Creating a workplace culture that increases productivity, improves revenue, and leads to a happier and more engaged workforce is ideal for any organization. Recently, companies have been seeing the benefits of coaching cultures, which can do all these things and more.
What Does It Mean To Have A Coaching Culture?
Creating a coaching culture at work means implementing coaching methods to help employees and teams improve and grow.
Peter Hawkins, the author of Creating a Coaching Culture, says: “a coaching culture exists in an organization when a coaching approach is a key aspect of how the leaders, managers, and staff engage and develop all their people and engage their stakeholders, in ways that create increased individual, team, and organizational performance and shared value for all stakeholders.”
Why Is Coaching Culture Important?
Cultivating a coaching atmosphere in the workplace has several advantages for employers and employees. Research has found that organizations with coaching cultures earn more and have higher employee engagement levels. The Human Capital Institute and the International Coach Federation study found 46 percent of companies reported higher revenue than competitors without strong coaching cultures at work. Sixty-one percent reported higher engagement levels.
With Gallup reporting that just 36 percent of employees are engaged, and 14 percent are actively disengaged, organizations need to increase those numbers.
Developing a coaching culture is an effective solution to dwindling levels of employee engagement.
5 Steps To Developing A Coaching Culture In Your Organization
Developing a coaching culture in your organization will take some planning and effort, but the rewards will be worth it. Here are five steps you can take on your journey to ingrain coaching into the culture of your workplace.
1. Advocate for the benefits of coaching cultures (for individuals and teams)
Employees must understand how a coaching culture will impact them directly. Talk to them about the benefits and what they have to gain. Share with them the value that coaching culture can have on their work and growth.
2. Get leadership on board
Enthusiasm can be passed from the top down in an organization. Have leaders discuss the benefits of coaching cultures and demonstrate them.
Research into hundreds of organizations has shown that companies with strong coaching cultures are 60 percent more likely to have leadership promoting it.
Results like these have led to a rise in leadership coaching, which is essential to build a robust coaching culture.
3. Build a learning culture too! Encourage knowledge sharing
Provide learning opportunities for employees to gain a deeper understanding of coaching and its methods. These can be offered in-person workshops or training sessions or through online or virtual learning.
Offering training around topics like how to give feedback, negotiation, problem-solving, conflict resolution and delegation allows coaching culture to take shape within your organization. Companies that have successfully built coaching cultures are 40 percent more likely to offer coaching training.
As employees learn how to coach better they’ll share that knowledge with their peers. By doing so they’ll reinforce their own learning and engage in knowledge sharing–something key to organizational success.
4. Organize group and 1-on-1 mentoring
While mentoring and coaching are different, workplace mentoring programs enhance your coaching culture efforts.
The key is that mentoring programs have objectives and goals designed to accelerate employee development. You can pair employees together with mentors and encourage them to define their long-term career goals. Mentors will support them and help them reach these goals.
You can also organize group mentoring sessions. These can be places where peers coach each other, share ideas and offer encouragement. Peer learning helps to strengthen company culture and has a number of other benefits too.
5. Share the successes of coaching and mentoring with others
Uncovering and sharing stories of how coaching or mentoring has been successful can help employees see the value and want to be involved.
It is also vital that leaders and managers share their positive coaching experiences with others. Doing this tells employees that you’ve had a great experience and want them to have that same experience.
Document coaching relationships in your organization that have led to positive outcomes. Share these stories with others in your organization. Hearing about these successes can motivate others to become coaches or open them up to being coached themselves.
Resources To Build A Coaching Culture
Ongoing learning is a major factor in coaching cultures. Here are some resources you can use to continue learning and cultivating a coaching environment for your organization.
This podcast offers conversations about coaching, particularly the day-to-day realities. It can be used to help support you as you work on creating a culture of coaching for your teams and organization.
Creating a Coaching Culture Book by Peter Hawkins
In this book, the author shares a 7-step model that you can use to build a coaching culture in your company.
The steps are:
- Develop a panel of external coaches where necessary
- Develop internal coaching and mentoring relationships
- Get leaders on board
- Include individual and group sessions
- Embed coaching in HR and performance management processes
- Coaching becomes the predominant style for managing
- Organizations default to coaching with all stakeholders
Coach Culture: A Playbook for Winning in Business book by Shawna Corden
This book offers an outline that guides you develop the ideal coaching program for your unique organization.
This podcast is hosted by Silicon Valley coach, Kim Scott. Episodes regularly have advice on how to offer better feedback and coaching as a manager.
Ted Talk - Millennial Leadership: Stop Complaining, Start Coaching
Millennials are looking for coaches and mentors in the workplace, and leadership and sales development expert, Danita Bye, discusses how to give them what they need.
Ted Talk - Leaders who coach are creating better workplaces, and so can you.
CEO of Leaders Today, Saba Imru-Mathieu, talks about why more organizations want to create coaching cultures and how it can help develop top talent at your company.
Coaching Culture and Your Workplace
Building a coaching culture in your organization requires effort, but it offers significant advantages, such as higher revenue and a more engaged workforce as indicated by numerous studies.
For companies serious about building a coaching culture it starts with how your employees connect with one another. Your leaders need to build relationships with more junior employees to form mentoring relationships and colleagues at all levels need to engage each other in peer development.
The best way to do this is through workplace mentoring programs. For large organizations, this can be a daunting task–how do you get leaders on board? Who will join? How do you assign pairings? Should it be in groups or 1-on-1?
These are our favourite questions at Together where we build mentorship software to help leading companies like Heineken, 7-11, Randstad, and more run best in class mentoring programs. Check out our guides on starting formal mentoring or peer learning programs to learn more about enabling knowledge sharing in your teams.