All Employees Can Benefit From Leadership Coaching
There is a simple concept which is effective and regarded as a premier resource for the C-suite. However, when people hear the term, they immediately consider it out of their budget. The truth is, in the digital age where people can be connected instantly, leadership coaching is readily available for all levels of employees at a reasonable rate.
What if you invested in coaching your entire staff? After all, the Coaching Conundrum Report 2016 from BlessingWhite found that 80 percent of the 1,800 employees surveyed said they want to be coached. So why refuse employees like Sam, the ambitious, entry-level sales representative, the opportunity to grow under the direction of a coach?
With so many employees wanting it and given the proven benefits of coaching, it seems obvious to make it available to everyone. Let’s take a look at why leadership coaching is helpful and how it could impact your company:
Identify Specific Goals
When it comes to setting professional goals, employees like Sam need some guidance. Leadership coaches can help identify what they want to learn and how to plan a development strategy. They should help employees set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, timely) goals, then establish routines and individualized action plans to help them stay on task and reach those goals.
Why do your employees need help with this? Goal setting
can be difficult, especially when you don’t get input from other people. Coaches provide constructive feedback and help employees hone in on a specific goal.
It’s hard to get to a destination when you aren’t sure where you want to end up. That’s how vague goals fall short -- you can’t plan your route with actionable tasks when you don’t know what exactly you want to achieve.
It’s best to focus and dive deeper into what you aspire for. So when Sam says she wants to boost her income next year, she is bound to fail because her goal is too vague to plan for. Instead, she needs a specific, attainable destination, like becoming the next sales director within five years. Finally, she can start to strategize.
From that end, coaches can collaborate with employees and create a timeline so they can track their progress. They can set specific sub-goals and find what it is they need to be doing to reach their end goal in steps. What skills should Sam be developing? Should she earn certifications? Who can she talk to in her network who has been down this path before?
Coaches hold employees accountable. Without a support system, people tend to fall off track and their routines start to crumble.
According to the 2015 Strategies for Achieving Goals
, Resolutions study from the Dominican University of California, 70 percent of the 149 international participants who sent weekly updates on their goals to friends reported successful achievement, compared to the 35 percent who kept their goals to themselves. When you share your goals, you are far more likely to achieve them.
The best part about enlisting the services of leadership coaches is that employees have someone who comes to them. They don’t have to reach out to the friends or family members they told about their goals. A coach checks in regularly to ensure they are doing what they need to do.
Plus, if something in their plan isn’t working, employees can work with their coaches to alter their action plan and find a more effective approach. So when Sam is struggling to improve her conflict resolution skills, she can contact her coach and find a method of training she responds to better.
Learn New Skills
Part of career development involves cultivating current skills. Someone like Sam, who needs to work on being a better communicator, could refine the skill by simply gaining more work experience.
However, sometimes employees will set goals that demand acquiring new skills, and employers should help steer them in a direction that aligns with the company’s long-term strategy.
For example, the Workplace Trends’ Global Workforce Leadership survey found that almost half of the companies surveyed note that leadership is the hardest skill to find in employees. Employees who are interested in growing with their employer should discuss what it is they want most and align their personal strategy with the employer’s vision. This way, coaches can help employees take the right steps to grow with their current organization.
As employees learn new skills, they will make decisions more confidently and hone in on improving important skills like time management, communication, and conflict resolution. When Sam works closely with her coach and starts to learn the skills desired by her employer, she is well on her way to becoming the next sales director.
Develop a Better Work-Life Balance
It’s difficult to grow professionally when you’re running on empty all the time and not thinking clearly. Unfortunately, the case of the overwhelmed employee is far too common.
A July 2016 infographic based on the Work-Life Balance survey results from OnePoll and Groupon highlights some startling insights on the level of intensity of workplace stress -- over 25 percent of the 2000 employees surveyed say they endure constant pressure from their boss, and 60 percent say there are not enough hours in the day to complete all of their tasks.
An overburdened employee is less productive, more prone to absences, and bound to fall short of employer expectations. Those who take work home or juggle too much at once will suffer from health problems and perform at lower levels. Sam will start to disengage and lose motivation to continue pursuing her goals without the help of her coach to find balance.
Coaches empower employees by helping them build their confidence and equipping them with tools and resources to better manage their stress both at home and in the office. Employees will learn how to create boundaries between work and home life, which is crucial for long-lasting results.
How are you guiding your employees? Where do you see leadership coaching fitting into your company?
Rahul Taparia is the founder of MyWorkNinja, a business and life coach service that provides instant access to top ICF coaches without contracts, enabling professionals and entrepreneurs to bring their best work to the world. Follow MyWorkNinja on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.