For those of you who are in the process of implementing KCS or thinking about implementing KCS, the topic of coaching generally starts creeping into conversations once you start diving into how this is going to work from the agent perspective. It may be that you’ve got to start selling the concept of coaching to the managers or it may be that you’re working through the fears of the agents in their ability to create this content and trying to reassure them that they’ll have support in place to help them.
Whatever the case may be, you may be wondering what’s involved with implementing a KCS Coaching program. In this blog, we are going to cover a few of the basics that you can keep in mind as you get started.
- A good coaching program is essential to being successful with KCS. Your agents are at the heart of KCS driving all the benefits. They are the ones performing the activities in the Solve Loop: Capture. Structure. Reuse. Improve. Without the agents completing the solve loop activities, there is no KCS. Their level of KCS skill will be reflected in the knowledgebase. The better they are, the better your knowledgebase is. Industry research shows when training is combined with coaching, individuals increase their productivity by an average of 86% compared to 22% with training alone. When coaching is combined with training, agents become proficient with the KCS processes and creating knowledge far quicker than what is achieved with training alone. The benefits of the coaching program are reflected in the quality of our knowledgebase.
- Coaches coach, managers manage. Having a good understanding of what KCS coaches do is going to be tremendously helpful when selecting coaches, talking to managers about enabling their agents time to coach others, and when talking to prospective coaches about coaching. Managers create incentive and interest for the agents to learn where coaches are the change agents that work with your agents to develop their KCS skills while providing them with structure, support and feedback. They have a vested interest to ensure the success of the agents they are coaching essentially looking to coach themselves out of a job. This is a peer to peer relationship where a coach does not have any authority over those they coach where a manager does have that authority. Managers may provide tools such as the Article Quality Index (AQI) or Process Integration Indicators (PII) so the agents understand what areas they may need coaching in to improve their skills.
- Coaching should be a positive experience. Your coaches will need to create an open and supportive environment to help your agents gain a higher level of skill with following the KCS processes and creating the KCS articles. Agents should view coaching in a positive light with the understanding that this has been put in place to ensure their success.
- Coaches need support too. It’s important that you provide your coaches with the skills and support they need to be successful. Coaching isn’t sitting down with someone pointing out everything they did wrong and showing them how to do it right next time – you can’t get much more demotivating than that! Being an effective coach requires a set of skills where you’re able to bring out the best in people and for many this requires training.
We’ve helped others develop their coaches and we can help you too. We offer a KCS Support coach training built specifically around providing coaches with the skills they need for success. If you’re interested in KCS training or finding out whether KCS might be right for your organization, feel free to request a demo for a closer look at the knowledge software by Upland -RightAnswers in action.
Stay tuned for our next blog where we’re going to talk about some best practices in selecting coaches!
In case you missed any of the previous posts in this series…
- Blog Post I: KCS: Does It Have to Be All or Nothing?
- Blog Post II: KCS: Engaging Your Second Line Teams For ‘Shift-Left’
- Blog Post III: KCS: How To Get Management Buy-In On KCS Methodology
About the Authors: Laura Yeomans (left) and Michelle Stumpf (right) are qualified KCS Trainers and have many years’ experience in running their own knowledge practices, as well as training and coaching others in Knowledge Management and KCS.
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