The Critical Role Coaching Plays in Developing Your Employees
Each day, leaders spanning the globe are discovering the positive impact that coaching employees can have on their organization (and bottom line). Managers are discarding outdated notions of being ‘the boss’ and instead, they are creating an increasingly nurturing environment by offering support and regular feedback to their employees.
Not only is this an approach that employees want (dare say desire), it is also proven to be one of the best ways to improve individual and collective performance (Entrepreneur).
Read on to find out more about the role coaching plays in developing your employees and improving your organization’s performance, and learn how you can incorporate coaching into your day-to-day operations.
What is coaching?
A coach is someone who helps another person (or group of people) improve, grow and enhance their level of effectiveness in their personal life, professional life, or both.
This is largely done by creating a dialogue that leads to awareness, assessment and action steps. Coaching in the workplace is the practice of equipping your workforce with the tools, knowledge and opportunities they need to be the best version of their professional selves.
An effective coach is someone who assists an individual on their path to improvement, usually with regards to a specific work function or responsibility, by listening, supporting, motivating, encouraging and teaching them (Forbes). The goal of coaching employees is to help the employee to discover for themselves the ways that their attitude or approach may be limiting their success. Identification of these things will enable the employee to take action to move the needle in the right direction.
Coaching for managers and leaders works in much the same way. And if you think that as a manager or leader you don’t need a coach or coaching, you need to chisel that chip off of your shoulders. After all, even the best athletes, actors, and CEOs have coaches and continually work on self-improvement.
Managers are critical to the success of any business, yet often managers are not equipped with the skills they need to get the best results from their team. Coaching can help managers in areas such as developing self-awareness, whilst also encouraging knowledge transfer and enabling them to support their own workforce.
The benefits of coaching employees
There are many benefits to coaching your employees. Coaching can lead to improved learning, increasingly efficient work output, a positive shift in culture, improved morale, increased creativity greater adaptability to change and improving employee retention (Forbes).
Coaching employees could also help you retain your workforce by improving their overall work experience. Coaching employees can improve factors such as employee performance, productivity, job satisfaction and general happiness. Combined, these factors lead to better employee retention.
Empower employees to become more self-reliant
Coaching your employees is a great way to encourage them to look for the answers to their questions before reaching out to a senior team member. Empowering your employees to become more self-reliant will boost their confidence and initiative, leading to a more self-sufficient way of working (Kent State University). This will save you valuable time that could be spent more productively.
Communicate more openly and effectively
In taking the time to open up a one-on-one dialogue with your employees, you are giving them the opportunity to express themselves. This can require dedication and patience, but a good coach can gain useful insight through communicating with their employees. By opening up a dialogue, coaches can break down barriers, enabling employees to communicate more effectively and honestly (Wright State University College of Business).
Value and Confidence Lead to Greater Contributions
Coaching your employees often helps them feel valued and more confident. When employees feel this way, they are more likely to offer a contribution to the rest of the team. This results in a more proactive, productive and positive working environment for everyone.
Enhanced Productivity and Focus
A productive workplace is built on the foundations of teamwork, combined with a shared vision of what the organization is striving to achieve. Coaching can help employees feel a more robust sense of this shared vision. When employees and leaders feel this way, they are inclined to give more of themselves to the role.
Support and Encouragement
Coaching your employees is a great way to show care and support for them. Supported employees are more likely to feel happy and secure in their role, reducing the likelihood of them looking elsewhere for work.
Improved Confidence Shines Through in Deliverables
No matter how skilled your employees are, if they lack confidence, chances are they aren’t performing as well as they could be. Employees who are lacking in confidence can also require more of your attention. Building confidence can take time and energy but the benefits are worth it. Confident employees are more likely to deliver a long-term impact for you, your team and for themselves.
Bolstered Job Satisfaction, Retention and Quality
When your employees are feeling more confident, empowered and supported, they are more likely to feel greater satisfaction in both their job and their personal life. Employees who are satisfied in their role are more likely to stay there longer (Institute of Coaching).
Coaching employees to prevent major performance issues
Coaching employees can also help to navigate major performance issues before they arise. By speaking to and learning more about your employees, you can identify potential issues before they become a problem. By helping employees to learn skills such as self-awareness and self-analysis, you are also giving them the tools to identify potential performance issues themselves and take steps to rectify them. This can avoid costly and time-consuming issues later on.
The importance of coaching for managers
Many companies make the mistake of reserving coaching for their most senior staff members and forget to coach mid-level managers and potential future leaders. Coaching mid-level managers or potential future leaders in the organization can help companies retain their top talent and meet business objectives well into the future. Coaching skills don’t come naturally to every manager and this skill gap can quickly impact team morale when a team member is promoted. By identifying and coaching the employees who are most likely to become leaders, you are paving the way for a more satisfied and collaborative future workforce (Harvard Business Review).
Your employees want a coach, not a manager!
Many companies are embracing an employee-orientated approach to working with their people and recognizing the benefits of shifting towards this model. They are focusing on coaching and supporting their employees to improve their performance. Coaching for managers can be the difference between gaining compliance from your employees and gaining real commitment.
It is important to remember that employee coaching doesn’t just benefit the individual. Moving towards a more employee-oriented approach can benefit the whole organization, making coaching one of the best investments you can make for your business. For more information on how coaching can help you to develop your employees, please get in touch.
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