Learning and Development (L&D) is a growing concern for most businesses, with 94% of top performing businesses saying L&D is critical to their success. Yet many fear their budgets are being wasted on poor initiatives; just 12% of employees report actually using the skills they learn during L&D programs.
The obvious remedy is to embrace personalised coaching, which is currently becoming far more accessible and scalable with the aid of digital platforms like Upskill Coach. But many leaders are still unclear as to how coaching will actually benefit their business.
The research is clear, of course: 80% of people who receive coaching report increased self-confidence, and 86% of companies report a net profit from implementing coaching. But in order to help leaders properly understand the benefits of coaching, we’ve talked with some of our most esteemed and experienced coaches about how they see coaching impacting their clients’ businesses.
Changing employees’ perspective
Aries Yeo argues that while many businesses offer emotional and psychological support for their employees, it is usually not holistic enough to properly deal with their problems.
She says that stress is a serious problem in the corporate world – and she would know, having been a successful banker for over twenty years. Unlike other benefits, Aries believes that coaching helps employees properly change their perspective – and this, in turn, allows them to better handle their roles.
“Coaching – especially in combination with things like Mindfulness training and positive intelligence – not only able to calm the fuzziness of the mind. More importantly, steering the person from the negativity of the environment & self into the positive mindset based on scientific-based evidence can truly help a person to better their relationship, wellness and performance,” she says. “There’s no way to stop certain roles creating stress. But if you can learn to build these mental muscle, the results are remarkable.”
Coaching produces better leadership
Sue Gammons works a great deal with managers and leaders, developing their skills, self-awareness and confidence. She argues that many of the most tangible results of coaching are in specific targeted areas, but that those gains tend to expand into other areas too as an individual becomes more generally competent and confident.
“I worked with a line-manager recently, and he had been given pretty poor reviews by his staff in the latest employee survey,” Sue says. “But through coaching, he developed more self-awareness – as well as concrete new skills. So by the time of the next rating, not only had his ratings as a team leader really increased, he was also feeling more confident in his role and enjoying the challenges it provided him.
The ROI of coaching is complex
Lalita Raman points out that the Return on Investment for coaching is far more complex than most people realise. “People want a clear, unambiguous number to put on things,” she says. “Even though the ROI has been well established in research, people are still sometimes skeptical because the difference coaching makes isn’t always tangible.”
What Lalita stresses, however, is the cumulative benefits across multiple dimensions. From customer complaints being resolved more quickly to teams communicating better, coaching often manifests in less overt measures like employee satisfaction and retention.
There are also huge time savings, in Lalita’s experience: “Through coaching, a job which previously took two hours takes just half an hour. How much of that time is used to increase productivity elsewhere? And how does that productivity then contribute to the business’s revenue?”
These are not clear-cut questions, but they make the point perfectly: coaching impacts businesses at the level of the individual. And as JP Morgan’s recent report shows, nothing is more powerful – or valuable – for a business than properly empowered and engaged employees.
Conclusion: coaching becomes a culture
Ultimately, the biggest benefit of coaching is that it creates a feeling within organisations of continual individual learning and improvement.
“Many businesses are extending coaching across their whole organisation,” Lalita observes. “And that is really great. Because if you’re able to develop a coaching culture and make people believe in themselves and see their strengths, it generates faith and enthusiasm in what you’re collectively doing.”
Tell us, we’d love to hear:
What has been your experience with coaching in your organisation?
Is coaching an important part of your leadership development strategy?
Have you used internal or external coaches?
Have you seen a return on investment with your coaching programmes?