Managers are responsible for maximising individual and team performance. But despite this, many managers struggle to deliver effective coaching, and many do not think it is an important part of their job role.
Research suggests that 92 per cent of managers do not believe that coaching is part of their role. Many feel that being so busy and over worked that taking responsibility for coaching is too much of an additional responsibility. What they are missing is the contribution that coaching can play in upskilling and improving the performance of teams and team members and how it can save them time in the long term.
As the benefits of coaching become increasing evident, however, the demand for managers to coach their employees is increasing. The Managers as Coaches Erasmus+ project aims to help managers to develop their own coaching skills using a new and simple coaching methodology.
Managers as Coaches
The changing structure and dynamic of today’s workforce mean that the number of millennials in the labour market is increasing. Research by Deloitte found that in the millennials’ ideal working week there would be significantly more time devoted to the discussion of new ideas and ways of working, on coaching and mentoring and on the development of their leadership skills. People’s expectations of work have changed and now people expect to be engaged and involved in planning, decision-making and working collaboratively – all of which can be greatly assisted using coaching in the workplace.
It is true that in the past, coaching was not part of a manager’s role. Teaching technical or functional skills and reviewing performance was more common, as managers would have moved up the ranks because they had the technical expertise to pass onto their team. However, in today’s workplace, managers cannot be expected to have all the answers, and for this reason coaching has become increasingly important.
One of the challenges for businesses today is understanding that they need to train and develop managers to be effective work-based coaches. Nearly half of managers claim that the reason they do not coach is that they do not know how, with a significant proportion not understanding what coaching really is – this is a challenge that can be addressed through training and projects such as MAC.
Organisations and managers need to understand the importance of coaching in the workplace. It is vital they understand the potential and benefits of coaching as a key skill – one that will be of benefit to them as well as their team members. Managers need to understand that performance improvements come from providing regular feedback and support to team members and NOT just from the annual performance appraisal or training courses.
One of the clear benefits of regular coaching is that there are few surprises for the manager nor team members. Issues are identified and discussed early on thereby helping to avoid those awkward conversations. In contrast, it means that people feel engaged, supported and focused on achieving their targets and goals day-to-day.
Regular feedback and coaching should NOT be confused with ‘micro-management’. Instead, coaching is about ‘checking-in’ with team members rather than ‘checking-up’ on them. It is a collaborative and supportive process rather than a punitive or ‘policing’ activity.
The good news for managers is that it is not necessary to spend months training to be a coach. The MAC project contains everything you need including an interactive board game designed to practice and learn key skills and coaching techniques such as how to ask effective coaching questions.
According to Harvard Business Review, “an effective manager-as-coach asks questions instead of providing answers, supports employees instead of judging them and facilitates their development instead of dictating what has to be done”.
With the biggest cost for most employers being people, investing in training managers as coaches offers the potential for a significant return on the time and money spent training managers. Coaching allows managers and organisations to get the best out of teams and team members – with the right tools and support any manager can become an effective coach.
Managers as Coaches is just one of a new series of management and business training programmes that Exponential Training is rolling out in 2021 and 2022, others include:
Coaching MAPs which has been designed to help business owners and managers use a new coaching methodology focussed on performance improvement.
Growing European Microenterprises (GEM) – this project is about developing the skills of business coaches, advisors and consultants to support enterprises wanting to implement high growth.
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16 April 2021