6 ways to develop awesome staff through coaching
“Driven, enthusiastic team members will be your best asset.” - Richard Branson
Ask any successful entrepreneur about the key foundation on which they built their business and great people will always be at the top of the list. Having great people on staff is common to all successful organisations.
Smart leaders know that great staff are a valuable asset and therefore spend the time and resources helping them to become great.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that this is a luxury for the big organisations. It’s not a luxury for those with big budgets, it is strategic behaviour for any sized organisation, even the small ones. You don’t actually need a big training budget. Let us show you how to develop awesome staff to help build your organisation - on any budget.
Through years of developing professional development programs for both small and large organisations we have observed that coaching is one of the best ways to develop great staff. Done well it is extremely effective.
Here are six ways coaching can develop awesome staff and improve results in your business.
1. Coaching maximises the potential of staff and increases productivity
Traditionally coaching in the workplace was used to address performance problems. But businesses soon realised that this development method was a very powerful tool to unleash potential and enhance performance of all staff, not just those who under-perform. Coaching has been shown to have the following results:
- 70% report improved work performance
- 61% report improved business management
- 57% report improved time management
- 51% report improved team effectiveness
And about 86% of organisations that use coaching say that they at least made their investment back.
Source: ICF Global Coaching Client Study was commissioned by the ICF but conducted independently by PricewaterhouseCoopers on webpage: Read the article here
2. Coaching aligns the activities of your staff with the vision and direction of your business
Coaching is a goal oriented process that provides a great opportunity to engage staff in the strategic directions of your business. Setting goals that capture staff aspirations and are aligned with the directions of the business will result in increased satisfaction and an environment where the whole team is working towards achieving the same outcomes.
3. Coaching develops leadership skills
Engaging your senior staff as coaches is a cost effective strategy and will build their leadership skills.
Imagine telling your senior staff that they have to find 2 hours a week to coach someone who is not in their team. You will probably get some resistance, but it’s proven that when leaders become coaches it makes them more effective leaders.
Being a coach requires well developed communication skills, the capacity to make good judgements and the capacity to deal with ambiguity. It also makes people feel good when they help others, and that is truly great for business.
4. Coaching can support and facilitate change
Coaching assists people to transition through change and maintain their performance or acquire the new skills they need to adapt. Change can be deeply challenging and disruptive in an organisation. Coaching will provide the focus and individualised support needed to help staff to move through it positively.
5. Coaching can improve staff retention
When staff feel valued and supported they are more likely to stay in an organisation. Coaching provides the type of tailored support and attention that engages staff, makes them feel supported and results in increased loyalty to the organisation.
6. Coaching will enhance your team
Coaching is usually an individual activity, but it has great effects on team performance. The process encourages collaboration and engagement in the team and when rolled out across the whole organisation it can positively change the culture. Coaching can encourage a focus on growth and learning and break down destructive silos that inhibit team performance.
Those are the six compelling reasons why you should seriously think about coaching your staff.
So, what’s stopping you?
If you are like many other leaders, there is a little confusion about what coaching is and what it is not. This often hinders organisations to start a coaching program. Getting clarity on what it is and is not is a great start.
How to implement coaching in your business
Essentially, coaching is a goal oriented, solution focused process where one person facilitates the development and growth of another person.
Coaching is primarily about moving people through change by asking the right questions not telling the person what to do. During the process you will get to know your staff and learn about their strengths, weaknesses, aspirations and goals, and hopefully you will be able to provide the right development path.
You may offer training opportunities, they may seek your advice or information from time to time, or you may want to let them sit with the problem for a while to work through it and learn from experience. The focus is on facilitating not directing the learning process.
However, a coach can do much more than just ask questions. A coach can also:
- Provide resources, information, contacts etc.
- Build a positive environment for learning
- Affirm achievements and progress
- Provide feedback and suggestions
- Give ongoing support
This can result in a win-win situation. If you help your staff identify what they want to achieve while they work with you and they align their goals with the goals of your business, you provide a landscape for them to achieve and fulfil their goals. It will also help them reach their potential and become excited about the future of your business.
Richard Branson further adds his insight,
Foresight is important in business: Don't wait until an employee comes to you and says he's ready to leave before you start thinking about what his goals are and what keeps him happy -- this should be part of your hiring decision. Before you make a prospect a job offer, be sure to consider how his plans for his career fit with your company's. If there's a real mismatch, it's unlikely you'll be able to work together long. - Richard Branson
The first step is to make sure your staff are prepared for the job and understand the goals, aspirations and culture of the organisation. A coaching process can help you achieve this.
Secondly, have you provided adequate induction and orientation? Have you clearly communicated your vision for the organisation? And are your staff in the right job where they can best use their talents and skills? Again, coaching will help you define and align these things.
Maybe you have already provided them with training to fill in some gaps in their knowledge and skills. That’s great, but how do you know that the learning will be transferred into the workplace? Sorry to sound like a broken record but this is where a coaching approach can be of great value.
At the end of the day, staff who feel supported and valued will be engaged in their role, will rise to the challenges, be passionate about the cause, and be able to work effectively in a team. And that is great for your business.
I hope you found this helpful.