The role and value of Coaching in the workplace

Posted on 26th June 2019

Do you have coaching in your workplace? Have you ever had coaching in your workplace? Should you have coaching in your work place?

A Coaching Definition:

“Coaching is the facilitation of the learning, development and performance progress of another”

On that statement alone…why wouldn’t you?

While the support of a coach has existed as a valued role on the sports field for a very long time, the role of coaching in the work place has really only become more common and widely used and accepted, since around the late 1980’s. Since that time, it has been recognised that in the development of the most successful people and leading businesses that, coaching and a culture of organisational coaching has played an important part in this progress.

As a performance coach myself, with over 30 years of experience I would say that while; “Behind every great man or great women, there is a great man or women… I would also say that behind every great performance is a great coach”

Ken Blanchard (Situational Leadership model)

Blanchard’s Situational Leadership Model clearly shows how important it is for leadership styles to change, as the performance and experience of your people and teams developed. The aim of this is for leaders to be able to develop their people enough so that they become skillful, confident and resilient enough to be delegated work and workloads that they can get done to the highest standards, without requiring any help or support from their leader. They are even happy to make important decisions because they have all the skills, information and confidence to do so.

While it is important for the leader to establish some basic, consistent principles and standardised ways of working with new and inexperienced employees by directing them with clear instructions, establishing some strict parameters of discipline and defining any levels of authority to how and when they work, this will of course, limit the potential of the performance output by the way in which they have been instructed or any other restrictions that have been placed on them.

If leaders are to look at ways of developing their performance standards, their individual and organisational resilience, then they will need to develop the people who will deliver that performance.

When someone has been on a training course or been shown a particular skill or given some specific knowledge, this does not make them skillful, it merely provides them with the acquisition of information to allow them to begin to work in a tried and trusted way. If the leader wants to develop the people and the performance, coaching is a great way to do this.

So, instead of continuing to tell your people what they should do or how to do it… start to ask them; “Now that you have learned to do this, I would like you to think about”:

  • How could you do it differently?
  • Could this be done quicker?
  • Could this be done cheaper?
  • Is there a better way to do this than the way you were shown?

By asking these simple questions you are encouraging people to think beyond the current ways of working and getting them to explore better, faster and more economically efficient ways. You will be starting to move the decision making to the people with the information, creating higher levels of engagement and providing motivation with the aim of developing greater performance output and also personal resilience. Your people will start to own their role and accept more responsibility, because they will become more confident, they will be happy to be held accountable for what they do or the decisions they make. It is very important though that they know they have your support at this stage because they will be encouraged to do different things or do things differently, they will make some mistakes, they might fall short of a desired target or even need to fail completely but the journey will provide valuable answers, gain extremely valuable lessons and hopefully deliver the improvements in your people and their performance.

The coaching process helps the person being coached to go through a journey of self-reflection and awareness, so that they can clearly identify the current level of their knowledge and performance, help them to set new personal performance related goals and then support that development by creating a strategic action plan to shape and guide them through their journey from their current level of expertise and performance to achieving much greater levels of future success.

I’ve heard some business owners and managers say ‘what if we develop our people and then they leave?’ I would say; what if you don’t develop your people and they stay?

Providing excellent training is just the start of developing your employees but providing them with coaching support will help them to apply their new skills and knowledge, in a practical way that will lead to more efficient and effective ways of working.

Can you afford not to have coaching in your organisation?

If you want to know more about coaching or perhaps want to have trained coaches in your organisation then please contact us on 01536 215240 or email Info@gatewayhr.com

Graham Ravenscroft Character
Written by:
Graham Ravenscroft
Lead Performance Coach