If you were asked to rate how important coaching is to your business, what rating would you award yourself on a scale of 0-10? Many businesses regard coaching as a nice-to-have, and the resources they devote to this important element reflect that lukewarm attitude. However, the rapidly evolving business climate today demands that companies put coaching first if they are not only going to survive, but thrive as well. Here are some compelling arguments to make the case for putting coaching first in your business.
Here are 6 powerful reasons.
1. It Allows You to Plan Ahead
Is your business at a stage where it is scaling up rapidly or is just about to enter this phase of its growth? One of the major headaches you are going to experience has to do with the difficulty of identifying and attracting the best management talent.
Don’t wait for that headache to become a reality. Coaching allows you to develop your current employees so that they will naturally grow into the management roles that are on the horizon. The beauty of putting coaching first in your business is that it will become a culture and you may never have to look outside the company when you need to fill management positions.
As you may already know, promoting someone from within is less costly than having to “fish” for a proven performer elsewhere.
2. True Talent Emerges Naturally
Another key reason why your business needs to put coaching first is that an environment will be created for those who have a knack for leadership to emerge.
For example, if you implemented a voluntary system through which employees can offer to be coaches or to be coached, those who excel at coaching their peers can be earmarked for promotion long before a management position falls vacant.
Even those who seek coaches are a desirable group because they are wired to grow, so having these people around positions the business for growth since your business will only grow to the extent that your employees do.
Needless to say, those who consistently display a disinterest in either coaching others or being coached can be looked at more closely and more effort can be directed at understanding why they are displaying this undesirable quality. If they can’t adjust and play with the team, then you know who to give the pink slip when you decide to shed some weight!
3. Employee Engagement Skyrockets
Coaching arises from a genuine interest to see your employees or team members growing and succeeding. The coaching process is about them, and not you the leader or business owner.
When you come from this desire to see others thrive, your team members will instinctively know that you care. If employees learn that their managers care about them, they get inspired to do everything in their power to see that the objectives of the team or company are realized.
This higher level of engagement can unlock the hidden resourcefulness and energies of employees, and productivity will rise to levels you hadn’t imagined without you directly asking your employees or team members to exert themselves more. Who doesn’t want this extra effort voluntarily deployed in their business?
4. Employee Accountability Rises
Do the managers in your business have to breathe down the necks of employees in order to get anything done right? That may be an indicator that employee accountability for results is low, so pressure has to be exerted upon them to perform.
When you initiate and implement a coaching system, a culture of employee accountability will be created. This is especially possible if you rely on managers and other employees to coach one another rather than bringing a coach from outside the business.
The employees will identify each other’s shortcomings and support one another to overcome those weak spots. The peer coaches will hold their learners accountable for fixing the gaps seen, and as the employees root for each other, accountability will rise throughout the company.
5. Stronger Relationships Are Nurtured
You may have heard that employees don’t quit jobs, but instead they quit managers. What that means is that the employees don’t feel that their supervisors or line managers are doing a good job of leading them, so they leave to find a leader they will be inspired to follow.
How does that tie in with your business putting coaching first? Remember, a coach listens, asks questions, provides insights and does so many other things to help the person being coached to grow.
If your managers aren’t doing those things, employees will find it hard to fit in and become productive members of the team.
Let us take the onboarding process for new hires as an example. In some companies, the onboarding process is seen as a simple task in which an immediate supervisor talks to the new hire about different items on a checklist and then leaves the employee to his or her own devices.
However, companies that put coaching first may handle the onboarding process a little differently. For example, a colleague doing similar work to what the new hire has been brought in to do may come to office a little earlier and leave a little later so that the extra time is used to brief and guide the new hire on the way things are done at the company.
Do you see how the coaching approach gets the new hire off on a good note and sets him or her up to have a positive impression of the company they will call home for years to come?
The relationships created when coaching is a company culture can result in lifelong bonds, and the business benefits when team members have gelled and work as a single unit. Without strong relationships among your employees, don’t expect lasting relationships with your clients!
6. It is Affordable
Last, but not least, putting coaching first in your business is affordable, so don’t say you will start a coaching program when your finances improve.
As already mentioned, employees can engage in coaching or mentoring one another for as little as an hour or two each fortnight. You may not even need to create a budget for such an activity. You just need to identify the right managers to get started, and the good vibes will permeate the whole business.
You can then invest in a professional coach to boost the coaching skills of the key people in your business so that those skills will later be passed down the line as the coaching program is executed as part of the way you do things at your company. Once again, don’t use cost as an excuse to not put coaching first in your business, just do it with whatever is at your disposal.
In this world, you are either wired to see opportunities to grow or you think that everything is fixed and cannot be changed. A growth mindset positions you to look for avenues to improve and putting coaching first in your business provides the mechanisms through which continuous improvement or growth can become a norm at the business. If your business isn’t growing, you can bet your last dollar that it is dying but you just don’t know it yet! So, what is stopping you from starting a coaching program in your business?
To Your Success,