A win-win situation-Coaching clearly benefits employers, employees;
Companies use tool to help retain their top talent.
Faced with widespread retention challenges and a tight labor market, employers are becoming increasingly resourceful about holding on to their talent. One strategy organizations have used successfully is coaching - an innovative benefit that's gaining recognition - for key employees whom the organization wants to retain. The coached managers increase their relationship skills - primarily in areas of emotional intelligence - and the organization gains satisfied employees. It's a win-win for the workplace.
What is coaching?
Coaching is a one-to-one relationship in which a coach helps a client to set and attain professional or personal goals. Coaches encourage clients - frequently managers or emerging leaders - to define their objectives, and they provide the structure and reinforcement for them to achieve results. Most important, coaches help clients to stay focused on goals and to sustain results over time. For many people, coaching is a transforming experience because their coach becomes their personal advocate, supporter and champion.
Who uses a coach and why?
Some clients have identified specific professional areas - communication skills, conflict resolution, projecting oneself well at meetings - that they want to develop so they can accomplish more in their current jobs or to advance to the next level. Other clients seek personal growth and want to focus on creating more work/family balance; managing time more effectively or examining the larger picture by exploring life purpose issues. Coaches facilitate the process so the client can achieve results by way of action plans. Basically, coaches help clients to remove the struggle and to focus on advancing the progress.
How mainstream is coaching?
Coaching has gained wide acceptance as a benefit many companies provide for employees they want to retain or develop. "Many organizations - including the federal government - have been paying for coaching for their managers and future leaders for more than a decade," according to Brenda Smith, a professional effectiveness coach who is president of Pittsburgh-based Peoplesmith Global and host of the Greater Pittsburgh chapter of the International Coach Federation. "More companies are realizing that relationship skills are just as necessary for excellent managers as technical expertise," Ms. Smith said. Human resource professionals have been referring to coaches for years. More recently, as knowledge of the field has increased, some individuals seek coaching independently to change a habit, master a skill or create a more satisfying life.
What positive things happen when you use a coach?
One initial benefit is that you stop putting things off. Another is that you stop putting up with things that drain your energy such as inadequate organizational skills or reluctance to assert yourself in a positive way. Your coach helps you to create better and more achievable goals and you begin to take action immediately. As you overcome inertia, you generate momentum and your successes accumulate.
Why does coaching work?
Coaching works because it's a collaborative effort between coach and client and because there is built-in accountability that sustains motivation. Coaches work with clients to create action plans that include concrete and specific smaller goals leading toward the overall desired result. A client whose goal is increased relationship skills learns to identify intermediate goals such as understanding different personality styles or becoming a better listener. These areas are further translated into concrete strategies for progressing toward the goal. Clients discover core values that make setting priorities easier. Another reason that coaching works is that regular sessions keep the momentum going and the energy level high.