Corporate Coaching is highly under utilized. Why is it important?
If you look around, you will see how the role of coaches is very well understood in the world of sports. Athletes recognize the significance of the roles played by their coaches at various stages of their careers. A great coach is needed in order to help you reach your maximum potential, no matter which sport you are in. And in the process, the athlete not only strives to reach his/her maximum potential but also gains self-confidence and ends up improving overall performance.
But when it comes to the corporate world, why is it hard for us to find similar examples of organizations having come to similar realizations? There are some companies that have understood the value of coaching, but even where the value of coaching is understood, it is often provided only at certain levels. Executive coaching and Leadership coaching are the two most commonly invested coaching functions in corporations. However, this is a flawed understanding of the role of coaches in the corporate world.
Coaching is essentially a conversation or exchange of thoughts/ideas, structured in a formal way in order to focus on what really matters to the employee and to the employee’s relevance to the organization. This is why coaching should happen at all levels, and not just at the executive or leadership levels. Coaching is supposed to get down to the deep end of the problem, i.e. to the core of the issue.
Coaching sessions can be built in many ways:
1) Manager -> Employee
2) Peer -> Peer
3) Peer -> Peer (across departments)
4) External -> CEO
Coaching programs should be well structured and scheduled. In many ways, Coaching can be considered a new way of employee training, but with an individual focus.
Unlike the executive coaching sessions, which were originally designed to deliver specific measurable results through specific targets and goals, it is important to note that corporate coaching has been shown to have a much bigger ROI than the regular corporate training.
What Is Corporate Coaching?
Corporate coaching is not a form of classroom learning like typical training programs. Corporate coaching is motivational, and it strives to inspire employees to reach specific goals. This type of coaching focuses on the individual, their happiness, and what they can do to help the company be successful.
A good corporate coaching session teaches employees to maximize productivity (hence profits), without being too forceful on any other people who may work with them. An ideal structure of corporate coaching results in top-down absorption. When it works from the top-level, it changes the way an organization operates. Once executive leaders of the organization start acting differently, then the changes from the top work their way down. Needless to say, this results in organization changes.
What Corporate Coaching Is Not
Corporate coaching is not life coaching, however close it may sound like. Corporate coaching teaches strategies and tactics geared towards tangible improvements/goals. Since every organization is different, the coaching structure is never set in stone. Corporate coaching methods are not a one size fits all solution for problems. Everyone is different, and so are the answers to the problems each organization tries to solve.
Why Executive Coaching is important?
Corporate coaches help executives reach high levels of excellence. And typically the coaches for executives are external coaches. The most effective way of coaching starts from the top and it should work its way down, for transformation to start from the top and migrate to the bottom. Corporate coaching can transform an organization’s performance by strengthening executive talent. Improving executive talent improves performance by enhancing leadership strengths that coincide with business goals.
Best successes are attained when team development starts from within – inside out. Corporate coaches believe that members of a team intrinsically know the problems a team is facing, and hence they often are the best suited to offer solutions and ideas.
A corporate coach tries to bring these problems to light by encouraging team members to speak up about problems and creating a safe environment where differences can be discussed. These can be achieved through various means. Personal meetings, workshops, seminars, webinars, online tools, etc. Corporate coaches design and administer surveys/feedback lists to analyze team data for strengths and weaknesses to identify where developments need to happen. A corporate coach will teach leadership, corporate culture, communication and working relationship management.
As it is hopefully clear by now, corporate coaching has always remained important, but it’s just that more and more people are beginning to identify with it and understand the significance of it, of late.
We will talk in detail about how to go about building a strong and an effective coaching culture in another blog post.