Embedding a coaching culture

by Directioneering

Today’s world of work is constantly changing. Operating within an environment of continuous and rapid change is the norm for many organisations in 2018. Alongside this, more is being demanded of individual employees and flatter, or continuously evolving structures are making career development opportunities more diverse and sometimes difficult to identify. To ensure success, leaders must ensure that their people are fully engaged and feel aligned to the business strategy.

Many companies invest in coaching programs to develop leaders but the most forward-thinking organisations recognise the value in offering coaching support more broadly throughout the workforce and in a range of situations, A strong culture of support for personal development, engendered by high quality coaching, helps to attract, engage and retain critical business talent.

Ensuring that organisational strategic priorities are understood at all levels of a workforce, and that behaviour and attitudes are aligned to ensure achievement of these goals, requires effective communication and collaboration between employer and employee. Leaders with well-developed coaching skills are most likely to achieve the required outcomes and those employees who have themselves benefited from coaching are most likely to demonstrate the behaviours required for success. Although it can take time to invest in, build and embed this coaching culture, the increase in trust and commercial benefits to the organisation can be dramatic and long-lasting.

Benefits to employee

  • Improved managerial and interpersonal skills
  • Improved performance and effectiveness
  • Enhanced relationships with colleagues and other key stakeholders
  • Enhanced self-awareness
  • Increased confidence
  • A clearer career plan and identification of areas for development
  • Increased personal resilience and adaptability
  • Reduced levels of stress

Benefits to employer

  • Improved productivity
  • Increased employee engagement and talent retention
  • Demonstration of a commitment to development
  • Support to new hires to expedite contribution
  • Support to newly promoted individuals to maximise impact
  • Resolution of cultural issues
  • Enhanced quality and customer service
  • Improved team and departmental relationships

Overall, these benefits result in enhanced performance, alignment of individual and business goals, attraction and retention of talent and improved relationships.

Viewing coaching as an essential skill, required from all people managers across the organisation is a good place to start. The ability to deliver tangible results from teams via effective coaching is something that can be measured and recognised. Developing these skills in people managers begins the process of embedding skills in the next generation.

However, the recent report ‘Good Work: The Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices’ found that only half of employees feel that their manager is good at seeking their views, something that a competent coaching style can avoid.

In our view, there are two common attributes of successful organisations. Firstly, business objectives and individual goals are closely aligned. Secondly, teams work together successfully to achieve common goals with these goals being well communicated, easily understood and embedded throughout the organisation at all levels.

For most organisations, achieving high levels of engagement needs focus. There is a wealth of evidence that suggests that, with the right coaching support, individuals can overcome many barriers – whether cognitive, behavioural, performance, attitudinal or career-goal related. This ensures that people both engage and align with their organisations objectives, as well as achieve their business and individual goals as part of an effective team.o retain talent and manage a competitive edge, companies should focus attention on building engagement, loyalty and job satisfaction. Organisations whose managers are effective coaches are the role models that create a culture which ultimately creates a positive and productive environment for the entire workforce. A study conducted by Harvard Business School aligns with the Taylor Report and shows that the main motivator of employees is NOT reward and recognition, but progress. This sense of progress and development can be significantly enhanced by regular coaching conversations between employer within a company-wide supportive coaching culture.

This article was written by Lynne Hardman, CEO of Working Transitions, and first published in HR Grapevine magazine in February 2018. Working Transitions, like Directioneering, is a member of Career Partners International, the world’s largest high-care, high-touch career management group with partners in 45 countries and over 150 cities globally.