Modern Management - The Business Case for introducing Coaching
It has been well recognised for some time that coaching has a longer lasting effect on employee development and capability than many other training solutions. That is why, as part of our continued support for organisations, we have moved more towards one-to-one coaching for skill development than group sessions when delivering training.
According to the experts in learning interviewed by the CMI Winter magazine for their article introducing modern management, although technology will enhance the efficiency and flexibility of learning, coaching and mentoring will still be key. It is believed that the power of learning lies not in the technology, but in the one-to-one coaching that learners receive. The view is that the embedding of new knowledge, skills and behaviours is best delivered through interaction with a human being. Regular coaching with the knowledge or skill expert is where the real value lies. Feedback from coaching activities we have undertaken with managers would bear that out.
It can be expensive to rely on external coaches to build capability within organisations so to build an internal coaching culture, using managers to coach, is an effective use of knowledgeable internal resource. Managers should have a vested interest in the performance of their teams, so it benefits all involved if coaching is delivered effectively internally. Alternatively, the use of internal knowledge experts to coach and develop colleagues can be very rewarding for both the coach and the individual being coached.
Just knowing something well does not however mean that the individual is then capable of transferring that knowledge or developing an employee. Coaching is a different skill set that has to be learned and practised before it can be deployed effectively.
The business case for coaching as a development strategy is very much dependent upon the individual circumstances of each business, but coaching works best with a stable workforce with low staff turnover. Effective coaching within a business also depends very much on the support of the leadership team.
Putting a coaching strategy in place enables the business to focus on the following questions:
- How different do we want our business to be from its current and potential competitors?
- What should be the source of that differentiation?
- Do we believe that we can maintain competitive advantage through the exceptional performance of our people?
Linked to the business strategy (the 2020 vision that all businesses should have), coaching can make clear the meaning of that strategy, making it real and relevant for all involved. The reasons for, and the benefits of, coaching across the business can be consistently explained in different contexts and circumstances, because they are closely aligned with the business strategy. At every point in the coaching process the following questions have to be answered to ensure clarity, understanding and clear focus:
- What are we trying to achieve?
- Why are we trying to achieve it?
- Where are we now?
- What actions should we take to ensure that we achieve our objectives?
Introducing a coaching culture is not a ‘nice to have’. It has clear, measurable business outcomes that demonstrate how it will impact positively on achieving the Company’s goals and improving its performance. Introducing a coaching culture will employees to:
- Ceaselessly identify better ways of doing things
- Change roles and develop competence more rapidly as the business changes
- Share both new and old knowledge whenever it is needed
- Understand the importance of continuous personal improvement and how to go about it
- Have access to learning from others whenever they need it
- Be completely clear about how what they do makes a difference and contributes to the business strategy
- Be completely clear about what difference means in terms of current and future performance and development
- Challenge their colleagues and themselves to live up to the best they can become
- Feel that they have a long-term future with the Company
For the younger generation, life-long learning is a real requirement from an employer and using coaching internally enables everyone to engage with the Company’s ethos, aiding aid staff retention and employee engagement.
If you would like to modernise the management of your business, by benefitting from a coaching culture, get in touch with the L&D team at CHaRM. We have helped other organisations to achieve this and we would love to work with other enlightened organisations to help you achieve that extra competitive edge; starting with the business case for change.