As a Seattleite, I couldn’t be more proud of our Seahawks this year (shameless brag coming). We won the Superbowl! What’s more amazing is that the team is made up of guys that a lot of other NFL teams simply overlooked because they didn’t ‘seem’ to have high potential.
Turns out that the right team and the right coach was all that was needed to extract the potential of these men and produce greatness. Whether a football team or a company, often mid-level employees and newbies are overlooked simply because they haven’t been presented the chance to shine yet. They haven’t been coached in a way that extracted the greatness within.
As our boomers are beginning to retire and our millennials start taking root in the workplace, what are we doing to ensure that tacit skills are passed on, innovation is fostered, and the overall company culture is upheld?
Traditionally, coaching has been offered to the ‘higher ups’ in the organization – the people that are already established as high potentials. What about the newbies and the mid-level employees? When do they get their chance to show their stuff? A survey I recently read* found that opportunity (or lack thereof) for professional development is one of the top reasons cited by employees who voluntarily leave one company for another.
Here’s where coaching can help. By pairing your lower to mid-level employees with coaches that can develop these newer potentials, a company can strengthen its talent pool holistically. The whole company starts to develop a consistent view and support common goals. Suddenly, when a new position opens up, that company already has strong options within their walls to consider for that position. Sounds pretty great, doesn’t it?
So how do we get started?
Decide what type of coaching program you would like to implement.
Will it focus on overall development, specific career path, or spot skills enhancement?
Who will be your coaches?
Find people that are strong in the “pull” and the “push.” This means that they are strong listeners, can encourage their ‘coachees’ to find their own answers, and question to understand rather than judge… but on the other end they can provide direct feedback/advice, teach, and build partnerships through better understanding.
Identify the group that you would like to develop.
Look beyond what’s in front of you. There are many strong employees that are overlooked simply because they are not encouraged or even inherently likely to share ideas and ask questions. You know what they say – it’s always the quiet ones who surprise you!
Develop a plan
How will you recruit and promote your coaching program to gain excitement? What will be the plan for your partnerships? How will they work together to figure out…
- What the focus and goals of the partnership will be?
- Why is it important or relevant to the individual AND the organization?
- Why can’t they achieve these goals currently? What can be worked on to break down barriers?
- How can the coach and coachee build a plan to create action and improvement?
Decide the infrastructure of the program.
Of course, we always recommend software to help. Chronus software makes it easy to start, manage, and measure a corporate coaching program for everyone from mid-level employees to executives and beyond. With intelligent matching, automated workflows, and reporting, software like Chronus can help you provide focus for the engagement to generate a productive outcome.
Whether you decide to use software or go for a less formal program, coaching is something that should be considered for more than just your executives. If done right, you will find that job satisfaction and retention will increase in your organization, your talent pool will grow, and your company culture will be enhanced overall.
*Survey done by Aon Consulting and The Society for Human Resource Management as cited from Hcareers’ How Employee Training Benefits Everyone.