In a post-pandemic world, employers face great challenges as they help their workers recover and grow while alleviating uncertainties and reducing pressures. In many cases, this has led to a shift in priorities as agile business leaders focus more than ever on employee development. Business leaders should now focus on five people-centric and distinct priorities. These include protection, effective communication, continuity of work, workforce costs, and recovery.
Coaching can take centre stage and be transformative at times like these. It can encompass those five priorities and encourage leaders to move away from a solely profit-driven approach to something that is far more communicative and empathetic. Leaders can now see that coaching can improve key metrics such as relationships, teamwork, retention, and job satisfaction.
How can your organisation embrace coaching and take full advantage of its benefits so it becomes an integral part of your corporate culture?
What’s the difference between coaching and mentoring?
It’s important to understand the difference between coaching and mentoring. Both are valuable tools for professional development but have key differences.
For example, coaching aims to achieve specific improvements in both performance and behaviour with relatively short-term goals, while mentoring may be more appropriate for a long-term career, or technical development. The coaching relationship is often more formal and structured, with identified goals and a specified end date. On the other hand, mentoring tends to be less formal and less subject to evolution. Also, coaches can focus on specific behaviours or skills, while mentoring can give guidance or advice on a broader range of work-related topics.
What are the benefits of coaching?
There are many benefits associated with a coaching program, but at the forefront, coaching can protect people, drive change, and promote excellence.
Coaching protects people
A coaching program can significantly contribute to well-being and help to retain top-class workers. Such a program encourages personal growth by helping individuals identify their strengths or weaknesses, set professional and personal goals, and craft strategies to achieve them. Coaches can also provide certain techniques or tools to help manage stress and foster a good work-life balance.
As employees move forward with a coaching program, they can improve their communication skills, which leads to better relationships with peers and superiors. This could potentially enhance team dynamics and reduce conflicts in the workplace.
Also, as employees become more engaged, they can be productive and move into leadership roles in the case of high-potential personnel. In turn, this can promote lower turnover rates, talent retention, and continuity of work.
Coaching drives change
A good coach can clearly identify goals and objectives through an identified roadmap. This helps to focus the workforce and make them more resilient and better able to deal with disruption. The coaches will provide strategies and tools to help deal with stressful situations and maintain positivity during unexpected changes.
In times of disruption, communication is critical, and a good coaching program can create an open dialogue policy when concerns arise. Also, the coaches can identify any short-term changes the company may need to make during a transition. They can quickly pinpoint skill gaps and develop training products around new skills, so everyone can work through the change.
Importantly, long-term coaching tends to lead to a brand-new culture of learning. The workforce won’t be caught on the hop but expects continual improvement and a certain amount of change in any case.
Coaching drives excellence
There are many ways in which coaching can make a workforce more effective. For example, employees feel that they are more engaged and invested in their work. They may become used to ongoing programs that continually spike their interest and make them eager to learn. In turn, they become more confident, competent, and efficient.
In addition, communication will improve as employees become more proficient at relevant skills, leading to fewer misunderstandings, and a higher level of collaboration. These employees will become more adept at problem-solving as they develop critical thinking and resolution skills. Consequently, they’ll be able to tackle challenges more effectively in the future.
What are the key properties of a successful coaching program?
There are three key properties of a first-class coaching program.
The coaching program must have a clear purpose or goal at the outset so that all parties fully understand and buy into its intent. The program can be built around SMART factors so it is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. This will help to keep everyone on track.
Coaches must have a high degree of empathy and understanding so that participants feel comfortable sharing their feelings, challenges, or thoughts. Coaches cannot be judgemental but must acknowledge that the employee strives to progress while providing encouragement and support when needed.
In a good coaching program, all parties will understand the role of each other very well and be able to gauge progress against the initial intent. This work will help the employee with their initial expectations and show them that there is a clear path towards achieving their goals.
Why you should make coaching part of your culture
Many organisations may have historically viewed coaching as “nice to have” rather than a core consideration. They may also have viewed coaching as a means of merely fixing problems, and it’s important to look at this business tool as something more integral instead. In short, the adoption of a program is neither remedial nor a sign that something is somehow lacking. It should be a core part of a company’s continued development and success.
Futureproof your talent
HLB prides itself on investing in its people. A reputation for a strong culture of development and internal mobility can make all the difference for firms in a tight labour market. Coaching plays an integral part in this. Organisations like HLB that make learning and development a priority and a part of their purpose can improve their success in attracting and retaining talent. Contact us today for advice on futureproofing your firm by allowing your talent to thrive and progress.