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Why Do Managers Need Coaching Skills? What the Research Says

Why Do Managers Need Coaching Skills? What the Research Says

Imagine you walk into your annual performance review. You aren’t completely sure of what to expect, but you don’t expect anything major to come up. But then it begins, and your boss brings up something that happened months ago. Not only did they not make a big deal of it at the time, but now they don’t even provide you much in terms of feedback or next steps. 

Sounds frustrating, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, this frustrating experience happens all too often when it comes to performance management.

It’s actually one of the many reasons why companies around the world are transitioning away from the traditional performance management model to something more agile that better suits today’s fast-paced, interconnected, and employee-centric workplace. In fact, according to Gartner, 63% of HR leaders in 2020 had switched or were in the process of switching to more agile tactics.

That’s where coaching comes in. Modern and agile performance management demands managers need coaching skills to provide development at the moment, have difficult conversations, and give employees actionable and constructive feedback when needed.

 

Be a Better Coach With the Help of The Beginner's Guide to Coaching Employees.  >>

 

Statistics That Highlight the Importance of Coaching Others

As the emphasis on coaching as part of performance management has grown over the years, researchers have been studying the shift. In fact, here are some of the most notable statistics that highlight the importance of coaching in the workplace:

 

Employees Crave Consistent Coaching and Feedback

The reality is that the younger generations of the workforce have new expectations of the leaders and organizations they work for. For example, 60% of Gen Z employees want multiple check-ins from their managers throughout the week, with 40% of those wanting daily interactions with their manager (Center for Generational Kinetics). They want to establish connections with their direct leaders and open the lines of communication so that they can receive the coaching and feedback they need and want.

 

Positively Effects Employee Engagement

In a study by Fuel50 and Quantum Workplace, it was found that 85% of highly disengaged employees don’t receive enough coaching from their direct leader. This is a problem given that we know employees who prefer coaching from their leaders are 5.6 percentage points more engaged than their peers who forgo coaching.

 

Helps the Bottomline

When leaders have strong coaching skills, it benefits everyone. In fact, organizations whose leaders have developed coaching skills are 130% more likely to see stronger business results and 39% more likely to see stronger employee results, such as engagement, productivity, and customer service.

 

Reduces Turnover

According to Gartner, employees who believe their leaders are effective coaches are 20% more likely to stay at their organizations, 40% more engaged, and exhibit 38% more discretionary effort than those who do not feel the same. In other words, employees who receive coaching in the moment, when it's most applicable and useful, not only appreciate it but value it and see it as a reason to stay with their leader and company.

 

How To Develop Coaching Skills

In the 2022 HR Industry Benchmark Report published by Australian software company ELMO, a lack of leadership training was found to be one of the top reasons for the performance management challenges. The study noted, “This may relate to the sink or swim mentality that many organizations have towards managers, who are often promoted into people management roles due to technical excellence but are not given the tools or support required to fulfill such a role. The nuances of people management – especially relating to performance management – are often overlooked as areas that require skill development.”

This is again highlighted in a Gallup study which found that only about two in 10 managers instinctively know how to coach employees.

Fortunately, there are many training programs, such as Niagara Institute’s Coaching Skills for Managers, available to organizations that are investing in their leader's coaching skills. The key is to look for a training program that is practical more than it is theoretical. This way, managers gain the skills, processes, and tools that they can immediately apply to their everyday life where they are coaching and leading others.

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