Developing a Coaching Climate.

There are many studies of effective leadership that identify coaching as a key ingredient to bringing the best out in employees.

Unfortunately the reality is, even though many companies value coaching for leadership, there is very little impact in the overall workplace as a result.

Developing a coaching climate:

What would the impact be if a commitment to coaching was made by leadership and offered to all employees?  If all employees were able to engage in some form of coaching related to both their individual needs and the company’s goals, what would be the impact on business growth and staff retention, on productivity?

 What does a coaching climate look like?

Imagine a business where coaching is:

  • accepted to be a positive proactive process rather than a remedial situation;
  • recognised as a key ingredient to achieving continued business success and growth;
  • perceived as an option for all in the workplace, leaders and employees;
  • an essential part of induction programs and part of annual professional learning for all employees.

What does a coaching climate look like?

A coaching climate is also be visible when there is an acceptance and openness to sharing of information and a genuine support between employees.

It is visible when there is a strong level of collegiality and support amongst teams inspiring people to aim higher with their performance.

It is also visible when feedback processes are welcomed at all levels of seniority and form a large part of accountability processes or when feedback is accepted as a proactive way to receive input to help improve performance.

I worked in a large workplace and saw first-hand the benefits of feedback for leadership in response to two simple questions…

What would you like me to do more of? What would you like me to do less of?

The information received provided worthwhile insight into how leadership was perceived by employees and how the leader could improve in their role from their employee’s perspective – the end result was a developing openness to receiving and acting on feedback in a proactive sense.

Last, but certainly not least, is the acceptance of Customised Development Plans which are individually planned for each employee and accepted as an integral part of professional growth generally. When aligned with business goals CDPs support achievement at all levels they are a powerful tool in improving performance. Coaching processes are a very important role in achieving success in the management of Customised Development Plans.

How can a coaching climate be achieved?

Firstly and essentially, there needs to be a commitment by leadership to support coaching with allocation of funds targeted for training. At the same time it is critical for leaders to role model engagement in coaching themselves, ie walk the talk.

It is important that processes are established for multi-level feedback on quality, relevance and accessibility of coaching as this will ensure that coaching remains a driver of performance.

All staff need sufficient training to be able to successfully coach or to be coached.

What are the benefits of a coaching climate?

With such a substantial investment in terms of allocation of funds and also in time devoted to coaching at all levels, it is essential that there are some valuable wins as a result.

When coaching is an accepted process within business an environment of open communication particularly between management and employees prevails. Sharing information and collegiate support encourages greater achievements, increased success rates and an environment of trust.

A commitment to employees’ development by the company increases a sense of connection to the company in return by the employee. This will in turn reduce staff turn-over or talent drain due to lack of opportunities for professional growth within the company that would otherwise exist. Most, if not all, employees (including leadership) need to feel valued by their company, that their role is contributing to the company’s success and growth and that they are actively part of the success journey.

With an increased understanding of other’s roles, employees and leaders alike, develop a greater sense of awareness and appreciation of constraints or difficulties with each other’s responsibilities. This will lead to increased team efficiency and function.

Identification of individualised coaching plans and engagement in coaching across the company will lead to improved staff performance which is bottom line to business success.

Career Coaching, Coaching Tips, Leadership