I love being part of a team, when I was growing up I tried to join as many as possible – my school teams and also club teams. Being on a team helped me grow in many different ways; it taught me how to communicate, cooperate, be persistent, and also taught me how to win and how to lose. Practices were spent running drills and trying to improve our technique and we applied what we learned during games. My coaches were there to guide us and help us grow but also provide feedback and support. Organizations who treat employees like team members instead of just employees see greater employee satisfaction.
Businessdictionary.com defines coaching as Extending traditional training methods to include focus on (1) an individual’s needs and accomplishments, (2) close observation, and (3) impartial and non-judgmental feedback on performance.
The key difference between sports coaches and workplace coaches is that workplace coaches collaborate and build on the employee’s skills while a sports coach is usually an expert and will develop a certain skill in a precise way. In the workplace coaches are able to take a softer approach and develop a plan that is unique for the employee – they consider their work environment, the company’s values, the employee’s current position and their career track, monitor their progress and provide feedback.
There are many benefits of workplace coaching – I will list four that I believe have the most impact:
1. Increase Retention – Coaching is an investment into an employee and will make the employee feel valued in their role. When an employee feels validated and supported they develop a closer relationship with their managers, or supervisors and with the company as a whole – which reduces the chances of a great employee leaving because they are unhappy.
2. Build Skills – Employees who are coached are able to strengthen and develop new skills. People want to do a good job – no one comes to work each day wanting to fail. Coaching allows employees to build their skills and improve their day to day performance.
3. Increase Productivity – Coaching an employee requires goals to be set, setting SMART goals allow the employee to measure the results to their goals. SMART goals are defined as:
Setting SMART goals ensures that the employee is always working towards improvement – which will help them remain productive or achieve productivity sooner than if no goals were set.
4. Feedback – receiving and providing feedback is a very important skill for all employees. Coaching sessions allow for the coach to provide both positive and negative feedback to the coachee. Objective feedback will identify areas of excellence or areas that need improvement. Through coaching the coach and the coachee can identify a solution and set direction for the employee.
Playing sports and being a part of team-based activities has allowed me to fully appreciate workplace coaching. Having a coach in the workplace allows me to realize my full potential while always developing new skills and attaining new goals – coaching allows the organization to build a team. We’ve all heard the old saying “You’re only as strong as your weakest link” – coaching helps the entire organization improve their skills and performance instead of relying on a few key employees to “carry the team”. With this in mind workplace coaching is a great investment not only for the company’s bottom line but for all employees.
Renée Lewis, Account Manager