Coaching with Data Improves Staff Performance

Coach_02Imagine that you're the manager of a store. The store is part of a large retail chain.

You've found elearning, on-site training and job shadowing are all good ways to introduce employees to their jobs.

But what happens once staff are doing their jobs? How do you help them get better? How do you make sure you congratulate them on a job well done? You can use your managerial skills of course. But how do you make sure you back up your managerial skills with data?

Imagine you have already taken two important steps:

  1. You use observational checklists to keep track of each staff member's performance.

  2. You use reports in 'xapiapps' to see you how well your staff are performing.

(Not sure what an "observational checklist" is? Not sure what 'xapiapps' is? Read this before reading on. It'll only take 5 minutes.)

The next step is to start ...

Coaching with Data

You already coach staff. But can you back up your managerial intuition with data?

We call it "coaching with data". This involves combining simple apps, data analysis and people skills to improve the performance of staff.

For example, you're running the store one day. You notice that two staff members are taking longer than usual to attend to new customers. You discreetly pull out your phone. You select each staff member and use an observational checklist to note each person's performance.

But this is just one observation per person. Maybe you're in a bad mood that day. Perhaps it's just busier than usual.

You want to refer to historical data.

So, later in the day, you check a report in 'xapiapps' . In 'xapiapps', there is data dating back months over all sorts of opening times. It includes data from the manager who filled in for you when you were on holiday. It also includes observational checklist data from your night manager and from other comparable stores.)

One staff member was just having an bad day. You decide not to mention it to her. But the report confirms your intuition about one staff member. He is taking longer than usual to attend to new customers.

What next?

How Does Coaching With Data Work?

Coach_03You decide to have a friendly chat with the staff member who is taking longer than he should to attend to new customers.

Your diplomatically make two points. "Customer service is the #1 priority". "Serve customers within 30 seconds of entering the store".

After the chat, you pull out your phone. You go to the coaching app. You tick the items you coached the staff member in.

A month later you get a reminder to review the observational checklist data for the staff member. He is now serving clients within 30 seconds or so. Success!

You give him some positive feedback. (You note the positive feedback in your coaching app, too - for later reference.)

You have started coaching with data.

For you, as the store manager, it doesn't involve any complex applications. It just involves using a simple web app and checking a report every so often.

For the chain of stores there's hard data in 'xapiapps'. The chain has data on staff performance (observational checklist data) and data on how staff respond to coaching from different managers. The chain also has data on how well particular manager performs - and how that data links to other metrics such as overall store performance.


  • Coaching with data involves combining simple apps, data analysis and people skills to produce better staff performance.
  • It captures data about staff responses to coaching over time.
  • It gives new insight into staff and manager performance.
  • With 'xapiapps', it links this data to other data such as store performance.