Corporate Coaching - Why Coach? C(5)+ED

Is it possible to make a strong "business case for corporate coaching?" Why is coaching vital to organizations? Why should leaders invest time developing their coaching skills? These are tough, important questions that organizations should consider before implementing coaching.

The need for corporate coaching certainly depends on the situation. In some cases, it could be argued that time spent learning and doing coaching provides only small returns. If you have an operation with few people doing routine or rather insignificant tasks, it probably won't matter if managers can coach, develop, and lead people. But, in an entirely different environment, the quality of corporate coaching and feedback could matter a great deal.

- For Example, the New York Times reported on an investigational survey of medical interns and residents. The results of the survey stated that nearly half of the interns failed to report mistakes and discuss situations with supervising physicians.

How can people effectively learn and develop when key people are unwilling to approach leaders, and leaders are too busy "putting out fires" instead of teaching and coaching in response to performance issues. When seeking medical care, most of us would prefer a health care professional who has not only received technical schooling, but has also benefited from a trusted coach and mentor who has shared honest feedback and wisdom that only comes from experience.

How do you know if you are in the type of business or organization where corporate coaching is value added? Consider applying the following formula: C(5)+ED. Although it sounds scientific, the formula is actually an easy way to diagnosis whether or not you should invest time and money in perfecting coaching skills and applying them in the workplace.The following survey identifies the components of the C(5)+ED formula. C(5)+ED is the ultimate test in determining how much time, money, and energy to invest in corporate coaching and development.

"C" - COMPETITIVENESS Does your business deal with strong competition? Yes NoDo you have to fight for market share and profitability? Yes No

If you are lucky enough to have a virtual monopoly over the competition, then you probably won't feel the pressure to excel or require the very best thinking and craftsmanship for sales, production, or technical/professional people. But, if you answered "yes" to either question, you need leaders who are capable of influencing the behavior of others.

"C" - COMMITMENTDoes your organization/culture require innovation, independent action, and voluntary motivation? Yes No

If you are able to "enforce" compliance, and you really don't need people to think creatively, then you are off the hook. But, if you answered "yes" to this question, you need leaders who know how to communicate, inspire, and bring out the desire in team members to "give it their all."

"C" - CHANGEIs your business dynamic, complex, and fast-paced? Yes No

If you answered "yes," you need people who can adapt to changes in technology, the marketplace, or new programs and products. You need leaders who can guide, encourage, and help people overcome resistance to change.

"C" - CULTUREDoes your business culture stress the importance of values, principles, teamwork, ethical behavior, etc.? Yes NoIf you answered "yes," then you need leaders to promote, coach, and hold team members accountable for their behavior. You need leaders who set an example, and gain the respect of others. You need leaders who will speak up and stand up for the ideals that the organization promotes.

"C" - COMPLIANCEIs your business accountable to legal, industry, safety, health, or other standards? Yes NoAre there specific policies, protocols, and formulas that cannot be compromised? Yes NoIf you answered "yes" to either question, then you need coaches to monitor and ensure that performance is measuring up. You need leaders with the courage and skill to confront problems in a positive and constructive manner so that people want to achieve the standards.

"E" - EXCELLENCEDoes your organization value continuous improvement, ingenuity, and developing your processes to achieve better performance and higher quality for your customers? Yes NoIf you answered "yes," then you need leaders who can coach and encourage team members to critically examine the traditional ways of doing things. Leaders also need to coach team members to be creative and try new methods.

"D" - DEVELOPMENTDoes your organization need to retain talented team members? Yes NoAre your current team members ambitious, and do they want to learn and grow? Yes No

If you answered "yes" to either question, then you need leaders who can coach, mentor, and train team members to achieve current performance objectives, as well as prepare them for future strategic positions. You need leaders who understand the value and need for individual development plans and activities, so team members will want to stay, grow, and contribute to the organization.

EXAMPLESConsider the following examples that illustrate what happens when corporate coaching isn't practiced, and what the possibilities could be if leaders did successfully coach.

  • Retention: According to the Gallup organization, the number one reason an individual leaves a job is because they are dissatisfied with their working relationship with their manager.

    -Buckingham & Coffman - First, Break All the Rules

  • Trust: Five out of seven managers would rather lie than give honest feedback.

    -Jan Halper, Ph.D. - Quiet Desperation

  • Loyalty: During a competitive comparison shopping session at a national retail chain store, a customer went through the checkout line with a bicycle that cost over $200. To the customer's surprise, the cashier rang up the bicycle and told him it would be $50. The customer told the cashier that she must have made a mistake because this bicycle is over $200. The cashier politely smiles and said, "I know it is. But I'm mad at my boss today. Therefore, the bicycle is only $50."

    -Joe S. Walker

  • Safety: Front line supervisors who coach employees on their safety measures have 28% fewer accidents in their work teams than those who do not coach.

    -Study by CMOE, 1994

  • Bottom Line: A recent study shows that Sales Managers in Europe achieve a 5% higher volume of sales when coaching is used.

    -Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company

  • Morale: According to a recent study, the number one desire of employees is to receive personal feedback. This ranks in at 46% in comparison to 32% who said they preferred financial rewards.

    -USA Today, December 1998

  • Corporate Coaching Moments: Managers spend 57-89% of their time in face-to-face communication.

    -Journal of Applied Psychology

  • Credibility: Some leaders at Andersen know that their auditors at Enron are stretching the rules. Where is the accountability and leadership?

    -Business Week, April 2002

For more information on how to maximize the corporate coaching efforts inside your organization please visit CMOE. You can also contact one of our Regional Managers at (801)569-3444.

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