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Why Coaching?

Time and time again, coaching has proved beneficial as a multi-faceted tool for implementing business strategies and achieving organisational goals through its focus on employee performance and productivity. Coca-Cola HBC Russia was one of such companies who leveraged on the power of coaching in response to lower-than-expected employee engagement and a prevalence of a command-and-control management style. Not only did the organisation report a significant increase in employee engagement following its adoption of coaching, but it also reported reduced employee turnover, increased innovation, enhanced interpersonal relationship within teams and higher levels of trust. Till date the organisation continues to invest in coaching, explaining that coaching was able to accomplish what no other leadership development modality could.

A survey by the International Coach Federation (ICF) and Human Capital Institute (HCI) also showed that organisations have varying reasons for investing in coaching as illustrated in the graph below. From leadership development to employee engagement, it seems coaching has an all-round effect on organisation’s success, but why? Why is coaching so important, and why does it seem to play such a vital role in today’s organisational success?

 Fostering an environment of autonomy, competence and relatedness allows a collaborative and empowering approach to management, thus pointing team members towards their own resourcefulness and insight

Figure 1: Graph showing organisations’ reasons for investing in coaching activities (Source: International Coach Federation (ICF) Organisation Survey, 2019)

Coaching’s success is strongly linked to its holistic approach and ability to create an environment that leverages on human potential to maximise performance. In comparison to other sole interventions to improve business performance such as increased training programs or raised remuneration, coaching sparks a greater level of intrinsic motivation, which is essential for fostering human potential, people development, performance and wellbeing.

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Psychologists Richard Ryan and Edward Deci highlight three coreneeds of the individual that must be met for optimal performance to occur:

1. Autonomy- The need to experience actions or behaviour as voluntary and self-endorsed, feeling like we have control over what we do

2. Competence- The need to experience and show ability, expertise and skill, to feel like we’ve done a good job.

3. Relatedness- The need to interact, be connected, have meaningful relationships with other people

A satisfaction of these three key areas sparks intrinsic motivation, which is a vital component of human performance and productivity. Data from McKinsey & Company show that employees are 32% more committed to their work and 46% more satisfied with their jobs when there is greater intrinsic motivation. This greater motivation has compounding effects on individual productivity and is estimated to save the US economy up to $450 billion annually in labour productivity.

Coaching is fundamental because it enables us to tap into all three areas at once! Firstly, a person who coaches does not push their views on others; they help them think out their own solutions by letting go of being the expert and not assuming position of control (they respect the autonomy of the employee).Secondly, they demonstrate that they have faith in the employee’s ability to find a solution (they honour the employee’s competence). Lastly, coaching inspires managers to engage with team members in conversation, constant dialogue and partnership (they foster relatedness).

Fostering an environment of autonomy, competence and relatedness allows a collaborative and empowering approach to management, thus pointing team members towards their own resourcefulness and insight. It allows a shift from command and control towards a culture of freedom and empowerment; for both the leader and employee.

With the rise of millennials in the workplace, there is a greater need for more holistic management styles that allow for autonomy, competence and relatedness of the 21st century worker. Coaching is thus fundamental to every organisation as it leverages on intrinsic motivation and people-centred approaches to drive employees toward a greater sense of fulfilment and engagement.

Ayoade, an Executive and Leadership Coach is the MD/CEO of EZ37 Solutions Limited. Contact: coaching@ez37solutions.org or +234 812 225 3514

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