The Value of a Strong Coaching Culture in the Workplace

I kick started the year, through my work with MA, coaching individuals from various organisations across the UK and some abroad. The companies they work for all trade in very different sectors and range from large corporates to smaller organisations. They have very different business goals and their cultures vary greatly. Despite these differences, they all have one commonality – that is – that they recognise and understand the impact a strong coaching culture has on increasing employee engagement and sustaining high organisational performance.

Traditionally, coaching has been reserved for executives and senior leadership teams as a means to develop them further and improve business performance from the top, down. This certainly has its merits. But accessible coaching to all employees can only promote further business performance, be that, to the bottom line, in terms of employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction or compliance related activity. At the heart of a high performing culture in the workplace is a solid, open minded coaching mentality that strives to develop the potential of individuals and focus their abilities accordingly. It gives employees confidence to perform, not just against company KPIs (that will come as a result of their satisfaction!) but against personal growth related goals. Employees are more confident, have higher self esteem, are bolder in their decision making and more assertive in their actions.

The coachees with whom I am currently working are focused on their own performance management and better still are expert in delivering and managing change in the workplace since they are already focused on their own personal improvement. I am also observing that these individuals, many of whom have been brought up in a coaching culture, are often more innovative in their approach, they dare to fail and understand that failing is part of the journey to success. Even better still their managers allow them to fail and coach them to success, either through external coaching services or a mixture of an external Coach and a manager that understands how to coach properly.

It is therefore not surprising to hear that companies who don’t have this culture often find themselves caught in a downward spiral starting with frustration and high employee turnover and ending in a costly expense of replacing employees which is much more costly to the business than coaching would ever be.

Studies by the International Coach Federation (ICF) report that 61% of employees working for organisations with strong coaching cultures are highly engaged, compared to 53% of employees coming from a non coaching background. Organisations with strong coaching cultures also report above-average revenue growth in relation to industry peers and last but not least, in a survey carried out by the ICF in 2017, 51% of organisations (US and Europe) now have a dedicated line item for coaching in their training budget as opposed to 31% in 2016.

All this to say that workplace coaching is effective and here to stay!

There are various ways in which companies can start to engrain their coaching culture (and all of that is for another blog!) but recognition of its worth is definitely a start in the right direction.

Suzy Beech, Head of New Business Development


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