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It will require new skills, new processes, new structures and new ways of thinking. No one is going to have all the answers. And that's why creating a coaching culture is going to be crucial to thriving in the new economy. In this new world, everyone is going to work things out at the same time.
After all, there is no manual for how to recover after a global pandemic. People should offer each other a little more understanding and empathy, supporting each other more to forge the path forward. And so, to a certain extent, we must all become students at the same time as teachers. And that's exactly what a coaching culture should help you achieve.
One of the biggest mistakes we see is the assumption that coaching is a top-down concept. According to DDI's definition of coaching culture, all team members, regardless of level or role, help each other to do their best by creating a safe space for everyone to learn new skills and grow. So, ideally, you should have four types of trainers in your company. The most obvious is that the leader is directly accountable.
Without a doubt, this coaching relationship is the backbone of your culture. However, people also need advice from their peers, external coaches, and leaders, even their direct reports. The key is that no one is above feedback and growth. Everyone should be open to learning.
After all, you can't expect most leaders to be experts at everything. Therefore, they must accept advice from others, regardless of their position in the organization chart. The key elements are having leaders with the competence and confidence to train, motivate and develop others. Organizations have a culture of coaching when people, especially leaders, have better conversations that take into account the practical and personal needs of the person being trained.
In addition, companies in which people receive advice in any form (that is,. Most importantly, they're more satisfied with their progress. Both benefits are key to retaining leadership talent. In short, you can't afford to lose any of these benefits in a new, more competitive economy.
First, to be successful, cultural change initiatives must start from the top. According to HR Daily Advisor, “Organizations with strong training cultures are more than 60% more likely to have senior leaders participate in their training systems. Senior leaders should dedicate time to coaching by including it in their meeting agendas and discussing it in their individual conversations and in their informal conversations. But most importantly, a senior leader must “lead by example”.
When top leaders lead by example, others naturally follow. However, leaders still need to do more. They need to identify people's motivations and position the value that is received both when training and when receiving training. The second step is to provide all leaders at all levels with training skills.
In addition, make sure that people in informal leadership positions (such as project managers and agile leaders) also have these skills. What's the best way to do that? At a minimum, train all leaders in basic leadership skills. These basic skills are a combination of emotional intelligence and training that will allow people to prepare for a task or to learn and improve for the future. Ideally, leaders will also be able to access other resources to support their development.
As such, many companies have created robust learning journeys to empower their leaders to become capable coaches. The result? A big step towards creating a coaching culture that provides you with the benefits we talked about earlier. First, organizations need to develop an action plan to do so. This will help provide support to facilitate the transition to a coaching culture for leaders and their leaders.
Although it is very common to have development activities for a group of students, it is important for each leader to have a personalized follow-up plan that connects to the priorities and business structure of the organization. Some companies develop a mandatory coach training class with follow-up sessions in small groups to analyze training opportunities and share experiences and lessons learned. Other companies take advantage of peer-to-peer coaching, online training simulations, or apps that can provide feedback in a minute or two. Above all, the fundamental element is to create a system and environment that allow everyone to apply what they have learned and receive feedback on their progress.
All the best players in sports or the arts practice regularly and for extended periods of time. It takes the same level of commitment and dedication to become a good coach. And when that commitment is combined with opportunities to train, you're on your way to creating a culture of training. Finally, it's important that everyone be held accountable for their role in creating a successful training culture.
Often, that responsibility lies with leaders, but when there's a coaching culture, it looks and feels completely different. One result of effective coaching is that leaders are developing teams of people who feel supported and empowered to make their own decisions. The resulting accountability system encourages employees to take charge of their performance and encourages managers to take responsibility for the way they train others. How will you know if your organization has this level of responsibility? When all employees at all levels experience coaching conversations on a regular basis.
Advice can be from the manager, a colleague, or a direct report. And coaching can come from inside or outside the organization. In addition, it is important to collect evidence on the effectiveness of training efforts. Do you know who is training successfully? How many coaching conversations are taking place? Leveraging this type of knowledge will inform leaders about what needs to change and how to do it better.
This type of knowledge will show cases in which coaching is working. If your organization is already investing time and money in workplace coaching, why stay there? Deepen and fully embrace the creation of a coaching culture. Make sure that training is done at all levels and as often as possible. The result? You'll see better productivity, more engagement, and higher performance everywhere.
Internal communications are a very important step for everyone to understand why it is important to create a coaching culture. And having the support of top management is an important part of this step. It's essential that members of senior management send messages to the entire organization about why coaching is valuable and how leaders can do it. Leaders must also ensure that what is openly stated becomes part of the unconscious assumptions made by people who work in the organization.
But how can this be done? Leaders must do more than send the message that coaching is important. They need to be positive examples of good coaches for their employees and colleagues to see them in action. As those responsible for creating a culture of coaching, we should not accept “I don't have time” for these types of excuses. We must instill in our people that coaching is one of the most important parts of any leader's work.
How do we do it? Convincing leaders that training is worth training requires a clear explanation of the benefits. And these benefits will be different for each company and possibly even for each team and team leader. However, addressing these points is crucial for everyone to participate. Employees aren't always enthusiastic about coaching.
Many perceive coaching as a form of negative feedback, for example: “You're not doing something right, so let me tell you how to improve. The goal of coaching is to obtain better results and is not intended to be an evaluation tool. In addition, creating a coaching culture is not just about receiving training, but it requires that all employees become coaches for their peers. It's important to show people that they won't have to add anything to the list of what they're doing at work.
Rather, they need to transform their current routines to incorporate coaching. Another obstacle is that, once everyone accepts the idea of creating a coaching culture and wants to move forward with it, they expect to have a very detailed plan of what they should do. Building a coaching culture is about promoting a coaching mentality. It's also about developing leaders who can manage situations in the moment, instead of holding intervention-type meetings to train them and check a box.
A study shows that the ROI of creating a true coaching culture is higher than average earnings and greater employee engagement. In short, we all know how musicians and athletes benefit from training, as do their leaders. While they may not know it, leaders want and need to be part of a coaching culture. This will only happen when they participate in group development, within a supportive environment.
Find out how DDI can help you develop a coaching culture. Bruce Court collaborates with organizations on every aspect of their leadership strategy. He has experience in all facets of designing, developing and executing leadership strategies. Outside of work, Bruce enjoys traveling with his wife, Maureen.
He loves eating at great restaurants, as well as tasting good wines and craft beers. Bruce is also a big fan of soft jazz. Employees in organizations with a high coaching culture were 26% less likely to say that their productivity was affected by the pandemic, compared to employees in organizations with a low coaching culture. Ideally, a culture that encourages a coaching approach to the development of people will use coaching at all levels of the organization, from the first manager to the senior leader.
Punctual coaching consists of brief periods of focused training that also promotes regular feedback as part of the culture: frequent, focused and behavioral feedback. Coaching improves performance, increases retention, creates higher levels of engagement, and provides proven tools and processes for developing leaders both in the moment and in the long term. Regardless of where you are now, BetterUp coaching can help you develop a strong coaching culture in your organization. .