Why build a coaching culture?
Coaching improves performance, increases retention, creates higher levels of engagement and provides tools and proven processes for developing leaders both in-the-moment and in the longer-term coaching engagement.
According to Korn Ferry’s 2017 Talent Forecast survey, the number one reason why great candidates chose a company is because of the culture. Culture is molded by the practices and modeling of the leaders inside the organization and a coaching approach to leadership development cultivates a culture where great leaders want to work.
In the HCI – ICF 2014 Study on Coaching Cultures, of those organizations self-described with successful coaching cultures “nearly two-thirds rate their organizations as being ‘highly engaged,’ compared to only about half for organizations without strong coaching cultures. In terms of financial impact, 60% of respondents from organizations with strong coaching cultures report their 2013 revenue to be above their peer group, compared to 41% from all other companies. Based on these results, it becomes clear that coaching is more than just a way to increase employees’ skills and competencies; it can have a long-lasting systemic impact on an organization’s ability to retain talent and on its financial sustainability.
What is a coaching culture?
Culture shapes behaviors inside the organization and a coaching culture is one deliberately focused on growing and nurturing talent in order to deliver key results, strengthen leadership capacities, increase retention and deepen engagement. A culture that has cultivated a coaching approach to development often demonstrates the following characteristics:
- Giving and receiving feedback in the service of being at one’s best
- Focusing on opportunities to help members of one’s team grow
- Operating in teams with clear goals and roles
- Developing others when it matters most
- Asking and empowering more than telling and fixing
When coaching is embedded through all levels of an organization it creates a culture of employees who work and lead together with a common goal of building a best-in-class organization.
How does a coaching culture evolve?
Every organization will find a unique path to building out a culture that emphasizes a coaching approach. For some, it begins with using a few external executive coaches to work with specific leaders where high-stakes issues are at hand. In others, a single sponsor will instill coaching at the managerial level or others build out a small internal cadre of coaches to provide short-term coaching opportunities for mid-level leaders. As the impact of coaching is evidenced, organizations begin to develop a coordinated strategy across business units.
Ideally, a culture that fosters a coaching approach to developing people will utilize coaching at all levels of the organization— from the early manager to the senior leader. The spokes of the wheel of a strong coaching culture include a traditional, external cadre of coaches for predominantly C-Suite leaders, internal coach cadres for mid- to senior-level leaders, Spot Coaching skills for managers—and a coaching mindset that permeates the entire organization.