The power of coaching in a changing world

The power of coaching in a changing world

Employees are demanding greater flexibility in where and how they work, organisations are having to juggle the differing expectations of a multi-generational workforce, and all while one in five employees plan to switch roles in the next 12 months. So how can business leaders invest in their workforce to better engage and retain key talent, and minimise the impact of this changed world of work?

The International Coaching Federation has previously defined coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought provoking and creative process, that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential” – and with 67% of workers who have received training and skills coaching saying it has improved their overall job performance – there’s no doubt that coaching is a key enabler in employee growth and development.

With coaching support often resulting in an ROI of nearly seven times the initial investment, many businesses are in agreement about the value of coaching. By providing employees with access to a range of coaching options, organisations are better positioned to retain, engage and support their workforce at a time when so many businesses are struggling to find the skills needed for sustained success.

But the range of coaching options can sometimes be confusing: isn’t coaching only suitable for senior executives? Do I have to commit to a 6-month programme? It’s important that HR leaders understand the variety of coaching options available, and how each one can benefit their workforce.

Coaching styles to benefit your workforce and organisation

Traditional coaching: Often face-to-face and on a one-to-one basis, traditional development coaching offers employees the opportunity to explore individual and organisational long-term development goals and challenges, in a safe and confidential space. With the programme of support usually running over an extended period of time, the coachee is able to build a foundation of trust with their coach where the sessions are highly attuned to their individual wants and needs – generally focused around developing skills to progress to leadership roles within the business.

Prior to investing in traditional coaching sessions for their workforce, businesses should utilise assessment practices to identify the areas where their organisation is underperforming. This information can then be used to steer coaching sessions and ensure they provide insight into ways of addressing any short-fallings. Employees can then use these learnings to become more effective in role, and to influence change in relation to wider cultural and organisational performance issues.

Peer coaching: Today’s workforce has identified interactive communication, ongoing feedback, networking and constructive dialogue as enablers for professional development. And peer coaching has been proven to drive professional growth by providing employees with a focused space to network with, learn from, feedback to and be coached by their peers – empowering them to identify solutions to personal and team development areas, in a supportive and collaborative environment.

Peer coaching can then act as a vector of knowledge and expertise whereby key behaviours and skills are systematically shared and filtered throughout the workforce, as a result of these sessions. This will then help to reinforce a supportive workplace culture, improve team dynamics and performance, and empower employees to learn new skills – all of which will directly contribute towards sustained organisational success.

Digital coaching: A key driver in the democratisation of coaching, digital platforms, such as RightCoach, have made coaching more accessible than ever. Highly-qualified coaches are available at exceptionally short notice, making the support increasingly responsive to challenges being faced in the moment. Employees can then tackle workplace issues as and when they arise, preventing them from becoming long-term blockers of success and productivity.

When an entire workforce is provided with access to a digital coaching platform, the historically elitist perception of coaching is removed, and employees at all levels will begin to feel encouraged to engage with the support. This can help individuals to take greater accountability for their own development and enable them to proactively advance their careers within the organisation – resulting in higher levels of performance, productivity and employee retention.

And with these being just three of the options available to businesses, coaching support is quickly becoming one of the most versatile and essential tools in an organisation’s talent management strategy, ensuring all types of learners can utilise the support best suited to their needs and learning style.