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Change Management: Better Coaching, Better Results

Ben Renner

Ben Renner

change management

change management

Change management is a necessary and sometimes messy part of HR’s job within any organization. These days, workplaces and companies have to change quickly or be left behind. Employee communications initiatives and software tools can help, but studies show that the best way to engage your employees and move them through transition is with coaching.

I don’t mean hire an NFL coach to come and scream at your employees until they make the changes necessary for your company. Coaching culture, a corporate culture of support and improvement, lays the groundwork for any change management initiative, big or small.

Change Management Research: Coaching Is Key

A study published in September by the Human Capital Institute (HCI) and the International Coach Foundation (ICF) surveyed many companies and found that 85% of their respondents said they had at least one failed change management initiative in the past two years. Only 15% of the responding companies for the study said they have a “coaching culture.” Of the organizations that consider themselves to maintain a coaching culture, 61% were considered high-performing organizations by other measures.

So coaching is important, but it’s difficult to create a coaching culture that will lead to high-performing teams and organizations.

The Right Stuff

Most managers, probably by their nature, believe they are excellent coaches. The reality is coaching is a skill similar to active listening: everyone thinks they’re excellent at it but only those who dedicate themselves and work at it can actually say they’re skilled. According to the 2018 Betterworks Continuous Performance Management® Survey of 800 professionals, 90% of managers thought their superiors would call them good at coaching and mentoring their staff, but only about a third of HR professionals agreed. The truth is, no matter how good managers think they are at change management and coaching, they need the tools and resources to be effective.

What are those tools?

Thank You for Not Coaching, Unless You Have the Skills

employee communications software

A study published in March by West Monroe found that of the managers surveyed who are in charge of at least one employee, 59% said they don’t have any training in people management and coaching.

Active listening, mediating conflict, and creating accountability are key skills that all managers (and coaches) must have to succeed. Creating a culture of improvement and coaching improves all change management initiatives and helps employees develop and learn. This means giving managers and change agents the proper training and resources to make that happen. Many managers simply ape the employee communications styles and management actions they saw their predecessors take on.

Help Your Managers

Formal training for the development and coaching of employees should be a top priority for your management team. Learning on the go and mimicking effective coaching styles is great, but only with formalized training can you expect your coaching culture to take off, and your change management initiatives to work well every time you need to pull them out. Fortunately, there are many ways to train managers to coach and develop employees better, from video employee communications to cloud-based training programs and more.

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