Coaching is an incredibly powerful tool that can help create more productive, engaged and fulfilled employees. Despite its many benefits, however, coaching is often under-utilised.
One reason is that coaching is often seen as a learning and development technique that is reserved only for those in executive positions. Nothing could be further from the truth!
The following are five ways coaching can contribute at all levels of your organisation.
1. Helping staff adapt to change
Managing change, whether driven by technological developments, evolving consumer patterns of behaviour, or organisational re-shaping, is one of the greatest learning and development challenges in any workplace. Changing job roles and responsibilities can be a huge challenge for individuals to get to grips with. Coaching can help staff to understand that change can be good, helping to shift their mindset from a negative to a positive one, and removing the fear factor from something that is a fact of modern working life.
2. Improving productivity and performance
The productivity gap in the UK, relative to many of our neighbouring economies, is a long-standing and seemingly intractable issue. Coaching can play a key role in helping individuals feel more confident and achieve real gains in their performance levels. Where the staff members being coached are managing or leading teams, this can in turn lead to improved productivity by the team as a whole.
3. Making staff feel valued
Coaching, by its very nature, helps individuals feel more valued. Introducing coaching within a workplace sends a powerful message to employees that they are valued, that their views matter, and that they are worthy of investment. This promotes a more inclusive culture within the organisation and helps individuals feel more motivated and engaged with their work.
4. Assisting in the return to work
One specific application of coaching is assisting people who are returning to work following a career break. Returners report that it can take several months before they feel part of the team again and some say that it can take time to get back to working to the best of their ability. Coaching can help smooth the transition back to work from maternity/paternity leave or a sabbatical, helping to ensure that this process does not sap an individual’s confidence or motivation during the readjustment period.
5. Dealing with challenges more confidently
Research by ILM has found that, amongst those who have received coaching, improved confidence, performance and productivity are cited as three of the most positive changes witnessed for themselves, others and their wider team or organisation. 84% said that coaching would have helped them in periods when they struggled to manage an individual.
Who can become a coach?
With the right training, backed by an Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) qualification, coaching skills can be developed by anyone with a commitment to supporting the development of their colleagues. It brings benefits to the coach, as well as to the colleagues being coached.
One of the key attributes for any workplace coach is the ability to listen and to ask the right questions. You don’t need to have specific knowledge or experience of the specialisms of the people you will be coaching.
The great thing about coaching is that it is provides a very practical skill-set that is flexible enough to deliver results in any workplace, and it can be used with a wide diversity of staff and situations.
Find out more
The ILM Coaching Award (Level 3) is offered by City College Norwich, with the next 3-month courses (daytime and evening) starting in April 2019.
Come along to our next college Information Evening on Thursday 28th February, 4pm-7pm, at our Ipswich Road campus, to find out more.
This blog is based on the recent ILM report, Cracking Coaching: Five Ways to Make an Impact at Work, which is available at https://www.i-l-m.com/learning-and-development/coaching-and-mentoring-qualifications/cracking-coaching.