Episode 135.5 – Green Apple Slice


How To Use Coaching To Skyrocket Employee Engagement


The Green Apple Podcast does weekly “Green Apple Slices”, where John Garrett and Rachel Fisch discuss a recent business article related to the Green Apple Message. These shorter segments are released each Monday, so don’t miss an episode by subscribing on iTunes or an Android app.

This week, John and Rachel discuss a PayScale article, “How To Use Coaching To Skyrocket Employee Engagement” by Conrado Tapado.


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    Good morning. Happy Monday. It’s John Garrett coming to you with another episode of Green Apple Slices. I’m in Portland, Oregon for the AAM Conference, the Association for Accounting Marketers. It’s going to get crazy because there’s no CPAs around to watch them.

    Rachel: To keep them and check, yeah.

    John: So fun. But every Monday, I talk with Rachel Fisch, the Accountants Group Leader for Canada, for Sage in Canada. Rachel Fisch everybody. Yes! Wow!

    Rachel: Hey, John.

    John: You are so popular in the Sage Sessions in Toronto so it was so fun hanging out with everybody.

    Rachel: Yeah, thanks. I think you’re the one that had kind of the crowd of people around you anyway.

    John: Well, whatever. It’s kind of how it goes I guess. But it was so fun hanging out. I know this week, you’re off to more adventures in Canada land.

    Rachel: See, you have none of the CPAs, I have all the CPAs. I’m at Edmonton for the CPA Alberta event which is cool.

    John: There you go. As cool as that sounds, I’m going to choose the marketers, I really am. But every Monday, we always talk through an article that we find online. This one was one payscale.com on their blog and it was How To Use Coaching to Skyrocket Employee Engagement but really fantastic to read about how people doing one-on-one interaction or actually, engaging on a human to human level has an impact. I mean it’s pretty profound.

    Rachel: Well, for sure. Even when you look at the big whole technology disruption thing, what’s coming up over and over again is how important relationships are and how important soft skills are and how the ability to connect with your clients is something that automation and technology is never going to be able to replace.

    The only thing is that in some cases, that part seems so foreign to people. What I really loved about this coaching piece is that it really not only allows you to communicate more effectively and connect with people kind of throughout their career journey but it helps them to instill some of those soft skills that they can then turn around and encourage others as well.

    John: Right, absolutely. You’re showing an interest in the people and investing in them and wanting to build up their skill sets and make them better at what they’re doing as well. There’s huge ramifications for the company or the firm on top of that. I mean you’re making your people stronger so that they can do more and take on more responsibility. So it makes sense.

    Rachel: For sure. Even in the top section right underneath the title, it says more than 70% of employees were considered leaving their jobs so that they have to leave their current company in order to advance their careers. They don’t even know what a career path looks like, like when you’re hiring somebody, are you hiring somebody for that immediate job? Are you looking forward to what they might actually be able to achieve within your company and then set them on a clear career path or a success path there as well?

    I think those are the types of things that really make an employee really sticky. We’ve talked about this before, right? People are more engaged when they feel like they’re all working towards a common purpose or when they have things to look forward to and things like that. I mean don’t underestimate that. Even right within the interview process or even within the hiring process, making sure that you can either see or mold them up into the company as well.

    John: And also, by coaching them throughout, when they get promoted or when they take on new responsibilities, that’s such a huge jump. I mean I know especially in public accounting, I mean when you go from manager to senior manager up to partner, I mean you have to start selling, you have to start relationship building, you’re less of a doer and more of a relationship type of person.

    Those sales skills and those personal skills aren’t innate in us for some reason even though we’re humans but for some reason, professionalism has sucked it out of us over that time. But by keeping that fresh, then it’s a more natural transition for people and they’re able to be more productive earlier on in their promotion.

    Rachel: Absolutely. I think that especially in firm culture, where those roles are so clearly defined, right? Like associates, senior associate and then manager, assistant manager, manager, senior manager, director, partner, they’re so clearly defined that in some cases, it can create communication siloes because I’m not a partner so I can’t call a meeting of partners, those types of things.

    I’m sure I’ve never experienced that before but the thing is that when you do become director, when you do become partner even from manager or senior manager, it should never be a shock, right? It should be really clear that that’s the path that you’re on and that’s where you’re working towards.

    John: Although I would say when I became a senior associate, I’m sure it was a shock to everyone.

    Rachel: Everybody. “That guy?”

    John: If everybody wants to check out the article online, there’s some really great tips here especially on helping managers become coaches.

    Rachel: Yeah. It’s a really good article.

    John: Because I mean that’s the role of the manager is to hire the best talent and then keep them engaged. I mean that’s what you’re supposed to do.

    Check out that at greenapplepodcast.com and follow us on Twitter. See all the adventures that we’re both up to, @FischBooks is Rachel’s and I’m @RecoveringCPA or the podcast has its own @GreenApplePod on Twitter. Feel free to check that out. Email us if you or anyone you know is out there shattering the stereotype and hobbies or passions or interests outside of work. Just let us know through greenapplepodcast.com.

    So until then, I got to go kick off this conference in Portland and Rachel’s going to pack her bags and head out for Edmonton.

    Rachel: Edmonton.

    John: There it is. Have a great week, Rachel.

    Rachel: You too, John. Talk to you later.

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