The team is good but needs to improve.
Profits are positive but not outstanding. Customer satisfaction is above average. Employees are engaged in their work for the most part. Some areas of the business need improvement, but overall, things are running smoothly.
For many of us who have successful businesses, good is the enemy of great. In order to improve our organization, we don’t need a complete top-to-bottom reorganization, but just being “good,” isn’t good enough. Leaders and managers might struggle with motivating and engaging employees to become even more impactful in their work.
And whether this accurately describes the current culture of your organization or if your organization indeed does need a complete cultural overhaul, professional coaching is the number one solution for you to consider.
By adopting a professional coaching model in your organization, it has the power to transform from poorly performing to well above average, or from slightly above average to exceeding all expectations. This transformation takes time and investment, but is well worth it. Here five reasons that professional coaching could be a great fit for your organization:
Reason #1 - Proven Outcomes
Creating a culture of continuous improvement can come from a variety of places, but one of the most effective, according to research, is professional coaching.
Coaching is not a new concept. Through the 1990s the research of Martin Seligman and others broadened our understanding of positive psychology. The idea is simple. By freeing our minds to focus on desired outcomes in a positive way, we allow ourselves to find our best life and true happiness. And while this sounds like a great concept, it needs a practical methodology to put it into practice. Coaching is one highly effective method to do this. By using positive psychology through professional coaching, it leads individuals to both self-determination and organizational/societal improvement.
Because the concept has been around for twenty years, there is a solid research base that proves the impact and effectiveness of the model. Harvard Medical School and the Institute of Coaching have a wealth of resources which demonstrate a proven track record of success from professional coaching in the workplace.
Reason #2 – High Employee Engagement
When coaching becomes a part of the culture of an organization, employees are much more motivated. This outcome makes intuitive sense. Employees who are coached are invested in at the individual level. Coaching allows employees to set goals, receive feedback, and have progress monitored. This level of concern shows a high degree of care and investment on behalf of the organization. Not only will productivity increase, but loyalty will too.
Professional development usually doesn’t work this way. Tradition employee development has a “one size fits all” feel to it. The whole team goes to the same conference to hear the same speakers. And while this is efficient, it isn’t nearly as effective as a personalized coaching model. Through coaching, individuals can focus on individual strengths and opportunities for growth.
The transformative practice of coaching is a game changer in the work environment. The impact of employee engagement cannot be underestimated.
Reason #3 - Safety to Grow
Traditional avenues of evaluating employee’s performance create a "floor" for employee expectations. In this model, managers list characteristics aligned with the core values of the organization and provide feedback to employees on these. And while this can be effective for making sure all employees reach the same minimal standard, it is not necessarily effective for allowing employees to maximize their potential.
The mistake comes in focusing on “not doing things wrong” instead of thinking about how to do things better...remember it's rooted in positive psychology. In the professional coaching model, employees have safety for thinking, creating, reflecting, and problem solving. Because it isn’t a direct supervisor doing the coaching, ideas will flow without judgement or repercussion. The job of the coach is to stimulate thinking and lead the employee to solve their own problems.
The ongoing neuroscience supports this concept that our physiology impacts our mental capacity. When fear or nervousness creeps into our psyche, it diminishes our ability to think creatively. Coaching creates a space safe from fear and judgement. Great managers will use coaching models to help employees to improve, but when doing this, there is always an element of evaluation. Independent professional coaches have better outcomes because this is not the case.
Reason #4 - Adherence to Standards
For some, when they first hear about coaching they might see it as a glorified therapy session. This is not the case at all. The difference between therapy and coaching is that coaching much more focused and directed. Coaches don't simply open up the conversation to anything the employee wishes to discuss, but directs the coaching sessions toward the goals of the organization.
As the leaders of the organization, this is the real key to the process of coaching. By clearly articulating the standards of the organization and the vision of success to the coaches, the process lives within a framework with clear guidelines.
So why not just provide clear guides to our employees and evaluate them in a traditional sense? The answer is simple: coaching produces better results. Employees who can mentally process their successes, challenges, and status towards their goals are much more engaged and motivated. It comes down to being told what to do and choosing what to do for yourself. This opportunity for self-determination and creativity creates a happier employee and a much more positive organizational culture.
Coaches use objective data to help monitor success toward goals. In a coaching model, the employee might be the one determining which data to track and what goals to set, the coach simply acts like a “mirror” for the employee to see clearly and objectively what the status is.
Reason #5 - Growth in Teams and as Individuals
If we think of our business in terms of a sports team, we know that improvement must come from all players in order for the team to improve. Players have different roles, some are highly effective veterans and some are still building their strength and skills. The superstar brings talent and natural ability to the team, but even so, she still needs a coach to help with techniques to improve. The player coming from the bench also needs coaching in order to improve to become a starter. Coaching works for employees at all stages of their career and at all levels of performance. By focusing on goals as a team and as an individual, professional coaches can support the success for both.
In business, the get-rich-quick strategies rarely pay off. We know that true change and growth in an organization comes from hard work, clear goals, and strategy execution. Professional coaching requires time and work. It is not a one step process but an on-going expectation of responding to feedback. Investment in coaching will pay off for any organization, not just in the bottom line, but by improving the working environment. This transformation helps any organization become the best they can be.