2. Manage enrolment performance
Managing a typical admissions team of 3-5 people is a daunting task. What exactly should an admissions manager do every day? The classic definition of management is “achieving results through and with others”.
The essence of daily enrolment management includes:
- Communicate expectations so everyone knows what is expected of them and how they will be assessed.
- Monitor and manage work behaviours so everyone knows what lead to positive outcomes and success.
- Periodically review work results for timely corrective action and/or positive reinforcement.
- Provide regular feedback to bring continuous growth, take stock of gains and losses, and share best practices.
Admissions leaders also need to systematically analyse the causes of performance gaps among team members. Sometimes the cause is “intrinsic” to the individual – eg, lack of skills or knowledge, attitude, motivation, etc. Other times, the reasons are “external”—for example, the team member doesn’t understand management’s performance expectations, lack of feedback, etc.
In either case, once they understand the root cause of the gap, admissions leaders need to be able to take appropriate managerial actions, such as coaching, counselling or communicating expectations.
3. Shadow Coaching
Perhaps the most infrequently used but very effective means of improving team skills is shadow coaching. That is, as a “shadow”, the team leader observes their performance during phone calls or interviews with potential parents, and then gives feedback. Before the actual operation, the leader needs to reach a consensus to help their team member learn or improve specific admissions skills through regular “shadow coaching”.
Follow a structured four-step cycle:
- Provide an opportunity to practice
- Get a commitment to use the new approach
- Guide team members to be self-aware
- Reinforce positive behaviour
The key purpose is to use positive reinforcement to strengthen the skills that admissions professionals are good at. Next, the admissions officer leads the team member to carry out the process of self-awareness. Make recommendations on how they can improve, if at all.