why your organization needs democratized coaching

What company hasn’t been touched recently by the Great Resignation, or the more subtle but equally devastating “quiet quitting?” One is denoted by empty slots on the org chart; the other, a dip in productivity and a rise in dissatisfaction that can spread far beyond any single unengaged staffer. People are poised to pack up and move on. 

Our own research puts the desire for job change as high as 93%. Breaking down that massive share of your workforce, the top 13% are ready to jump into a new job, 35% are on the lookout, and another 45% are open to possibilities. Only 7% say they will stay put in their current position, no matter what. That kind of turnover could be devastating, especially in the U.S. labor market with more than 10 million unfilled jobs

What can employers do immediately to stem the outward migration? In the past year, the headlines have been filled with stories about rising pay rates and the introduction of new and enhanced benefits and perks. Despite this, the monthly quit rate in the U.S. has continued to hover somewhere around four million. If you think of pay pops and perks as basic necessities in a labor market where talent holds all the cards, then you need to find new ways to inspire and satisfy your employees.

Democratized coaching can be your winning hand.  

how can democratized coaching make a difference?

Coaching, long considered an exclusive perk of the executive suite, has evolved into a mainstream employee resource designed to enhance engagement, increase collaboration, and drive productivity, 

Democratized coaching is not a mass-produced, one-size-fits-all solution. It is employee-directed and focused on those areas of work life that most interest an individual employee. 

Coaching provides an array of expert tools and resources to support employee well-being at work. Coaching can help employees identify opportunities, assess their skills, address challenges, and understand their strengths. With access to 1:1 virtual coaching, employees get personalized workplace and career support when and where they need it. Access to coaching allows employees to tap into career resources to accelerate career growth, whether that means expanding capabilities in a current role or moving into another internal position. 

the evolution of coaching

The perception of what coaching is has evolved in the past 20 years, as has the way it is delivered. In the past, coaching was exclusively reserved for executives who fell into two categories: strong leaders ready to hone their skills further or weak performers requiring improvement in one or more specific areas. Unfortunately, the latter tended to be more common, and as a result, coaching became stigmatized. If you needed a coach, the assumption was you might be on your way out.

Then came about a significant change: those employees destined for greatness, the high-potentials (HiPo’s), and those in growth areas were offered coaching to maximize opportunities and reduce talent loss from core areas of the business. 

There are a couple of reasons why coaching was formerly reserved for top leaders. The main issue was cost. The other was more of a philosophical mindset: coaching was for the "most important" members of an organization. Today's flatter, less-hierarchical organizations, along with the recognition that engaged, developed employees add significant value to a company's performance, have raised awareness that organizations can utilize coaching to improve performance at all levels. Coupling that understanding with technological advancements, the cost of coaching has come down significantly, and accessibility has gone up.

A stronger commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion has also created a new demand for more democratic coaching as organizations realize it is not enough to hire more women and minorities. They also need a solid development strategy to ensure their investment and efforts are worthwhile. Coaching is one way to help ensure the ongoing success of diverse talent.

Finally, organizations are faced with increasingly rapid change and shifting priorities. As a result, they need to get all employees up to speed faster so they can fully contribute sooner. Coaching is a proven way to speed development in a complex world that requires hard-to-teach soft skills, such as resilience, emotional intelligence, and collaboration.

related content: why democratised coaching is the solution to help you win the talent war.

coaching: the evolved development resource

Coaching no longer resides in the executive suite. It is a career development resource for all employees. It is so valued, some individuals, especially younger workers, pursue coaching at their own expense. RiseSmart research found that of those who are self-funding, 19% of Gen Z and young Millennials are more likely than any other generations to pay their own way. Of those not currently being coached, 90% say they would engage with an employer’s coaching program if offered the opportunity to do so. 

People who have worked with a career coach are highly positive about the experience and the value it delivers. They reported results that included feeling: 

  • More confident in their work
  • Optimistic about their potential to be a good manager or leader
  • More engaged at work
  • More prepared for their next internal position/role/opportunity
  • Less stressed or anxious at work
  • More connected to their company

Coaching can improve communications within and between teams, it can provide employees with the tools and tactics to better deal with difficult situations at work, and it can provide inspiration or creativity to think more openly at work. It can also provide the impetus to reskill and upskill, helping fill critical skills gaps for employers.

coaching and retention

Even with so many employees expressing an interest in changing jobs in today’s volatile market, a more nuanced look at the numbers indicates that employees may be ready for new challenges but not necessarily new employers. The majority ― 87% ― would be perfectly happy to find an opportunity with their current organization. This wish is even stronger among younger workers, with 100% of Gen Z and 93% of young Millennials expressing a preference for internal mobility. Employees are only leaving their current place of employment when they sense no possibility of internal movement. 

Coaching can help employees prepare for the future. Working with a coach can open up an array of learning and assessment tools as well as topics of interest to explore that can provide an immediate means to assuage that yearning for forward momentum. Coaching doesn’t guarantee a promotion, but it does help an employee develop the skills to take on new challenges when the right opportunity presents itself.

Democratized coaching unlocks possibilities for every employee and uncovers opportunities for the organizations that allow them to explore a better tomorrow.

For additional insights into just how remarkable coaching can be for an organization, you may wish to take a closer look at our research in “unleashing worklife possibilities: the worklife coaching report 2022.”

24 January 2023
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