Use Peer Coaching to Drive Employee Lifetime Value

Peer Coaching Drives Employee Lifetime Value

Today’s workers have a ton of options – and you’d better believe that if you don’t deliver what they want, they’ll find it somewhere else.

Four out of 10 workers are considering leaving their jobs on top of the more than four million that have left their jobs in every month of 2022. For the first time in modern history, the employee holds the upper hand. If they want more money, they’ll find it somewhere else. If they want a better work/life balance, it’s out there, too. And certainly, after living through the pandemic, if they want a flexible work environment that enables them to work wherever they want, that job is just a few clicks away.

So, how do you keep today’s workers engaged? In his book “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us,” author Daniel Pink explains that human beings have a fundamental need for purpose, mastery and autonomy.

Everybody wants to feel they are part of something bigger than themselves, a community that’s working together toward a greater goal. In addition, lifelong learning and continuous development (mastery) consistently rank high not only in employee engagement surveys, but also in overall happiness research. Autonomy too is a fundamental human need, the need to direct your own life and work. To be fully motivated, you must be able to control what you do, when you do it, how you do it, and who you do it with.

There is one technique you can apply in your business today that will help you unlock employee engagement in all three of Pink’s categories of purpose, mastery and autonomy – peer coaching.

We all know that coaching is important. Practice and coaching should never stop. Stephen Curry, the great Golden State Warriors point guard, was coached by his father – a pretty good NBA player himself – throughout his childhood. Curry may be the best in the business at what he does, but he practices every day and still takes direction and guidance from the Warriors’ head coach, Steve Kerr.


Like Curry, we’ve all benefited throughout our lives from having great coaches, and perhaps you’ve been one yourself. When applying this to business, we erroneously assume that we need to ask our managers to be coaches. While raising your hand to become a coach is a good thing, there is something missing. Instead, there is a huge opportunity to ask everybody in your organization to be a coach, not just the people who volunteer.

There’s great satisfaction that comes from helping someone gain understanding, do better, and grow. Coaching builds a sense of community in both your personal and professional ecosystems. You often learn as much from coaching as you learn from being coached. Plus it creates a tighter professional community and gives your teams a sense of belonging to something greater than themselves. They now have a bigger purpose than just working at your company, a part of their purpose is to help others succeed.


Coaching is a learned skill, but one that everyone can learn. One way to think of being a coach is to think of the role as being an accountability partner, or someone who ensures that practice happens. Consistent practice leads to progress, so one of the chief roles for a coach, whether a manager or a peer coach, is first ensuring that practice happens.

What does this mean for businesses? For instance, very few sales and customer success teams set aside time for practice. They have one-on-ones with their managers that focus on deals and customer reviews or team meetings that focus on their pipeline. We recommend you set aside time every week to diagnose what to practice and build in time for team practice.

Issue diagnosis happens in 1:1s with managers where you can take time to think through what skills to improve to get better results. Maybe you need to learn to ask better questions? Maybe you need to learn how to tell better stories during customer discovery calls to convert more leads into pipeline? Setting aside time to diagnose how to improve is a simple way to make incremental progress that leads to big impact.

Next, set up a practice and training plan. Your team can now coach each other during the dedicated team training each week, which is likely a separate meeting from your more tactical team meeting. Your training team meeting can be as easy as reviewing ‘game tapes’ (to use another sports analogy). If you are practicing question-based selling, ask all reps to bring a recorded customer call to the meeting where they are asking the client questions. Now play these ‘tapes’ during the team meeting, pause the recording, and have the team provide each other with feedback. We recommend picking one topic each week to stay focused and not overwhelm the team.Using this process, you can create mastery. What’s more, one your team sees their progress it is motivational and fulfilling.


Structure sets people free. What does that mean? It means you very clearly define roles and responsibilities so that people can be free to make decisions within the realm of their own job. We believe that everybody should be the CEO of their own job, and the perfect combination of structure and trust is the most successful way to empower your team.

Next, you must define what success looks like very clearly. We recommend that you write down in great detail, preferably using pictures, what is the structure of every step looks like for your team to be successful. For example, sales teams can map out the customer journey:

  • What is the flow of a good discovery call?
  • What is the structure of a good story?
  • What are the steps to use when trading (not negotiating) with a client?

We call this organized list of steps blueprints and we also recommend that you create a checklist or scorecard that your team can look at while on a call with a customer. Note that these are not scripts. These are just frameworks of best practices. It is important to update the frameworks with new insights gained by the team as a whole often.

Once you have a scorecard or checklist of a good discovery call (as an example), peer coaching becomes much easier. If you implement peer coaching without a framework, then feedback is too subjective. Instead, you want everybody to be able to self-evaluate their performance and give each other consistent feedback. That is not possible unless you first clearly define not just your customer journey, but make a blueprint of every step in the customer journey.

Creating Purpose, Mastery and Autonomy

The key to employee retention goes beyond good pay, benefits or decadent holiday parties. By taking time to implement peer coaching for everyone, you can create purpose, mastery and autonomy for your team.


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