There is little disagreement among corporate management that the task of all branch managers is to get the best from their sales personnel. In fact, the single most important managerial competency that separates highly effective managers from average ones is coaching ability according to the Harvard Business Review. However, at many mortgage companies, coaching isn’t part of what managers are held accountable for. The truth is that managers are more likely to be fired for not meeting recruiting goals versus failure to develop employees. Sure, companies say that coaching is important, but their actions speak otherwise.
While most managers certainly understand the importance of coaching conversations with employees, the reality is that many have difficulty carving out time amid their daily responsibilities for coaching. Now, with many mortgage companies starting to hire rookie originators, senior managers are depending on field managers to coach new originators. In my opinion, this scenario has the potential to be a disaster of epic proportions. Here’s why:
While it is true that coaching skills can be taught, not everyone can or should be a coach. Just as Michael Jordan was a great player but not a good coach, many top producers do not have the innate behaviors that translate into success in developing their employees. From the top producer’s standpoint, their personal production is more valued than their ability to develop others so why would they try to develop coaching skills anyway? This raises the question that if a company is training rookies, which individuals are best equipped to help originators reach their fullest potential?
This issue is one of the primary reasons rookie programs fail. In my research on the characteristics of the most successful managers in mortgage banking, I have identified seven distinct competencies of great coaches. These competencies are part of a new development report that we now have available (Email email@example.com for additional details). The seven competencies are:
• planning and organizing
• continuous improvement
• teamwork and collaboration
• influencing and persuading
• coaching and developing others
• motivating others
• interpersonal communication
Many of these competencies are not surprising but the personality traits that drive the competency can be. For instance, the competency of motivating others well is all about inspiring others to perform well by conveying enthusiasm for doing a good job. This competency is a function of four personality traits: positive about people; optimism; work pace; and assertiveness. Individuals who possess some traits but not others might have difficulty motivating rookies to achieve their performance goals.
For companies implementing a rookie program, it is critical that managers who will be responsible for new originators be evaluated for their coaching competencies to ensure the program’s long-term success.
Isn’t it time that we recognize that coaching is a high skill set that not every manager has and that it is important to determine which managers have it and which ones need to develop it.