Coaching is seen by some as a luxury, an added expense that offers little in the way of tangible results, and there are still some who question the value coaching adds to a business’s bottom line. However, the very nature of human development requires resources such as relationships, networks and alliances to grow and flourish. Therefore, coaching is about so much more than just achieving goals within a business context. While it is not always easy to measure, it is important for businesses to focus on the outcomes that coaching can deliver and understand that it plays an invaluable role in enhancing performance and helping individuals and teams leverage their potential.
Coaching empowers individual growth and strategic alignment
Workplaces need to be more than the business KPIs they strive for and account for the human side of business that influences them. When coaching is done right, it helps people to experience firsthand what they can achieve when leveraging their strengths to overcome the obstacles they will sometimes encounter, and how a more strategic focus can positively impact their life and work. It can also create a perspective that looks forward and what is possible, not just what’s been done before. In this way, coaching creates a space for them to develop their skills and leverage their experience further. It also helps businesses to achieve better results by ensuring a person’s focus and effort is fully aligned with the company’s strategy and purpose. Coaching allows employees to have greater clarity on what they need to do, how to adapt, and what resources they need to support their goals – both personally and professionally. As such, coaching should not be seen as a soft option or an added expense, but rather as an investment that underpins success.
While businesses tend to appreciate the importance of investing in human knowledge, skills and development (human capital), there’s also a need to recognize that this is closely linked with social capital (relationships, partnerships, and support networks) and the two concepts together are what allows optimal performance in the workplace. Simply put, coaching is an investment in human capital that can yield tremendous results, where the goals of succeeding at work and outside of work are not mutually exclusive.
Counting the cost of misalignment
While there is increasing recognition of the interconnectivity between performing at work and achieving personal goals, businesses who fail to acknowledge this link are at risk of high staff turnover in key roles, restricted growth, having disconnected and underperforming teams, and often have an inability to capitalise on market opportunities. While the response to these issues may lead an organisation to seek coaching, coaching can help to avoid them in the first place.
Coaching is a tool that can help unlock a person’s potential and enable them to thrive in all areas of their life and, when done well, allow organizations to develop a workplace culture focused on optimal performance. So, while there may be some scepticism around coaching and its value, many businesses recognize that it’s an investment in people and relationships that underpins success both in and out of the workplace. The key is to link coaching with the desired outcomes for the business and a person’s longer-term development.