The purpose of coaching within the workplace is to improve an individual’s performance on the job. This involves either enhancing their current skills or through acquiring new ones.
It is increasingly being recognised that individuals and groups perform better with coaching and that this performance translates into business results. When done well coaching can:
- Increase productivity
- Improve communications
- Increase staff commitment & loyalty
- Decrease levels of stress and tension.
Coaching within the workplace focuses on helping another person learn in ways that let him or her keep growing within their career. It is based on asking and providing guidance rather than telling; provoking thought rather than giving directions and on holding a person accountable for his or her goals.
Good coaches use listening and questioning skills during 1-2-1 chats and group meetings. They also encourage and support individuals/teams and help to keep people motivated. Accountability is also one of the most powerful aspects of coaching because when somebody gives a commitment to do something and they know that they will be held to account, it drives them forward.
Here are some of the reasons that leaders may consider using the technique of coaching in the workplace:
- When a company is seeking to develop its employees in specific competencies or skills.
- When a company has a number of talented employees who are not meeting expectations.
- When a company is introducing a new system or programme.
- When a leader needs assistance in acquiring a new skill as an additional responsibility.
In forward-thinking organisations coaching is embedded into the culture and leadership style and forms part of the norm for daily conversations and communication. People just simply coach others as part of their day-to-day discussions.
A great way to get this model evolving is to spread the organisation with coaching role models – usually by rolling out an initial training programme on coaching benefits and methods. The key is to create a pool of leaders who can be role models, supporters and sustainers of a coaching mindset, which will then cascade and filter through the rest of the organisation.
To ensure successful coaching it is useful to always link the purpose and results of coaching back to the business needs. Leaders have to know the business case for coaching and developing others if they are to value it and use it effectively.
For example, where is the business headed? What leadership skills are needed to get us there? How should coaches work with direct reports to provide the feedback, information and experiences they need to build those needed skills? Set strategic coaching goals, tactics and measures for the organisation as well as including coaching as an individual metric.
Finally, give it time to become embedded within the company and to see results. Time is tight for everyone and some people will naturally resist. However, as coaching processes and goals become more consistent and more highly valued, in-house coaching will take root and leaders will have a new way to develop and motivate their direct reports.
Individuals and groups will strive to build new skills and achieve goals and the business will be on track to a more efficient, comprehensive system of developing people.
For more information on how your Learning Management System should support internal coaching schemes or how as a training provider you can offer coaching to your customers as part of your sales provision call Enterprise Study on 01242 254 254.