Best Practices for Employee Development in Executive and Management Coaching

In a perfect world, the outstanding entry-level recruit you hired right out of college would grow and develop throughout her career with your company, eventually growing into a key leader who learned from every role she had as she ascended the corporate ladder.

Although not all employees will want to stay with the same company throughout their careers, when the chance to retain and develop an existing resource rather than hiring outside arises, it may be beneficial to both the individual and the company. To take advantage of this sort of opportunity, you’ll need the right tools and resources to assist your outstanding individual contributor in making the shift to team leader and manager. Employers have traditionally relied on training programmes to build these abilities, but in recent years, the focus has shifted to a different tool for talent management: management coaching.

What is the definition of management coaching?

Previously, coaching was not given as a perk but rather imposed on those unfortunate individuals who failed to meet their professional objectives. The term “coaching” was synonymous with “remedial training” and implied failure from the executive suite to the cubicle. Being coached was the final stop on the railroad to termination for many. Thankfully, those days are gone, and savvy business leaders and HR professionals have realised that coaching can be a great benefit for high performers and can (when properly implemented) turn things around for a struggling employee rather than being a last-ditch attempt to salvage a bad business decision.

While coaching, especially life or personal coaching, has grown in popularity in recent years, the business as a whole is still in its infancy. Coaching is provided by a wide range of professionals. Others are re-branded consultants or psychologists with freshly issued qualifications from training institutes (many of which have sprung up in recent years to capitalise on the profession’s growing popularity among job changers). Although some efforts (most notably by the International Coach Federation) have been made to standardise coaching qualifications, most practising coaches are judged on their expertise and interaction with potential customers rather than any official certification procedure. While there are various types of coaching, the one that most concerns company managers and HR executives is executive coaching, which takes place as part of an employee development programme.

The act of coaching C-level personnel or persons at the highest echelon of management is technically referred to as “executive coaching.” While there is undeniable value in focused programmes for these important individuals, this sort of assistance has lately been extended to all levels of the business, and as a result has been known as “management coaching.” The aims are basically the same, regardless of the target audience: to increase the effectiveness and performance of the person, with the purpose of enhancing (by extension) the organisation as a whole.

What is the Process of Coaching?

What methods do management coaches use to help their customers make these changes? Simply defined, a coach assists a person in identifying his or her talents and limitations, as well as guiding them through the execution of tactics to maximise their strengths while minimising their deficiencies. The capacity of coaching to focus on the unique requirements of the individual manager being trained, as seen through the lens of their organisational ecology, is the essential value of coaching. While training may help with basic skills like time management and planning, coaching allows the manager to focus on the specific difficulties they have in their workplace and build customised solutions to solve them. Coaching is one of the fastest and most successful strategies for resolving workplace performance challenges because of the trusted adviser connection and strong focus on practical skills.

Another advantage of management coaching is that it focuses on the individual being coached’s skill development. Rather than creating a dependent relationship in which the manager must always rely on (and have access to) his or her mentor, a good coach will try to lessen the amount of reliance their client has on them, hence increasing the client’s confidence and self-sufficiency. The bulk of active coaching occurs in the first 90 days of a coaching partnership, with most engagements lasting between 6 and 12 months. So, what occurs during a coaching session exactly?

Often, the interaction begins with the stakeholders identifying clear, concrete goals and targets, which serve as the coaching process’s overall success measures. Implementing a 360-degree feedback survey is one technique to find out what concerns are there. By obtaining feedback from an individual’s bosses, coworkers, and direct reports, the coach may focus on developing an executable plan to address any inadequacies as well as develop abilities in particular areas such as time management and communication.

The GROW approach, which stands for Goal, Reality, Options, and Will, is used by certain trainers. Coaches can guide their clients through a structured process to achieve their goals by defining the goal, taking into account the current realities of the environment in which they operate, identifying options to achieve the goal, and then applying the individual’s will or commitment to complete the process. Other coaches employ a comprehensive approach to leadership development, incorporating components of self-awareness and personal growth into the process. Each coach will have their own style, and a fruitful connection between the coach, the company as a whole, and the individual being coached is a vital aspect in the success of a coaching relationship.

Organizations seeking coaching for their managers and executives should meet with potential coaches to learn about their style and approach, rather than depending on the existence or absence of credentials. Any professional coach would be happy to offer references and talk about their experience dealing with the issues that come with the proposed coaching engagement, as well as how they plan to address the scenario.

What Are the Benefits of Coaching for the Organization?

A structured coaching programme may provide substantial benefits to the company in a variety of scenarios. Avoiding management turnover is one instance where coaching is regularly used. Change is a difficult topic to deal with in the workplace. Change, whether favourable or bad, introduces uncertainty, which may cause employees to get uneasy and, as a result, deteriorate their job performance. Because of the intimate link between an employee’s connection with their boss and their overall job happiness, management changes may be particularly upsetting. Many organisations choose to train a current resource to enhance their performance rather than hire a new manager, so maintaining the employee and avoiding the effect of a management shift as well as the costs of recruiting and onboarding a new manager.

Individuals who have been identified by the company as having leadership development potential are frequently provided coaching. Succession planning may assist in identifying individuals with the potential to advance within the business, and coaching can assist them in doing so successfully. This form of management development, which was previously restricted for the executive suite, has demonstrated such a tremendous return on investment that it is now being used at all levels of the firm.

Another situation in which coaching might be beneficial is when an employee is promoted from individual contributor to team leader. While many firms advocate for internal promotion, it is difficult to do so since the abilities that make someone a great individual contributor are not the same as those that make someone a great manager. Transitioning from being a member of a team to managing it can also be fraught with internal political issues. These might range from resentment from team members who believe they should have been selected for the post to failure on the part of other managers to accept the new boss as a colleague. Coaching may assist a high-performing individual in learning to change their communication style and other procedures in order to become good leaders, as well as avoiding many of the traps and mistakes that new managers make.

Management coaching is still evolving, but based on the early findings, it’s evident that there are benefits to hiring professional management coaches that aren’t being completely realised in many firms.