Every company claims to value its people above all else. It’s widely recognized that your staff are the lifeblood of your operations and the success of the company depends on them performing as well as they can. Yet, even with consensus on this, there still remains a gap between the words and the actions of these companies when it comes to employee development. The lack of substantive coaching for employees is a glaring omission.
Effective coaching is a tried-and-tested method of developing skills and expertise in any field, and there is no exception when it comes to the workplace. Integral defined coaching as “the process of equipping people with the tools, knowledge, and opportunities they need to fully develop themselves to be effective in their commitment to themselves, the company, and their work.” There really is no better way to train management skills or help an employee to transition into a new role or mindset that allows them to reach the next level. Effective coaching provides the mentorship and accountability that can get the most out of employees.
Yet, even with these benefits, the vast majority of companies don’t offer their employees any coaching whatsoever. Here are a few of the most common reasons for this:
- It’s seen as expensive. In very competitive industries, every dollar counts, and coaching is often seen as an expensive exercise that is difficult to tie to a tangible ROI. Traditionally coaching relied on one-on-one sessions which don’t scale that well for larger organizations.
- It’s not seen as urgent. By its nature, coaching is a longer-term pursuit, and you don’t get immediate gratification from it. As a result, the wide variety of urgent tasks tend to be prioritized and there never seems to be enough time or energy to engage in meaningful employee development.
- Employee development threatens the status quo. Sometimes a company would prefer to keep things running as is, rather than allow an employee to grow and transcend their current capabilities because it avoids the growing pains that come along with career mobility.
However, these reasons just don’t hold water in our modern world. The rise of digital education and hybrid learning have turned things on their head and made coaching a much more affordable and relevant value proposition. Combine this with the millennial workforce who are demanding the development of this type, and it’s simply not a trend that companies can ignore.
Here’s how companies can offer effective coaching for their employees:
- Hybrid Learning. By combining the scalability of digital education programs with less frequent in-person sessions, you can arrive at a model which gets results while still being affordable and scalable across your organization. These hybrid models are turning things on their heads and making coaching accessible for companies of all sizes.
- Partner with Professionals. Work with trusted coaching providers who can bring a wealth of experience to the table, so that you can leverage the accumulated knowledge that’s been hard-fought over years of seeing the good, the bad, and the ugly.
- Prioritize it. Companies need to make a mindset shift and recognize that coaching is going to be a force multiplier for their business over the long term because when you develop employees, you sow the seeds for future success.
Coaching can be a superpower if you focus some attention on it, and it’s never been more accessible and affordable to do it. So, don’t let your employees down on this one. Invest in them with your words and your actions and your business will reap the rewards.
Great article and something that we see a lot of here in the UK. Short sighted views on personal development, especially on the perception of a limited return of investment.
Investing in your people has quantifiable value in terms of wellbeing, life balance and reducing occupational stresses.