The Shifting Landscape of a Workplace Coach
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The Shifting Landscape of a Workplace Coach

21 February, 2018

The rules of management are changing with an evolving workplace. Managers have the difficult task of creating work cultures that are more agile than ever before. Consider the way most businesses are shaping themselves: Flexibility and innovation are highly valued and integrated into the fabrics of businesses. Similarly, managers’ coaching styles need to reflect these changes. In order to create a competitive company culture, managers need to get the best out of their employees by giving the most relevant coaching possible in 2018.

Millennials Want More Coaching

According to Harvard Business Review, Millennials want to be coached more often than their older counterparts, usually preferring monthly feedback, if not more often. Managers and directors should be thrilled with this prospect. Open lines of communication and transparency give Millennials a better sense of how their current performance is perceived, helps hold them accountable, gives them more material and learning opportunities to improve, and helps align expectations so that both parties know what is expected.

For most managers, it’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day tasks and business goals. However, in 2018, managers should put coaching at the top of their priority lists. A growing culture of eager-to-learn employees who want increased feedback is a unique shift in attitude and opportunity for growth.

Revenue-Oriented Coaching

Coaching needs to teach a variety of skills, and while the skills themselves are important, coaching with a sense of revenue enhancement is essential to keep employees connected to the way their work helps the financial health of the business. For B2B enterprises, account managers and client services teams are working more closely together than ever before in order to create a greater understanding between the delivery of goods/services and the impact client satisfaction has on the bottom line. For financial institutions, coaching should be framed around creating valuable and mutually beneficial relationships with customers. When employees can make a connection to the financial implications of their work, they will strive to achieve difference-making results.

Emotional Navigator

There is a heightened expectation for managers to be emotionally sensitive and to navigate workplace emotions in a tactful way. Gone are the days of bosses and managers coming down hard on employees and establishing a sink-or-swim culture. Instead, managers and coaches are expected to be collaborators and partners in employees’ success. In action, this means managers should create two-way conversations during coaching sessions, offer solutions and templates for employee success and solicit feedback about how their coaching can improve from employees.

A Combination of Hard and Soft Skills

Continuous learning in the workplace has traditionally meant developing a craft or set of technical skills. This is still true – technical skills are becoming increasingly important in a workplace that demands skills, like the ability to code or understand analytics interfaces. However, managers shouldn’t overlook coaching soft skills. Leadership, client communication and networking skills are all in high demand. Younger employees are looking for managers who have the capacity to help them develop those skills and serve as mentors for their careers. In this way, managers can be so much more than instruction-givers. They can become integral parts of their employees’ personal success and long-term career trajectory, adding value to the human they work with and reaping the reciprocal benefits of a happy and growing employee.