From 'great resignation' to 'great reengagement', why it's time to invest in coaching

How HR can better support its future leaders

From 'great resignation' to 'great reengagement', why it's time to invest in coaching

Looking back over recent months, the pandemic sorted the wheat from the chaff when it came to leaders. Leadership teams had to rapidly upskill to thrive throughout the COVID-19 crisis; not everyone accomplished this with the same degree of success. Speaking with CoachHub’s Director of Behavioral Science Liz Pavese, Ph.D., she revealed supporting future leaders is the most common problem employers are trying to solve.

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“Being able to support and enable first-time leaders is a real challenge for organizations,” Pavese told HRD. “the first time you move from being an individual contributor to a people leader has one of the highest failure rates of any other leadership transition in one's career. Some companies will and can put a significant amount of time, energy, programming, training, and mentoring around that experience – however, a lot of companies don't have that resourcing available to them and at scale.”

The 'great resignation' has only compounded the problem.“Essentially, there aren’t enough leaders who are ready — and those who are being promoted are not prepared. There’s an opportunity to introduce tools such as digital coaching to those near-leaders, so they can have the resources and tools they need to succeed, and access to a qualified coach who’ll help guide them and support them through those changes and transitions,” Pavese said.

It’s not just technical skills that are important to successfully lead teams — behavioural skills are essential for leaders to master. The importance of empathy in leadership has been underscored by the social changes that have occurred throughout the pandemic. CEOs were once expected to be strong, silent figures. The pandemic upended this — ushering in a new age of compassionate leadership.

This shift is evident in how employers are approaching their talent development strategies. Data from CoachHub’s 2022 Global HR Survey: People Development for Business Growth shows 63% of organizations have integrated learning and development programs that emphasize both behavioural and technical skills; 23% are focusing on behavioural skills alone. This means organizations can’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to talent development but must look at ways to support the unique needs of their individual employees. “Looking ahead to 2023, I think we’ll continue to see this hyper-personalized approach to people development,” added Pavese. “As the world continues to be increasingly globally interconnected, we’re involved in teams that are geographically distributed — in environments that are growing more reliant on the gig economy. Using a personalized approach that taps into each individual’s strengths is how we ultimately unite teams and organizations.”

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Another ongoing trend that Pavese hit upon was the rise of virtual reality in learning and development. It’s fair to say that L&D took a back seat through the chaos of the pandemic. In fact, a report from CIPD found that, because of the pandemic, 31% of employers reported their L&D budget had been reduced. Perhaps surprisingly though, the pandemic itself proved the necessity of development, with 51% of companies saying they’ve already assessed how roles are changing and what reskilling will look like in 2023. Now, as we move out of a reactive mode and into a developmental one, employers should be looking at technology to supercharge the learning process.

“Organizations should be looking ahead to where they can place artificial intelligence or virtual reality in these experiences,” she explained. “There’s no clear idea where this will go, but there's certainly a lot of people asking questions and doing research on where virtual and artificial technology will take L&D – and, by extension, coaching.”

The rise of digital coaching (i.e., coaching enabled through technology) is something employers can expect to see grow. According to Pavese, a lot of this talk is top of mind for CEOs and senior leaders right now — especially considering the gap for talent. The link between individual development and upskilling has been linked to lower rates of turnover and high retention levels – after all, a report from Lorman found that 70% of employees would be likely to leave their organization to work for another that’s known for investing in L&D. In the wake of the 'great resignation', employers should be looking at how coaching and development can not only help a company survive this tricky time but allow their people to thrive.

 To learn more on how you use coaching to hold on to your much-needed top talent, download CoachHub’s free whitepaper here.

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