Recruiting and retaining talent, employee engagement, high performance work teams and creating a coaching culture; these have been the repeated themes percolating in organizations this year and are the focus for many organizations’ 2016 goals.
In October, the results were released from the August 2015 research on building a coaching culture and its connection to employee engagement. This research was a collaboration of the International Coach Federation (ICF) and the Human Capital Institute (HCI). The ICF is a 24,000 member global organization. HCI is known as the global association for talent management.
In this study (340 responses from companies of all sizes), 88 percent agree that employee engagement is important for their organization and 70 percent of respondents report that their organization measures it.
When asked, “What is your organization doing to increase employee engagement?” the top four responses were:
- Create opportunities for employees to stretch and gain skills – 70 percent
- Enable managers to use coaching skills – 60 percent
- Offer opportunities for meaningful work – 56 percent
- Give employees more ownership of work – 53 percent
The researchers note that many factors influence employees’ engagement, but organizations that offer coaching report higher engagement levels compared to the previous year across all employee segments.
The research talks about three modalities or ways that coaching can be delivered. They include:
External coach: a self-employed professional coach practitioner or someone who partners with other professional coaches to form a coaching business. (This is what I am.)
Internal coach: a professional coach practitioner, who is employed within an organization and has specific coaching responsibilities identified in his or her job description. (This is usually not this person’s sole job, but part of his or her overall responsibilities.)
Manager/leader using coaching skills: a leader who works with his or her direct reports within the organization to create awareness and support behavior change of employees. This is accomplished using coaching knowledge, approaches and skills. (There are many options for providing managers and leaders with the opportunity to learn coaching skills. Call me.)
The research found that the use of all modalities has increased this year. The use of external coach practitioners has grown the most (increased 12 percentage points) over the past year. The use of internal coach practitioners has increased by seven points and managers/leaders using coaching skills by two points.
The Shift in Power
With research like this from ICF and HCI, the good news is an increased attention on employee engagement and coaching. More people at all levels have access to coaching now. It is increasingly viewed as a perk to help professionals get to the next level in their careers.
But not everyone is singing this tune. This past summer I spoke at a conference on the topic of preparing the next generation of employees. When I asked for a show of hands of whose companies that offer coaching, a mentor program or leadership development training, there were only a smattering of raised hands for each option.
So, here’s a little encouragement to think about when adding coaching as a development option and offering coaching skills training to your 2016 goals. An October 2015 Harvard Business Review article shows the shift in power when it comes to talent. When recruiters were asked, “How would you describe today’s labor market?”, — 90 percent said it was candidate-driven versus only 10 percent employer-driven. Ninety percent! This is a huge shift from just four years ago, when in 2011 the balance of power was reported as closer to 50-50 between employers and candidates.
As you develop 2016 goals, look to see what can be put in place to begin to develop a strong coaching culture. The ICF and HCI research found that organizations allocate 14 percent of their training budget for coaching initiatives (up from 11 percent in 2014). Those with strong coaching cultures allocate even more of their training budget toward coaching. By having a strong coaching culture in place, you will reap the benefits of higher employee engagement and a stronger financial performance.
Susan Combs, MBA and Professional Certified Coach, works with coaching clients to create fresh starts, enhance their leadership skills and increase their confidence. She is an authorized licensee of The Fit Leader’s Program®. Susan provides one-on-one coaching, DiSC team-building training, and manages corporate mentor programs. She lives in Lansing with her 11-year-old son, Max, and their high-energy golden retriever puppy. Visit SusanCombsCoaching.com or MentorRoadmap.com for more information.
Susan Combs, MBA and Professional Certified Coach, works with coaching clients to create fresh starts, enhance their leadership skills and increase their confidence. She is an authorized licensee of the Fit Leader's Program. Susan provides one-on-one coaching, DiSC team-building training and manages corporate mentor programs. She lives in Lansing with her son, Max, and their golden retriever puppy. Visit SusanCombsCoaching.com or MentorRoadmap.com for more information.