Have you ever considered coaching to help support your business stars? In my 30 years in corporate world I was rarely offered any coaching or mentorship, very few businesses I worked in had any kind of support for their employees. Yet the power of developing your best people is incredible. The biggie right now is it can also help with retention. Something a lot of businesses are struggling with.
First up let’s deal with what coaching actually is.
If you are looking for a simple definition of coaching, it is defined as the act of instructing or training someone with the purpose of achieving a goal. The most important parts of that definition are the “someone” and the “goal”. These two words are what define the type of coaching that is needed to achieve that definition. This is especially true for employee coaching.
In the business world, employee coaching is considered one of the first steps to improve performance within an organisation. Coaching one to one and group programs are often implemented to give employees the opportunity to develop specific skills to become more proficient when performing required tasks. Coaching gives employees the chance to learn skills needed to excel within their organisation. It can also offer support and guidance to rediscover their purpose and career path within the business when they become disillusioned. Something happening more and more right now.
The Benefits of Employee Coaching
Employee coaching programs are so effective that some of the largest companies in the world have implemented them. These companies, have seen amazing benefits. These benefits aren’t only for the individuals being coached, but also for the organisations. The benefits that you can expect to see when implementing an employee coaching program include:
1. Developing Your Business Stars
Implementing an employee coaching program gives you the opportunity to develop your high potential employees. These are the employees that you see as the future leaders of your organisation. Coaching will access the leadership potential in your high potentials and determine what skills they need to develop to be productive. Developing these employees is crucial to maintaining your succession pipeline.
2. Creating a Stronger Leadership Team
Employee coaching is not exclusive to lower level employees. It’s important that you get your leadership team involved in the coaching program to see improved employee engagement and retention.
Relationships between employees and leaders can often be strained. In fact, bad managerial relationships are often cited in the top reasons why employees leave an organisation. Because employee coaching focuses on individual skills, your leaders can each develop the skills needed to effectively manage their team.
3. Developing communication skills
Communication skills are vital to productivity and profitability for your business. Millions are lost each year due to poor internal communication.
Employee coaching is a great way to develop communication skills across your organisation. The skills needed to be a great communicator, including listening, clarity, and confidence, are easily learned through a coaching relationship.
Employee Coaching is Not Mentoring
When discussing employee coaching, it’s important to remember that coaching is not mentoring. These two program are often compared and it’s easy to get them confused. While they are both career development programs that are great for your employees, the differences are very important to understand.
- Length of Relationship: Coaching relationships are typically shorter
- Focus of Goals: Coaching is used to achieve very specific goals that revolve around employee productivity and performance
- Coach-Driven Relationship: It is the coach’s responsibility to drive the relationship by setting tasks for the coachee to complete.
- External Coaches: Coaches are usually hired from an outside source and are not actually part of the organization.
Often I use a blend of coaching to support goal achievement, and switch into mentorship to support my clients on their way. This is a powerful blend. Using my 30 years corporate experience, up to board level, I can offer an impartial outside perspective which enables my clients to step back and evaluate specific challenges from a different view point.
Sometimes an outside trusted listening ear can be the catalyst to help you retain your top people. The cost of recruiting and training a replacement outweighs that investment significantly. So if you are looking to support your best people, if you have team members you see struggling, consider coaching to support and help them back to peak performance.