process. Doing so will allow our supervisors to provide more coaching to reps and record more calls. During the first quarter, we’ll also provide our supervisors with additional training on how to coach. The goal is to help them better understand their associates' individual personalities, then use that knowledge to tailor their coaching accordingly.Providing guidance on how to individualize coaching strikes me as particularly apt.