It’s no secret that the best leaders are inspirational, encouraging, and supportive to their employees. But because many leaders lack coaching skills, they aren’t up to the challenge of helping employees meet – or exceed – their goals. According to the Institute of Coaching, more than 70% of people who receive coaching don’t just demonstrate improved work performance, they also have better relationships and more effective communication skills. And while these skills are important for all employees, they’re essential for managers.
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Training is essential for building skills, but without coaching, trainees may never be able to use those skills effectively. Coaching offers an individual approach that can be instrumental in helping people improve their performance and overcome obstacles. Consider this: a recent international survey of companies that worked with coaches found that nearly all (99%) of people were satisfied with the experience, and 96% would work with a coach again. Corporate coaching also has measurable financial benefits: one-quarter of organizations that worked with coaches saw a 10x to 40x ROI on their initial investment, and one in five saw at least 50x ROI.
Organizations often bring in external coaches to work with leaders and managers giving them feedback and direction. This type of coaching can include both formal sessions and “in the moment” interactions. With the advent of remote and hybrid work, corporations are finding success in pivoting to virtual coaching. “We’ve seen an increased demand in virtual coaching with our clients,” says Kara Murphy, Vice President of Sales at TTA. “Leaders often prefer virtual coaching because it can offer flexibility and gives them more options to reach the best coaches in the world.”
Learning and development support coaching
Coaching doesn’t just happen: to become effective coaches, and to understand how coaching will function at their organization, leaders need training and practice. Research conducted by HBR suggests that many managers could benefit from regular peer coaching, giving them a chance to practice their skills, or to discuss common problems and possible solutions, all with input and feedback from a coaching expert. With the support of learning and development, leaders can get the training they need to create a workplace culture where coaching is integral. This will have benefits that extend well beyond leadership: because much coaching occurs internally and in workplace settings, as managers coach their direct reports and model coaching for their employees, the culture of coaching will naturally extend throughout the organization.
Coaching creates more effective organizations
Whether an organization is seeking to improve performance or undertake a major transformation, coaching makes a profound difference. By offering support for training programs, for example, a training coach helps ensure that employees don’t just know what to do, but why it’s important, and this is essential to the long-term success of new initiatives. Coaches are ideally placed to offer immediate on-the-job feedback, ensuring that any discrepancies are quickly resolved and that learning becomes firmly established.
When organizations are planning transformational changes, coaches play a key role. Coaches help leaders and employees build the skills needed to process new situations, they’re also helping them develop and assess their own ideas about the next steps. Over time, this translates into an organization with greater resilience, flexibility, and success.
The pandemic has led many organizations to rely on remote work, and coaching has a critical function in ensuring that remote employees aren’t held back by a lack of in-person connections and spontaneous feedback. Coaching helps virtual and hybrid teams build relationships and create a working environment that supports employee engagement. Executives can also help manage their leaders’ professional development needs by giving them access to coaches.
Coaching supports employees at every level
The most successful organizations are often those that support a culture of continuous learning: creativity and innovation depend on individual growth and development. Coaching is an effective tool when building a continual learning journey. It is easily adapted to the needs of employees at every level, from executives to front-line workers.
As organizations look for ways to build success in a challenging environment, coaching offers effective ways to support employees, boost productivity, and create a culture of continuous learning.