A recent study reinforces the value of coaching by managers throughout the organization. Here are a few key points it makes:
- Business results were 21% higher in enterprises where senior leaders very frequently make an effort to coach others.
- This increased when organizations had a culture that supports coaching and makes managers accountable for engaging in it.
- Despite this, only 11% of senior leaders are “true believers” in the value of coaching and having their managers coach.
- Furthermore, most managers need to be trained on how to coach, with special emphasis on using open-ended questions, listening actively, and reinforcing positive behavior
In our management training workshops around effective performance & motivation conversations, we are increasingly emphasizing coaching type skills. Compared to the traditional performance appraisal where the conversation tends to look back in time and play “gotcha” around what was “wrong,” coaching looks forward. It emphasizes building on the employee’s strengths and accomplishments, and it identifies the particular behavior that is needed instead of current behavior that is producing performance shortfalls.
It makes business sense for an organization to deliberately foster a culture where managers are trained in coaching skills and are expected to use them in conversations around performance, both during the year and in the final review discussion. Such a culture requires visible and tangible support from the top and an HR department dedicated to making it a reality.
This isn’t an overnight fix and a few managers will not be able to master even the basic skills of coaching. But it is the smart way to go.