The Benefits of Hiring an In-House Coach
Coaching is a booming industry that is satisfying a gap in many industries for personal and professional growth in the workplace, situational leadership and the benefits package. Walk with me as I succinctly discuss the benefits of having a life/leadership/career coach inside of your company.
What is a coach?
It's really simple actually...
Counselors look back. Psychiatrists diagnose. Psychologists analyze. Mentors give input. Life coaches unearth desires and help accomplish goals - to create the life and career you want.
Coaching isn't therapy and it isn't meant to replace therapy. Coaching is a partnership built on purpose and trust for the acceleration of growth and the accomplishment of goals. The coach is NOT the expert on the situation or individual but the expert of facilitation to bring the coachee(s) to their desired outcome. A coach is committed to the success of each client by bringing perspective, awareness, development and leadership through the secret weapon and primary tool of question asking (I will tackle the importance of questions at another time). Of course, there are many other tools but questions are primary.
An excellent coach does 3 things well:
- Listens (reflectively and for significance). - Having a listening ear is a luxury in 2017. In most settings, action and production trump understanding and communication. However, buy-in and follow-up occur best when an individual or group is first heard.
- Asks meaningful and appropriate questions. - I cannot tell you how many times my clients have said, "No one has ever asked me that before," to the questions of life that are the most important for individual and professional growth. I've literally had meetings where clients have stood up, grab their coats and ran off with smiles and hearts full of gratitude because a question (and not a directive) gave them the answers they needed, almost immediately.
- Lead to action. What sets a coach apart in my personal opinion is how results focused we are...or at least should be. A good coach always ends conversations with helping coachees see practical takeaways, actions steps or an enjoyable plan. It's imperative that we don't just have "good talks" but "good lives" by doing something (no matter how small).
How will a coach benefit my company?
Coaching is the new leadership development. Coaching is the new leadership development. Coaching is the new leadership development. Yes, I meant to write that 3 times. Listen and listen well. Millenials make up almost half of the workforce currently and will make up 75% of the workforce in America by 2025. This is important because salary and benefits are easily accessible with sites like Glassdoor, Payscale and the U.S. Department of Labor. This means that during a job search, candidates already know what to expect and will not be impressed with offers and perks as previous generations were.
In order for companies to get top candidates (millennials) they must give what millennials want the most:
- Freedom of schedule - LIke it or not, work-from-home (WFH) is basically a given. Two weeks of PTO? Riiiiiiiight.
- Work & Play Simultaneously - As an in-house coach for a digital marketing agency in Atlanta, a place has been carved out with couches, a flat-screen and an XBOX. Don't forget the unlimited coke products and snacks. Oh...there's not a cubicle to be found in the place with large see-through glass separators for conference rooms.
- Personal & Professional Development at the place of work. This is the X FACTOR! Gone are the days of paying for your own training, "working" your way up and developing yourself to get that management position. Speakers come in, trainers facilitate in-office, we go to escape rooms for team building and we have IN HOUSE COACHES that will talk about personal issues during work hours as well as help us accomplish company driven initiatives.
If you want A players, this is the game you have to play. You don't have to like it, it just is. :)
Do your own math...
How much does it cost your company to train new employees? What about the time and money spent to interview, conduct background checks and shadow? How much affect does turnover have on your current team and leadership? How much relational equity and camaraderie is lost when an "A" player leaves and a less competent person comes on? What is the "new" leadership gap costing you? Is it worth it?
Coaching pays off for you and the team. It communicates commitment to personal and professional success. It enables specialists to focus more on their area of expertise instead of 1:1's that they are not prepared to handle (although it doesn't relieve them of the duties of serving their teams well). In-house coaches serve as a strong liason between staff and leadership not just for communication purposes but for implementation (a connection that may be missing with normal HR practices).
Coaching is the voice of reason when a "great new idea" comes up in a leadership meeting. Coaching is the perspective shift employees need when they want the new thing or process. Coaching gets employees doing what they are paid to do by addressing the things they aren't paid to do or don't have the time or resources to address elsewhere.
Coaching is the new leadership development. You get it.