As LinkedIn Global Talent Trends continue to show that upskilling is one of employees’ top five priorities, employers look to offer new learning opportunities. As a result, coaching stands out as one of the most requested employee benefits.
While in the past coaching seemed to be only for executives and high potentials, a Harvard Business Review research shows that making the learning experience more individualized matters to increase retention. This need for a customized experience allows employees at all levels to access coaching for the first time.
Every professional needs a coach
Professionals like lawyers or doctors were normalizing that their development was only about attending seminars and getting certificates. Still, business executives started to explore coaching. But why is it that it is so different in sports, where everybody on the team gets to be coached? Usually, they have more than one coach: in football, for instance, there is a head coach, assistant coach, goalkeeper coach, fitness trainer and physiotherapist. Surgeon Atul Gawande puts it beautifully in his Ted talk, “everyone needs a coach to master their craft.” He adds, “Great Coaches are your external eyes and ears, providing a more accurate picture of your reality, breaking your actions down and helping you build them back again.”
What happens is that improving is a never-ending job; there is always something you can work on. But, unfortunately, you may not realize it until you get fired or your role becomes redundant unless you can have someone else to help you see from a different perspective.
Leaders are usually expected to cover this role, overseeing performance and helping employees grow. Still, over the past years, and especially after the pandemic, leaders have been overwhelmed and unable to cover team members’ need for coaching, feedback and personalized attention. While in the office, teachable moments could be more frequent and informal. Coaching needs to be more intentional with more employees working remotely, but instead, it is being neglected.