Coaching delivers business benefits: 4 best practices
Over the last decade various market changes have prompted progressive organizations to refine their talent management strategies. These changes include the global workforce shortage, Baby Boomers entering retirement and a new generation of workers expecting on-the-job training. Coaching can positively impact how an organization attracts, develops and retains its talent. Organizations with a strong coaching culture reap many business benefits, including lower cost structures and lower turnover rates.
Here are four coaching best practices that managers in high impact organizations deliver on:
1. Invest time in coaching: According to the Association for Talent Development (TD), a single one-hour coaching session has been shown to significantly reduce an individual’s risk of resigning in the first or second year. Other studies have shown that even brief informal conversations (lasting five to fifteen minutes) can impact employee retention and productivity. Managers who make the time to meet with their coachee on a regular basis have stronger relationships and are much more likely to see the ROI in terms of productivity and performance.
2. Practice superior communication skills: A productive coaching relationship is based on effective communication and commitment, where two parties understand the key objectives of the relationship and work collaboratively to achieve them. However, managers often struggle to establish these relationships because they lack an in-depth understanding of what drives and motivates an individual employee—and how these behaviors might differ from those of the manager. Therefore, employing a scientifically-validated behavioral assessment has been shown to help both the coach and coachee determine preferred communication styles, motivating drives and formality levels. This insight can be particularly valuable in helping leaders overcome what 70% of managers say is the most difficult part of coaching–giving constructive feedback. (Source: Leading, Managing, and Coaching” Antonioni, David. Assoc. Professor of Management, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business)
3. Conduct coaching sessions regularly to review goals: Coaching is a process that works best when it occurs daily. However, only 11 percent of senior leaders say they coach their employees “very frequently.” According to Bersin & Associates, many organizations’ managers fail to revise or review goals with employees more than once a year, if at all. Yet, organizations that revise their goals quarterly or more frequently are nearly 50 percent more likely to drive above average customer satisfaction and 65 percent more likely to be effective at controlling costs; they are also more effective at hiring the best people and retaining top performers.
4. Help build a performance driven culture: One of the most critical roles of senior leadership is to create a culture that supports ongoing performance management. This can be accomplished in several ways. A 2010 High Impact Learning Culture Report found that encouraging conversations about performance is one of the top three manners in which senior leaders can cultivate a high-impact learning culture. Another way is for senior leaders themselves to model constructive coaching behaviors like listening actively, reinforcing positive behavior through the delivery of feedback, asking open-ended questions, collaborating and confirming coaching outcomes with the coachee. According to the study, organizations that recognize the importance of coaching and take the necessary measures to develop an appropriate culture are poised to experience a 75% higher rating for talent management results than those with no or weak support for coaching.