We’ll start today’s post by explaining what coaching is, then proceed to look into the benefits it has and the strategies that can be used to implement it successfully.
In short, having a ‘coaching culture’ simply means to support employees, so they learn new skills that allow them to enhance their contribution to the business. As a result, employees will become an even greater asset to the company. Furthermore, it enables more open, honest, and frequent feedback, training, and growth opportunities by creating a more motivated, productive, and engaged workforce.
Now let’s take a look at how (and why) coaching culture can benefit businesses.
Coaching culture can lead to increase employee engagement, which, in turn, typically results in higher levels of productivity, creativity, profitability, and employee retention. However, just being aware that the positive impacts of improved employee engagement isn’t enough; employers must work to create and sustain engagement. Developing engagement requires everyone to be involved and communicate efficiently and effectively, i.e. building engagement into the workplace culture and ethos.
Coaching is something that can help a business implement both of these into the workplace and is a form of continual business activity that helps to sustain and build engagement. At the end of the day, supporting and developing employees across the spectrum helps them to contribute more to the business; it really is win-win.
There are no two ways about it—coaching helps make employees feel valued and improves job and career happiness and satisfaction. But coaching doesn’t just achieve these goals; it also goes way beyond the individual employee’s satisfaction by creating and sustaining optimal business performance.
According to experts, coaching culture can accelerate business success by helping to tackle such issues as large-scale executive retirement, inexperienced workers, and employee retention. It does this through enhancement of skills and skill development, creation of leadership ‘pipelines’, and having positive impacts in key areas that affect business results, e.g. knowledge management, aligned business strategy, and optimal employee performance. The result of this is improved communication, better conflict resolution, and enhanced trust and overall engagement.
Coaching culture has the powerful effect of improving relationships, which helps to strengthen businesses from bottom to top. Why? Well, when coaching is utilised correctly, employees will typically feel more engaged and more valued, which often results in higher levels of productivity and better overall results.
Coaching culture itself can be split into three primary categories: performance coaching, coaching for development, and executive coaching —all of which play different roles in coaching culture as a whole but work together to forge stronger working relationships and bonds to boost business performance.
Strategies to build a coaching culture
Lead by example: Build a coaching culture through management and leaders, otherwise you risk sending the message that those in management don’t need help, but employees do. Furthermore, starting at the top of the organisation sets the best example to all employees.
On the job learning: It’s often thought that coaching has to take place in a separate room away from the work desk, which is why it’s no wonder that many companies or managers are reluctant to introduce a coaching culture, as they fear productivity and performance will decrease. However, it doesn’t have to be this way; on the job learning is perfectly doable, with coaching taking the form of practical advice and instruction whilst employees are working.
Ask questions: Coaching culture, in part, relies on those coaching being able to ask questions. For example, if a member of your team asks you what to do, don’t just tell them; instead, ask them what they think might work, why they’ve decided to go the route they have; if there’s anything they think is relevant; what the pros and cons of different methods are, and what outcome(s) this might have (both positive and negative). This will show them that you value their ideas and thoughts, empowering them and boosting their sense of value and happiness.