Coaching: The essential leadership skill that employers overlook

New report reveals why your managers are avoiding mentoring your teams

Coaching: The essential leadership skill that employers overlook

Professionals across Singapore believe that coaching is an essential leadership skill, according to a new report, which indicated a lack of initiative when it comes to coaching. Data from the NTUC LearningHub revealed that 54% of working professionals strongly agreed that coaching is a skill that every business leader should have, while 44% "somewhat" agreed with this. According to the respondents, coaching helps improve employee performance (70%), actualises employee potential (65%), and improves employee engagement (59%).

Anthony Chew, NTUC LearningHub's chief core skills officer, said that coaching is an "excellent skill" that can support professional growth of employees.

"This is especially so for the professional development of young practitioners, or the millennials and Generation Zs, who are eager to contribute fresh ideas to the organisations they work for, regardless of their job roles," Chew said.

Read more: Opinion: Benefits of executive coaching

According to the respondents, the most critical skills for effective coaching are:

  • Active listening (55%)
  • Effective communication (54%)
  • Giving constructive feedback (50%)

"While active listening and effective communication are important in coaching, leaders should also work towards the skills and knowledge of asking good questions. We strongly encourage coaches to be multi-disciplinarian by constantly renewing their skills and knowledge across various domains to stay relevant and current, which will in turn give the coachees better confidence with their coaches," Chew said. "All this is aimed to align the personal objectives of each team member by tapping on their intrinsic motivations and to bring out the best in them, for the betterment of the workers and the organisation."

Read more: Are you making this coaching mistake?

Coaching hesitation

Despite recognising the importance of coaching, however, 56% of the survey's respondents said they don’t intend to coach others because they lack the necessary skills and knowledge to do so. The report further found that only 9% received formal training. According to the remaining 91%, they face challenges when acquiring coaching skills. These barriers include lack of time (40%), lack of support (35%), and lack of confidence in their coaching skills (33%).

The survey came as the State of Workplace Learning Report found that 30% of employees cite coaching as one of the top three organisational supports that they desire for their career development.

Read more: CoachHub to expand in APAC with Singapore HQ

Tim MacCartney, senior vice president of CoachHub APAC, said the company believes coaching to train and develop employees is more important than ever because of the changes happening in the post-pandemic workforce.

"At CoachHub, we believe that coaching helps individuals to gain their rightful place in their company, developing both personally and professionally through learning a mixture of soft and hard skills," MacCartney said.

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