I’ve heard many times over the years that coaching younger people doesn’t work well, is too difficult and is a poor investment. Most have suggested that due to lack of experience, younger people don’t respond well to coaching. From my personal experience I believe this is a completely flawed view, and having seen first hand how impactful it can be for talents, high-potentials, graduates and new team leaders, I want to explain the benefits.
Coaching is a powerful way to help your employees grow and achieve their potential. Coaching is not just about telling them what to do, but rather guiding them to discover their own solutions, develop their skills, and enhance their confidence. Coaching can be especially beneficial for younger employees, who are often eager to learn, but may lack the experience or direction to navigate the challenges of the workplace.
Let’s explore some of the benefits of coaching younger people in your business, and how you can implement a coaching culture that fosters productivity, wellbeing, engagement, and retention.
Benefits of Coaching Younger Employees
According to a study by Gallup, only 29% of millennials are engaged at work, meaning they are enthusiastic and committed to their work and workplace. This is the lowest percentage among all generations, and it has serious implications for your business performance. Disengaged employees are less productive, less innovative, less loyal, and more likely to leave your organisation.
Coaching can help you turn this situation around by providing younger employees with the support and feedback they need to thrive. Here are some of the benefits of coaching younger employees:
1) Increased retention: Coaching can help you reduce turnover by showing your younger employees that you care about their development and career progression. Coaching can also help them find meaning and purpose in their work, which is a key driver of engagement for millennials. A reverse-mentoring program, where younger employees mentor senior executives on topics such as technology, social media, or diversity, can also increase retention by creating a sense of mutual respect and learning.
2) Improved skills: Coaching can help your younger employees acquire and improve the skills they need to succeed in their roles and prepare for future opportunities. Coaching can help them develop technical skills, such as digital literacy or data analysis, as well as soft skills, such as communication, collaboration, or problem-solving. Coaching can also help them learn how to influence others, build resilience, job craft, and break out of mental ruts, which are essential for effective leadership.
3) Enhanced performance: Coaching can help your younger employees achieve their goals and improve their results by helping them clarify their expectations, identify their strengths and areas for improvement, set objectives, and monitor their progress. Coaching can also help them overcome challenges, deal with feedback, and celebrate successes.
4) Boosted wellbeing: Coaching can help your younger employees cope with stress and maintain a healthy work-life balance by helping them manage their emotions, prioritise their tasks, set boundaries, and seek support when needed. Coaching can also help them develop a positive mindset and a growth mindset, which can increase their motivation, resilience, and happiness.
How to Implement a Coaching Culture
To reap the benefits of coaching younger employees, you need to create a coaching culture in your organisation. A coaching culture is one where coaching is not seen as a one-off event or a remedial intervention, but rather as an ongoing process and a way of working. A coaching culture is one where everyone is encouraged to learn from each other, share feedback, ask questions, and seek solutions.
Here are some steps you can take to implement a coaching culture in your business:
· Provide quality external coaching: To allow people in the organisation experience what great coaching looks like and feels like as a first step. Partnering with a trusted provider who can work flexibly with you to provide coaching and development of employees’ coaching skills.
· Lead by example: As a leader, you need to model the behaviours and attitudes that you want to see in your team. You need to show that you are open to learning, willing to receive and give feedback, curious about new ideas, and supportive of your team’s development. You also need to coach your team members regularly and effectively, using techniques such as active listening, powerful questioning, goal setting, action planning, and follow-up.
· Train your managers: Your managers play a crucial role in coaching your younger employees. You need to equip them with the skills and tools they need to coach effectively. You can provide them with training on coaching principles and practices, such as the GROW model (Goal, Reality, Options, Will), or the COACH model (Connect, Outcome, Awareness, Course, Highlights). You can also provide them with feedback on their coaching performance and offer them opportunities to practice and improve, further enhancing capability.
· Empower your employees: Your employees need to feel empowered to take charge of their own learning and development. You need to create a safe and supportive environment where they can express their needs, interests, and aspirations, and where they can access the resources and opportunities they need to grow. You also need to encourage them to seek feedback, coaching, and mentoring from various sources, such as peers, senior leaders, or external experts.
· Measure and reward: You need to measure the impact of coaching on your business performance and your employee engagement. You can use metrics such as retention rates, productivity levels, customer satisfaction scores, or employee satisfaction surveys. You also need to reward and recognise the efforts and achievements of your coaches and coachees, and celebrate their successes.
Coaching is a valuable investment that can help you unleash the potential of your younger employees and boost your business performance. By creating a coaching culture in your organisation, you can help your younger employees develop their skills, improve their results, increase their engagement, and enhance their wellbeing. Coaching can also help you create a more collaborative, innovative, and diverse workplace, where everyone can learn from each other and grow together.
If you’d like to learn more about the support we provide for organisations and individuals in coaching and developing a coaching culture, or anything else relating to People Development, visit our website or give us a call on 01491 414010.