The research is clear; workplace coaching is a vital component of performance and productivity. In 2018 City & Guilds group surveyed over 1000 UK professionals regarding their experiences of coaching in the workplace. A huge 84% of workers stated that coaching should be integral to every business’s management and development programme.
As new technologies and ways of working are developing rapidly it is essential your workforce is able to keep up. Coaching provides a straightforward and cost effective solution. 76% of employees in the study found coaching to be helpful during periods of organisational change and 79% agreed it was useful for keeping up with new technology.
Consider also how changing demographics have introduced more intergenerational working than ever before. As many as five generations can be working side by side. This was addressed in the study and respondents reported that workplace coaching was important for smoothing the process of intergenerational working.
So what does a workplace coach do?
Coaching aims to get the best performance out of an individual or team. A great coach, in any environment, will work towards getting the best out of their team or individual. They know when to ‘tell’ and when and how to help people work out their own solutions using a careful mix of communication techniques.
The purpose of coaching within the workplace is to improve a working performance. Like a stereotypical sports coach, a workplace coach takes the existing skills of a team or individual and builds on them, enhances them and gets the very best from them. They will also introduce new skills and give them the knowledge and ability to use them.
Critically this intervention boosts productivity. As industries develop and evolve, you need to ensure your organisation is fully harnessing the changes. Changing working environments present challenges and these can impact on time and productivity. The study found that during times of flux, individuals who did not receive any coaching were over eight times more likely to say they were not working to their best ability.
How does coaching in the workplace happen?
Workplace coaches use listening and questioning techniques during 1-2-1 sessions and group meetings. They also provide consistent and ongoing support and encouragement to individuals and teams to keep them motivated and connected.
Any organisation considering using workplace coaching should consider training courses before implementing workplace coaching. Appropriate training will:
- Identify the difference between learner and coach centred behaviours
- Explain how to help learners work out their own solutions
- Introduce new tips on coaching skills that would take your team to next level
- Differentiate between learner and coach centred techniques
- Use learner centred behaviours to “pull” the process forward – showing understanding, drawing out through questioning, helping the learner work out their own solutions, asking the learner for feedback
- Use coach centred behaviours to “push” the process forward – giving advice, sharing experiences, giving feedback, stating expectations
- Understand what skills need to be developed to become a great coach
As discussed, workplace coaching would benefit any company at any time but there are certain situations when it may prove particularly effective:
- Your company may have many employees who despite obvious talent and ability, are not meeting expectations.
- Perhaps the company has identified core skills and wants to develop them.
- The company may be introducing something new. A new way of working, a new product/ project.
- You want to increase and improve company morale.
More information on how your company could benefit from coaching skills training is available from the online training provider, Engage in Learning. This course will develop the skills learners require to become dynamic and effective workplace coaches.
Don’t let your organisation get left behind. Workplace coaching is a cost effective, positive and straightforward way to keep your business moving forward.