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ATD Blog

Group Coaching Is the Recruitment and Retention Tool You Need

Monday, May 16, 2022

Changing workplace dynamics have accelerated a pressing need to build the leadership capabilities organizations require. More organizations are turning to group coaching as a preferred method of leadership development. Many talent leaders now consider group coaching essential to elevating organizational performance. This makes sense considering group coaching:

  • Enables organizational and individual agility
  • Equips leaders with valuable new skills they need to meet emerging business challenges
  • Helps retention and recruitment efforts

According to Sounding Board’s 2021 Leadership Coaching Report, 67 percent of HR leaders surveyed said leadership coaching increased employee engagement and satisfaction, and 60 percent said it improved employees’ perceptions of the quality of leadership.

Further, thanks to the ever-advancing influence of technology, when it comes to specific skills development—communication, decision making, execution—talented employees no longer want traditional classrooms and training approaches. That, coupled with its effectiveness, is why learning solutions like group coaching are gaining popularity.

In addition to its efficacy as a transformational skills builder, group coaching has other benefits, including cutting learning costs, building valuable cross-functional relationships, and making the best use of employees' time when learning and business impact are the objectives.

The Role of Group Coaching in Developing Younger Generations

Developing a multigenerational workforce is top-of-mind among talent managers, and group coaching can help there too. Efforts are focused on meeting the needs of the five generations in the workforce: traditionalists, baby boomers, Generation X, millennials, and Generation Z.

An effective development strategy understands the experiences of these different generational cohorts. Group coaching, with its immersive, peer-based structure, provides a customized, situationally appropriate learning opportunity for different generational talents to work together and advance their leadership capabilities.


Younger generations desire growth and development opportunities, which is why benefits like group coaching attract and help retain top talent. Millennials expect to take the vacant leadership positions those in the older generations leave behind after retiring, and it is the largest group in the workforce. Talent leaders can use group coaching to provide personalized development strategies to help equip younger generations with the leadership capabilities they’ll need to pull their companies into the future.

How to Leverage Group Coaching for Talent Mobility

According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, in 2021, some 4 million employees resigned from their positions. Huge numbers of employees quitting their jobs (referred to as the Great Resignation) is a significant concern.

Group coaching is one lever talent leaders can use to help fill vacant positions. One of its primary goals is to encourage participants to think about leadership, which will prepare them for new roles and responsibilities. It elevates their behavior and imparts new skills in concert with their peers working on the same organizational priorities. Ultimately, this targeted development increases participants’ abilities and their business impact. Further, actively preparing employees to handle new roles within their companies helps to mitigate talent gaps and prepare for future changes in the global marketplace.


In group coaching, each person works on their own personalized success goals while learning from their coach and from each other. Within these engagements, leaders are encouraged to share candidly about difficulties within their respective teams. This is a key difference from team coaching because participants’ teammates, direct reports, or managers are not present. In team coaching, a leader may not feel comfortable sharing about functional issues if their team members or managers are present. Group coaching provides a safe space for development.

Can Group Coaching Facilitate Cross-Departmental Relationships?

Consciously or unconsciously, departments often remain isolated from others, resulting in small, siloed functions in the same organization. Members of various departments rarely crossover to other departments, which is too bad because new ideas and perspectives help to promote efficiency, problem-solving, and innovation. Further, silos can create incompatible microcultures that stymie business growth and progress.

Group coaching can play a vital role in encouraging cross-departmental relationship-building. The cross-functional engagement helps employees to understand their co-workers’ roles while illuminating the difficulties they experience handling such tasks. It offers a broader idea of how each department functions within the larger organization and how every individual might contribute to growth and operational best practices.

If your organization is looking for a learning and development strategy to promote leadership growth, provide your employees with group coaching to develop younger generations, create a safe environment to foster new skills, and ignite collaboration across multiple departments.

About the Author

Hannah McKenna was a content and marketing writer for Sounding Board, the first leadership coaching management system designed to bridge the leadership gap. We empower organizations to build deep leadership expertise and to manage, measure, and scale leadership coaching programs with unparalleled flexibility and ease of use.

1 Comment
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This makes so much sense.The possibilities are endless....grow leaders, create mentors, put succession plans in place, build more cohesive teams and more.
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