Workplace coaching could be the answer to many, if not most, organizational challenges. Coaching is a guided conversation between two or more people with the intent of individual and organizational growth. Typically, a trained internal or external coach practitioner crafts questions, provides resources, pursues clarity, and carefully listens while guiding growth and providing perspective.
Different from mentoring or counseling, coaching has its core goal setting and achievement, exploration of strengths and areas for improvement, and action plans. Coaches know that the answers to workplace or career challenges lie within the client and are skilled at delving deeper and drawing out commitments.
Workplace coaching of any kind must be met with organizational support. To meet the demands of today’s workplace, organizations with strong coaching cultures or those that support and invest in it for their employees will quickly realize the benefits, which include:
- higher levels of engagement
- improved communication
- increased productivity
- opportunities for career advancement
- stronger succession planning
- strengthened relationships
- better business results.
Once offered only to executives, coaches are more in demand as supportive and confidential sounding boards for anyone within an organization seeking professional and personal development. Many executive and leadership coaches administer and interpret assessments, such as behavioral, personality, or 360-degree instruments. Effective coaching can be offered face-to-face or virtually by phone or video conferencing.
Of the 10 items listed by SHRM.org as the top workplace trends for 2019, several can be addressed through coaching:
- upskilling the workforce
- focusing on soft skills
- preparing for Generation Z
- addressing burnout.
Specialized coaching is focusing on how responding to these needs can help bridge generational, gender, and global divides. McKinsey and Company report in their Women in the Workplace 2018 study these key findings:
A lack of diversity. For the last four years companies have reported a high commitment to gender diversity, but that commitment has not translated into meaningful progress. Women continue to be vastly underrepresented at every level; for women of color, it’s even worse. Only about one in five senior leaders is a woman, with one in 25 a woman of color. While coaching alone can’t solve all these challenges, the access to coaching for women at all levels in the organization, especially for current and emerging leaders, can help.
A demand for more. Millennials and Gen Z are demanding different leadership and professional development styles as compared to previous generations. Adopting a coaching culture will be paramount as the command-and-control style of leadership no longer works.
Business coaching stands at the forefront of supporting talent development professionals in addressing many workplace issues. All coaches want clients to be strong and independent and to fly with their own wings. Start today by building a coaching culture in your organization and seeking out the services of a business coach to navigate generational, gender, and global workplace challenges.