In recent years coaching has become a fundamental element of any successful organisation’s L&D strategy. And for good reason. Coaching has proved to be a highly effective tool for increasing both individual and business performance.
However, the businesses that gain the most from coaching, and really embrace the philosophy, are the ones that recognise coaching as an essential skill for all their managers to learn. When managers effectively coach the development of team members, the entire business develops in a much faster, more sustained manner.
These businesses all have one thing in common; a culture that actively supports the coaching process. Below, we look at 5 steps to help create a Culture of Coaching:
1) Support coaching from the top of the organisation – Coaching needs to be supported by the most senior executives within a business. Regular references to successful coaching interventions and publicly praising the demonstration of coaching skills all express this support.
2) Concentrate on building the case for coaching – Coaching is least effective when it has been forced on managers, without its relevance being made clear. Managers need to know what the benefits of being a coach are for them; otherwise it can just appear they’re being asked to perform additional work. Highlighting the strongest, most high profile leaders in the organisation, and emphasising their coaching skills, will help managers appreciate the benefits of becoming an effective coach.
3) Coach your managers – Give managers the opportunity to experience the benefits of being coached first hand. By seeing their own performance improve through coaching, this will help them better understand it as a method of developing others, and build their commitment to the culture.
4) Train coaching skills – Coaching won’t always come naturally to managers. In many cases they will have previously been rewarded, purely for results they achieved on their own or as part of a team. To create a culture of coaching managers need to learn a different set of skills; rapport building, listening, questioning, supporting and constructive feedback techniques. These are all skills which should be developed as part of an overall development programme.
5) Reward good coaching – It’s no coincidence that managers who demonstrate the best coaching skills are likely to be the company’s strongest leaders. Putting these managers in key roles and publicly placing value on their skills as a coach sends a strong message that coaching is a key skill, and those demonstrating it are recognised.
Modern organisations are continually asking their employees to do more with less; it’s the nature of the competitive environment we operate in. By promoting a Culture of Coaching a business will increase overall performance and improve employee engagement, all very cost effectively.