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The benefits of coaching in organisations

Coaching with leaders and within organizations is a highly valuable tool for developing people and businesses. The Institute of Coaching states that over 70% of individuals who receive coaching benefited from improved work performance, relationships and more effective communication skills. They also reported that a huge 86% of companies feel that they recouped the investment they made into coaching plus more on top.

How coaching supports the development of leaders within an organization:

• Self Awareness - The majority of leaders reported experiencing an increase in their level of self-awareness. They also reported feeling better able to understand themselves and their self-concept and also felt they had more insight into how they impact others.

• Self Confidence - The leaders also reported an increase in self-confidence. This was also coupled with a decrease in self-limiting thoughts and beliefs.

• Self Leadership - Leaders reported that as their self-development, knowledge of themselves and self-confidence grew so did their awareness of their own self-leadership. How they lead themselves and the expectations they set themselves were highlighted through the coaching work and explored within it. For some participants, unrealistic expectations were uncovered and through coaching they were able to develop their ability to lead themselves with more compassion and self-acceptance.

What are some of the common personal benefits of coaching?

The personal benefits of coaching are as wide-ranging as the individuals involved. Numerous clients report that coaching positively impacted their careers as well as their lives by helping them to:

• Establish and take action towards achieving goals

• Become more self-reliant

• Gain more job and life satisfaction

• Contribute more effectively to the team and the organization

• Take greater responsibility and accountability for actions and commitments

• Work more easily and productively with others (boss, direct reports, peers)

• Communicate more effectively

What are the benefits of coaching on an organizational level?

In the past few years a number of studies have been conducted that clearly demonstrate the value, efficacy, and impact of coaching in a number of contexts. Here is a summary of findings- when effectively delivered coaching:

• Empowers individuals and encourages them to take responsibility

• Increases employee and staff engagement

• Improves individual performance

• Helps identify and develop high potential employees

• Helps identify both organizational and individual strengths and development opportunities

• Helps to motivate and empower individuals to excel

• Demonstrates organizational commitment to human resource development

What’s the most effective way to create a coaching culture that has benefits for all?

To get the most from coaching, organisations need to look at how they can develop managers as coaches, and create a coaching management style and culture that becomes part of the fabric of the organisation.

Research findings confirm that where a coaching management style is practised in organisations, it has a positive impact on the working lives of many individuals and the teams that they operate in. It contributes to leadership development, creating a positive and productive working environment, improving employee engagement and retention, and boosting individual, and in turn, organisational performance.

Engagement and retention

One area where coaching clearly appears to have a positive impact is employee engagement and retention. At the same time, the research suggests that inadequate coaching support affects engagement and retention in an adverse way. The participants who indicated they are likely to be leaving within a year were twice as likely to rate their manager as a weak coach, while 25% said the support from their manager actually reduced their motivation and engagement.

Performance and development

The effect on performance is not restricted to the individual either. What is also clear is that with good managers as coaches in place, the benefits of coaching percolate through the organisation, as those employees that are coached in turn adopt a coaching style in their interactions with others. In this way coaching style does not just impact on the follower but affects the whole system and environment.

Coaching as part of the cultural landscape

Having managers that act as coaches is only part of the jigsaw that organisations need to complete if they want to realise the full benefits that coaching can deliver. Creating a coaching culture is also a vital part of the picture.

Implementing a coaching culture is only likely to work if it is:

• Closely tied to the organisation’s strategy; It is essential that the organisation’s leaders agree on the purpose of coaching, how its outcomes will benefit the business and how individual goals will be aligned to overall organisational objectives (Lawrence and Whyte, 2013).

• Aligned to the wider organisational culture. The culture itself needs to be pro learning, where feedback, development and change are supported and encouraged at all levels of the organisation.

• Supported by a formal and informal structure that helps to catalyse and sustain coaching effort. Coaching initiatives need to be supported by formal and informal structures. Turner (2012) found that managers are unlikely to coach their staff on a regular basis following a coaching intervention unless their organisation has a structured process for coaching and it is embedded as part of a performance system.

For more information, please see the following articles on the specific benefits of organisational coaching, the impact of coaching on employee engagement and well being, the importance of transformational leadership, and emotional intelligence.


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