Coaches in the Workplace, Part I

By: Glenda G. Lofton, Ph. D.

Oct 16, 2018

We often discuss coaches in sports and how important their role is in the success of their team, but what about coaches in the workplace?  Though it isn’t emphasized nearly as much, workplace coaches are just as essential to the overall success of their business.

As a first-year teacher in the 1960’s, I taught in a rural K-12 school with limited resources.  Countless hours were spent designing my own lesson plans and developing my own materials, which eventually landed me in the hospital with what the doctor diagnosed as “physical exhaustion.”  Upon hearing of my plight, a veteran teacher took me under her wing and began to share with me not only her teaching materials, but also the wisdom she had gained through the years.  Today, because of the strenuous demands of the job and the high number of teachers leaving the profession in the first five years, beginning teachers in Louisiana are assigned a mentor or coach.  The mentor’s role is to provide on-the-job support during the first two years of the teacher’s career.  Other fields have also begun to see the value of coaches in the workplace.

In 2004, I and other employees of Lofton Staffing attended a seminar hosted by speaker Zig Ziglar entitled, “Get Motivated!”  We were bombarded with ideas for achieving success both in work and in life.  In his conclusion, the moderator summed up the day and challenged us to apply the basic principles we’d been taught:  (a) working on ourselves; (b) surrounding ourselves with positive people; (c) writing down the top 25 things we would like to accomplish in our lifetime; and finally, what he described as the key to achievement – (d) finding someone to be our mentor and coach.

Webster’s Dictionary defines “mentor” as a trusted counselor or guide – a tutor; a coach.  I can reflect on my career and recall many “coaches” since that first veteran teacher.  If you don’t have someone who has taken you under their wing as that teacher did with me, find someone.  An effective coach is knowledgeable, someone who cares about you as well as the job, and a leader who can impart wisdom in a way that connects with you.  Equally important is this:  are you encouraging and supporting someone else?  As Tommy Lofton reminds us in the foundational beliefs of Lofton Staffing, “When we help others, we help ourselves.”

About Lofton: Founded in 1979, Lofton Services offers clients the best of all worlds. We provide the responsive, personal service and flexibility of a small local firm while having the technology, resources, and infrastructure to deliver the benefits of the biggest players in our industry. Lofton Staffing can deliver the right people, with the right skills, right when you need them. Contact us today.   

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We Believe...

Relationships are built…one on one.
Know your people - match interest and talents to the tasks.
Don’t manage by numbers. (They just show if we’re on track.) People do the work.
People should feel better when they leave than when they came – and in turn we feel better.
When we help others, we help ourselves.
Great expectations: fair pay, fair treatment, teach me.
Have fun…and be better.
Work at having fun (51% of the time.) If you don’t feel it, fake it. Having fun is not slacking off. Work is more natural than play.