It’s no coincidence that behind almost every major sporting victory, there’s a strong coach. A good leader can inspire their team to go for the gold, defeat the competition and defy even the most stacked odds. And this coaching culture is wildly effective both on the field and in the workplace.
Managers who approach their leadership roles as coaches, rather than as towering authority figures, can greatly influence your company’s overall environment, job satisfaction and, ultimately, the success of your business. This team-centric culture can improve productivity, employee morale, work relationships and much more.
Here are some tips for creating a coaching culture in your office, and why this leadership style is so beneficial.
What Is a Coaching Culture?
Coaching in the workplace occurs when managers offer employees tools to learn new skills and become even more valuable assets to the company. It emphasizes regular feedback, training, and opportunities for personal and professional growth.
In a coaching environment, workplace leaders are empathetic and patient, and micromanaging gets the bench. Leaders help employees set goals, support them as they work and provide feedback on their performance along the way.
When a coaching culture aligns with an organization’s larger business strategy—which it should—it often produces a more enthusiastic, engaged workforce. So keep your company’s strategy and values in mind when staffing management roles. For instance, if you value an inclusive and open workplace, you’ll want people in upper management who are approachable, supportive and available.
What Are the Benefits of Workplace Coaching?
Coaching differs from other management styles because it emphasizes team-building and personal growth. Managers take a hands-on approach and hold employees accountable for their performance, without explicitly telling them what to do. Unlike, say, an autocratic management style, coaching styles give employees a voice in decision-making.
Coaching in the workplace offers employees numerous benefits, such as:
- Increased productivity.
- Greater employee engagement.
- Stronger workplace relationships.
- Faster leadership development.
- Better team functioning.
- Increased job satisfaction.
- More trust and loyalty.
Under this kind of leadership culture, employees feel empowered to be the very best versions of themselves. Why? Because they have autonomy within a coaching environment, as opposed to always being told what to do. So how do you get there? Follow these simple steps:
1. Create a Plan
Embed coaching strategies into performance management and HR systems, and put your plan in writing before implementing it. If you must hire additional staff, now’s the time to do so. Use employee assessments to determine what they most value at work and which learning styles they prefer. Do they like hands-on learning, self-taught online courses, off-site conferences or group classes? Integrate your findings into your coaching strategy.
2. Recruit Strong Coaches
After devising your plan, recruit talented internal or external coaches to lead your company. Actively seek out employees with coaching experience or choose adaptable employees willing to train for the role. Good candidates are empathetic, flexible, patient and caring. Assemble an internal coaching staff with diverse backgrounds. External coaches can be useful during major company-wide shifts.
3. Customize Training
Because every employee has different learning styles and needs, customized leadership training makes sense. A coaching culture values employee input. Offer employees opportunities to participate in additional personal and professional growth activities. Give them a list of optional training courses, conferences in the area or professional groups they can join to hone their skills.
4. Focus on Team-Building
Strong teams make for stronger organizations, which are, in turn, staffed with employees who find their jobs fulfilling. Emphasize team-building activities at and outside the office to strengthen employee relationships and increase engagement. Plan company-wide picnics, team-building escape room outings, outdoor company retreats, team fun runs or wellness challenges. Reward teams who collaborate effectively and meet production goals.
5. Lead by Example
To demonstrate effective coaching, lead by example. Empathize with employees’ needs, give them positive feedback whenever possible and show them you have their best interests in mind. Make it known that each employee’s role within the company is substantial and appreciated.
Set goals for yourself and the company as a whole, and avoid making company-wide decisions without consulting with your team. Make yourself available when employees have concerns, and take an inviting, compassionate approach. Building a coaching culture in the workplace is simple when you have the right tools.
To learn more about managing employee benefits, explore the employer toolkit on United Concordia Dental’s website.