In a comprehensive study conducted by the Human Capital Institute, “Increasingly, organizations are utilizing managers and leaders who use coaching knowledge, approaches and skills to create awareness and support behavior change. Organizations with strong coaching cultures value and invest in professional coach practitioners and managers/leaders using coaching skills in order to support employees at all levels in growing their skills, enhancing their value and reaching their professional goals.” Source: HCI Research Report, Building a Coaching Culture with Managers and Leaders, September 21, 2016.
And then there’s the comprehensive research conducted by Google called “Project Oxygen.” The goal was to identify specific behaviors consistent among their most successful leaders. The Project Oxygen team spent one year data-mining performance appraisals, employee surveys, nominations for top manager awards and other sources. The result was more than 10,000 observations of manager behaviors. The research team complemented the quantitative data with qualitative information from interviews which were coded using standard behavioral science methodologies. Their initial report, published in 2011, identified 8 behaviors of their top managers—the number 1 attribute was “is a good coach.” The research, updated in 2018, affirmed that being a good coach remained the top quality of their best leaders. We believe the next two qualities are also significantly enhanced by having leader coaches: 2. Empower teams, 3. Create an inclusive team environment, be concerned for employees’ success and well-being.
Finally, as we tackle a plethora of workplace challenges such as talent shortages, the Great Resignation, “quitting in place,” and seismic generational shifts, leaders have to be more adept at taking care of their people. According to a spot-on Harvard Business Review article “Leaders Need Professional Coaching Now More than Ever” (March 2, 2021), “Professional coaching provides a long-term solution to lessening increasing pressures and growing uncertainty. . . . Today’s tumultuous times magnify opportunities to be proactive, discover alternate possibilities, and create an innovative ethos that looks for new solutions that resist the status quo.”
According to a May 12, 2022 article in Human Resource Executive, “Given that two-thirds of employees are likely to job-hunt in 2022, most organizations are thinking more deeply about how to engage and retain existing employees. Between the ongoing pandemic, a worsening labor shortage and a workforce on the edge of burnout, there is a massive need to focus on retention and providing employees with support and recognition.” That’s where training Leader Coaches come in.