I recently watched a brilliant webinar, ‘Expanding your training values through Coaching’, which was hosted by Tim Hagen. The webinar explained what coaching is and why organisations need it. But many within the business world will invariably argue that coaching is too costly, both financially and in terms of time used to conduct it.
What most managers don’t realise is that they are already coaching every day that they go to work, through their interactions with their staff. In an indirect way they are asking their colleagues to ‘take a look in the mirror’ (the first part of coaching – looking at self) and then asking them to ‘take action’ (the second part of coaching – doing something positive to make a change).
There are a multitude of reasons as to why an organisation needs coaching, including performance improvement, staff engagement, culture change, recruitment, retention etc. As managers, we are expected to coach daily to enable our respective organisations to meet their business imperatives.
What organisations don’t do very often is link the coaching experience to the required increase in its business productivity and ultimately, increase in profits or shareholder value. As mentioned earlier, most managers are expected to, and indeed are, coaching daily, but what many don’t know is how to link that coaching expertise to the needs of the organisation. Many managers will tell you that they are so busy, they don’t have time to do any ‘real’ coaching. The question to ask is ‘what are they currently doing?’ in order to meet the organisation’s vision, values, key objectives, milestones etc.?
Tim Hagen points out in his webinar that the secret is not to talk about coaching but to think about ‘what does the senior management team want?’ Undoubtedly the senior management team will want to see increases in those business imperatives previously mentioned.
For instance, if I’m running a large scale travel agency, my overall aim will be to provide the best holiday experience for clients and I will want them to come back to our travel agencies year after year. My business imperatives for my travel agency would include increases in the following areas; sales, customer service, staff engagement, customer satisfaction, quality of supplier service, improved marketing, knowledge of our customers’ needs, influence and brand awareness.
With this in mind, the senior management team would need to consider a mixture of training for front line staff, formal coaching for managers and ensure that those who have been coached have access to some form of embedded coaching support. Of course, the senior management team will want to know that the training and coaching will prove beneficial, which will require a form of agreed measurement metrics to be put in place to evaluate improvement in each of those business imperatives.
For those training organisations that provide coaching, the approach taken should not be that we need to sell coaching to organisations but that, through coaching and training, we are very confident that we can assist organisations to improve their business imperatives. Leaders and managers have a role to play in this process, by clearly articulating the imperatives and ensuring that they are well understood by all. employees within the organisation.
Director at Carmdale