Here's a great ROI
Do you have a coach yet? The best performers in any discipline all seem to have coaches or mentors these days. There is good reason for this and studies are now proving the benefits and ROI of coaching for leaders and managers, not just sports professionals and performers.
A study by DBM and the Human Capital Institute, "Trends in Executive Coaching: New Research Reveals Emerging Best Practices" shows organizations increasingly are using executive coaching to enhance performance across the enterprise. Of study respondents who calculate ROI, 77 percent believe executive coaching provides their organizations with a solid return. These individuals estimate levels ranging from a minimum of 100 percent ROI to more than a 500 percent return.
These are pretty impressive results that people feel they are getting from coaching. So why is coaching so effective and gaining in popularity over the last few years? What is the difference between coaching and training? Can coaching replace training? The answer to these questions depends on the situation and the needs of the individual.
The aforementioned study was focused on executive coaching but coaching can be used at all levels in an organization. The best investment in coaching would be at the leadership level and should be combined with training. The reason is that training provides the knowledge of what to do and how to do it while coaching provides ongoing support to apply the skills or knowledge until it becomes a habit.
The business owner or executive who wants to work less and earn more must gain the knowledge of the leadership style to use to develop people and teams to be autonomous. That means that people need to be able to work together and solve problems on their own. And the problems that are the hardest for people to solve on their own are communication problems and conflict. This is the biggest impediment to teamwork.
Last week I visited a new shoe store that was opened by the son of a friend. I learned that the sales staff were on salary plus shared commission in order to encourage teamwork and consistent customer service. I asked him what happens if one sales person sees another team member who is not doing their job well? He said that they are to let him know and he will deal with the person in question. Now if I was the salesperson who sees a situation with a colleague that needs to be addressed, would I feel comfortable risking my relationship with that person by going to my boss? Would I know how to approach the person myself to tell them what needs to be said to improve performance? Maybe or maybe not. This owner has plans to expand and open more stores but he needs to realize that do so, people need to become self-managed and thus they need to learn all the skills required for teamwork. If not, he may not have the time and energy to devote himself to expansion plans and the compensation system may not work either. The risk is such that if conflicts arise and don't get resolved effectively, he may lose some good people as they will seek a better working environment. Studies show that up to 70% of people leave a job because of a poor relationship with their boss or another employee.
The leader needs to know what people must do to collaborate and work together. People need to learn how to communicate using active listening and how to hold effective meetings and use problem solving techniques such as brainstorming, nominal group technique and forced field analysis. This is essential for people to learn in order to become self-directed and build an organization that is driven by continuous improvement. Of course the other approach is to have strong managers who establish and enforce policies and procedures that people must adhere to. However this does not fuel innovative thinking and drive continuous improvement, but it does keep things under control and is the most common organizational approach. Control also inflicts greater stress on people. A study by the Quebec Statistics Institute shows that 2 out of 5 employees express being very stressed at work and that one quarter of them are taking medication as a result. They claim the main cause of stress is not being able to use their talents and competencies sufficiently, lack of decision making authority and feeling pressured psychologically. This all comes from working in a controlled type of organization.
Thus coaching for a leader is necessary to incorporate an organizational strategy that will transform an organization over time from a control style of management to a participative style. This requires developing the leadership and collaborative qualities of both managers and employees. This is the job of the leader and to think that one can do it alone without any training or coaching is simply dreaming.
Do you want to develop yourself and your organization? We are developing new ways to help leaders get coaching and will soon be announcing an online learning and coaching system. This can supplement or replace face to face coaching. We will be announcing this in the next few weeks so stay tuned or contact me for more information.