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The value of coaching to an organisation

EACH year, Channel Island businesses commit considerable budgets to training and development but many have yet to realise the benefits of coaching. Trish Ramsey from the GTA University Centre explains why coaching is a powerful component of the learning and development toolkit.

Today’s business environment is fast moving, complex and ever changing and local companies face the additional challenge of limited human resources. In our experience, there is a real focus in the Channel Islands on developing more efficient high performance teams and workplaces where employee engagement and retention is at the top of the agenda. The use of coaching has untold benefits to organisations and it should be an essential learning and developmental offering in all businesses. Coaching services are generally adopted at the top of the organisation but shouldn’t be limited to just senior executives. Coaching unlocks employee capability at all levels and can motivate employees to make better use of their talent and deliver higher performance.

Businesses with smaller teams stand to benefit more from coaching as it provides greater role clarity and empowers individuals to take on more responsibility, control their own performance and manage their motivation. Coaching allows employees to realise their potential and better use their abilities in order to perform at the levels that are increasingly necessary in today’s highly competitive environment. Companies that provide coaching for their employees demonstrate a commitment to the personal and professional development of their staff. This can help management get the best from their team by improving productivity and maximising potential.

Coaching helps to develop emotional intelligence, a critical attribute for senior managers and leaders who are technically skilled and extremely competent but need to develop the people and relationship management skills which are needed by effective leaders. Managers get the best from their team through greater creativity and involvement leading to better talent management and increased staff retention. A Gallup study carried out in 2015 revealed that just 13% of employees worldwide are fully engaged at work while employees who are supervised by highly engaged managers are 59% more likely to be engaged compared to disengaged managers.  Further studies carried out by the Human Capital Institute and the International Coaching Federation in 2014 identified that 65% of employees from companies with strong coaching cultures rated themselves as highly motivated.

Based on responses from the learning and development managers at 250 large organisations within the UK, the Institute of Leadership & Management found that almost every organisation recognised the benefits of coaching and the more employees an organisation has, the more likely it is to employ professional coaches (2011). Research revealed that only 52% of companies made it available to all staff compared to 85% who said coaching was aimed at managers, directors and middle management.

‘Good coaching is about achieving a high performance culture, not managing a low-performance one.’ – Institute of Learning and Management (ILM).

In the past, companies most often employed coaches to address toxic behaviour at the top of the organisation but today most coaching aims to develop the capabilities of high potential performers. As a result, organisations need to consider more carefully how they should select and measure the effectiveness of the coach.

The GTA University Centre is seeing a growing demand for coaching and we have been developing the services we offer to suit all business sectors and the wider community. We work with many professional coaches based both here and in the UK as we recognise that a one size fits all approach to learning and development simply doesn’t work.

Coaching creates greater self-awareness and responsibility and therefore individuals have greater accountability for their own performance and their contribution to the team. The focus on individuals’ skills and knowledge provides an opportunity to understand how to manage performance, improve productivity and maximise potential, and provides a focus on behaviour allowing employees to understand their levels of personal power and influence. This enables employees to understand their impact on others which leads to improved relationships, increased productivity and better collaboration.

Personal and organisational development now takes many forms and often personal development plans involve a combination of different learning methods. Coaching is a very useful way of developing people’s skills and abilities, and of boosting performance. It can also help deal with issues and challenges before they become major problems. Globally it is becoming increasingly popular and so we believe that more and more local organisations will be incorporating coaching into their learning and development plans.

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5th February, 2016

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