Daily grind stands in the way of coaching

by Stephanie Zillman20 Jun 2012

HR professionals and senior management are well aware of the benefits of executive coaching – from engagement to retention, the benefits of upskilling employees goes a long way. Yet as new research shows, just who has the time to organise it?

“In many Australian workplaces, those with responsibility for a team are often so focused on delegating and managing workloads, that proper mentoring and coaching is an afterthought,” Andrew Morris from Robert Half said.

Richard Laidlaw, general manager, human resources at Stockland, told HC that he favours formal programs over ad-hoc approaches to mentoring and coaching. These formal programs – specifically AHRI’s mentoring program but also those operated in large corporates – often work because there is less reliance on chance for meeting or selecting a suitable mentor. “People who need mentors aren’t always good at asking for them, the end date sometimes means that mentors are more likely to commit, everyone understands what’s expected of them, a contact person can help out with any teething problems and the evaluation process helps us to define our progress,” he said.

Yet, despite tight scheduling and time constraints, survey results indicate that by not offering coaching, employers may be shooting themselves in the foot. “Leaders who share knowledge in a mentoring environment and view staff coaching as a crucial part of their job description will be more productive and get significantly more from their teams,” Morris added.

Key survey results showed:
 

  • One in four workers (25%) said they have never received career coaching from their direct manager
  • 16% said they only receive coaching once a year.

In times when career coaching and mentoring is a luxury offering, career coaching may be the point of difference some HR professionals have been looking for. “Having strong career coaches also helps an organisation to build their reputation as an employer of choice, making attraction and retention strategies far more successful,” Morris added.

 

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