Arlington, VA

This article is sponsored by Arlington Economic Development.

We all know that teachers are amazing, but did you know that best practices for teachers can also be useful to the larger business community when coaching and mentoring employees?

For the past four months, Arlington has been home to EdConnective, winner of Arlington Economic Development’s Startup Arlington program and EdTech startup providing virtual teacher coaching to school districts across the country.

EdConnective’s Director of Instructional Coaching, Lauren Vargas was kind enough to share key tenets of their teacher education program that apply not only to teachers, but to leaders and managers in all types of businesses.

Here are five ways to improve your employees’ performance the EdConnective way:

1. Use “Glow and Grow”: Be sure to name what your employees are doing well along with what needs improvement. This ensures employees can keep playing to their strengths while improving their development areas.

2. One Next Step: Give an employee too much feedback at one time and they’ll lose focus and be unable to execute. This is one reason that traditional, yearly reviews don’t work. Focus on one thing at a time, give actionable next steps keeping your employees accountable.

3. Practice: Going over implementation strategy during a feedback session is key. “It’s quite different when you do something versus think you have it in your head,” said Vargas. Role playing, planning or walking through a skill or activity helps cement it.

4. Define What Success Looks Like: EdConnective uses a teaching rubric that can be explained on one page.  Having a reference point and keeping it simple helps employees know what you expect and makes accomplishing those objectives easier. You can copy this technique by keeping one-pagers for each role at your company or on your team.

5. Define Data Points: Process metrics can help an employee keep track of what they are doing to improve, but never lose sight of outcome metrics. Outcome metrics ensure the processes you put in place are leading to the results you want. If a teacher masters a skill, it is only helpful if it impacts student outcomes and the same goes for your business. Make sure you draw a clear line between skill development and how it impacts your bottom line.

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