Most organisations are fully committed to developing and training their staff and this is expected to be no different in 2017 with the economy and business confidence continuing to increase. What does confuse some businesses is just what is the best development / training process to use as each has its good and bad points and detractors and champions.
The Chartered Institute of Personal Development (CIPD) in the UK conducted research in 2015 as to the most used and most effective Learning and Development trends and practices and the following was the result:
CCIPD -2105 Learning and Development (L&D) survey report
On-the-job training continues to be the most popular and effective way for employees to gain new skills, with 48% of respondents regarding it favorably. In-house development programs are the second most popular form of training; 46% use this method regularly.
While on-the-job training use and effectiveness was aligned it was interesting to see what was regarded as the next most effective form of development that being coaching by line managers or peers which was seen to be just as effective as on-the-job but only utilised by 34% of respondents.
So what did the CIPD survey show as the growth areas for the future?
Again coaching by line managers and peers was seen as the most likely to grow with respondents forecasting a 65% growth with this followed by E-learning at 59%.
So, if you are interested in building a learning/ coaching culture where your line managers are capable and empowered to use coaching to support, develop, and empower staff then how do you start building this capability?
To develop a coaching culture, it is essential to accomplish it in phases. A comprehensive approach must be adopted by organisations for it to be successful. There is a need to create engagement through awareness. Coaching is a multi-purpose tool and can be employed for:
While planning, there is a need to identify the key stakeholders. It is crucial to understand what coaching is and what would be the results of the initiative. Encouragement must be offered by the leaders and they should offer support to their managers and coachees.
A coaching model should be adopted that can be easily imparted, repeated and scaled. The managers and top executives should serve as role models. Coaching should be associated with the delivery of business results, strategy development and with development of professional and personal success and not promoted as a remedy for poor performance.
There is a need to reward and recognise the behavior due to coaching culture. The skills must be developed continually by presenting projects and opportunities to the employees.
Development of measures for tracking the return on investment must be done and reviewed constantly to keep the coaching culture alive within an organisation. The measurement approach should be considered a core within the organisation and should be infused in all aspects pertaining to the business.
There is a need for the senior management to value and accept coaching as a tool that can be employed from professional development and for the growth of business. This can help the coaching culture to flourish within an organisation. A coaching culture assures long term business success and while this will not happen overnight, commitment to the process is necessary especially in the first year. Engaged and happy workers contribute to the success of the company in many ways and this should be seen early in the process certainly enough to maintain momentum.
The Leader as Coach
As showed in the CIPD survey the use of general coaching skills as a style of management by line managers has been found to be highly effective in enhancing workplace satisfaction and productivity. By this I mean they employ a coaching style of managing but do not constitute a formal coaching relationship.
Coaching is a complex skill set, requiring significant training and experience for mastery. There is a growing awareness that short, ‘leader as coach training courses’ cannot impart these skills with the level of complexity and sophistication needed to provide an organisation with a complete internal coaching capability. Rather, ‘leader as coach’ type programs are more properly understood as a form of professional development for leaders and managers, assisting them in developing a more effective ‘coaching style’ of communication, thereby enhancing their performance in their primary roles.
Coaching requires time, commitment and dedication across all the levels of the organisation. Revenue, productivity and engagement will be impacted due to the development of a coaching culture and adoption equips a company to better face the challenges in their environment and emerge as winners.
Here are few steps that can help in developing and sustaining a coaching culture within organisations.
1. Start with the Executive Team
You need to figure out the top executives you need to get on board so that it becomes easy to reinforce the coaching culture within the organisation. How can a senior manager take care of sustaining and implementing a coaching culture within their organisation if they have not experienced it themselves and seen the benefits?
2. Coach senior managers initially and start an internal resource
The enthusiasm trickles down when the senior managers can see that benefits are being offered that impacts directly on their role and the team below them. It may be necessary to employ external coaches as they have specialized training and an unbiased perspective that can benefit members of the senior team in the early stages of the culture change process. Senior staff who show interest and HR representatives can then be trained to become internal coaches who in turn can coach employees across other levels.
3. All staff should be coached by their managers
This can be done in a formal manner. Quarterly or monthly check-ins can be scheduled for discussing development themes, career progression and recurring issues. An informal approach can also be employed. Feedback can be offered to the reports and they can be helped on setting personal and business goals. Managers who embrace a coaching style of leadership will look to their staff to come up with solutions and take on more responsibility to achieve agreed goals and actions. This leads to increased performance, engagement and in time frees the manager up for more high level activities
If you are interested in finding out more about building a coaching culture within your organisation then contact me and I will send you an ebook on the subject. If you are looking to find a proven Leader as Coach training program for your executives/ managers then look to Point Ahead who has run a very successful program over the past six years and who can provide a great testimonials.