Organisations and workplaces are becoming increasingly complex and fast-paced. In order to compete and respond in a highly competitive environment, organisations need to become more innovative and agile.
For people, this means making decisions fast and dealing with constantly changing conditions. And if they are not supported employee engagement levels are impacted and talent retention becomes a challenge.
Command and control management and leadership styles are no longer viable in this changing world. Leaders and managers at all levels need a different type of management skill to do their job effectively and to help their teams to perform at their best.
Coaching is be a powerful and authentic tool used by management wanting to empower others, create a culture of trust and enhance organisational performance.
In 2014, an International coach Federation (ICF) survey of over 500 of the largest companies in the US found that companies with a strong coaching culture tended to have much higher employee engagement and also greater revenue growth in relation to industry peers.
The CIPD book “Making coaching work – Creating a coaching culture” by David Clutterbuck and David Megginson suggests that by implementing a coaching culture in an organisation, the benefits for employees are:
- Ceaselessly identifying better ways of doing things
- Ability to change roles rapidly as business requirements change
- Commitment to developing themselves and other people in their department
- Access to learning from others whenever they need it
A survey by the Institute of Leadership & Management, which examines the extent to which organisations are embracing the coaching concept, provides valuable insights for employers looking to maximise the effectiveness of coaching.
While there was broad consensus on the benefits of coaching with 95% of respondents seeing direct benefits to the organisation and 96% for the individual, “many organisations still view coaching as a tool for correcting poor performance. However, good coaching is about achieving a high performance culture, not managing a low-performance one, and should not be seen primarily as a remedial tool” according to the survey.
One of the main benefits highlighted in the survey was the “flexibility and responsiveness of coaching and its ability to respond to the development needs of the individual and organisation.”
When selecting an external coach, the research shows that “organisations using external coaches generally take into account both coaching qualifications and past coaching performance.” Inevitably budgets do not allow for external coaching services to be offered to all staff. In those circumstances, internal managers provide the coaching. The survey acknowledges that the challenge here is to “ensure that the internal process of selecting and developing coaches produces coaching of a similar (or superior) quality and scope to that provided externally.”
The evidence is clear. Coaching is an essential development tool for driving organisational performance. Managers who adopt a coaching management style are more likely to feel equipped to improve performance and retain and develop talent.
Creating a coaching culture requires a long term investment. Its success lies in the support it receives from top management, a consistent and structured approach and its availability across the workplace so that a coaching culture is not only created but embedded across the organisation. Then the potential of teams, managers and the organisation will be unleashed.
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