Coaching – the leadership superpower

A survey from Gallup revealed that 86% of employees think their bosses are uninspiring…yikes. Yet, managers who adopt a coaching approach are consistently rated highly by their peers.

Learn more about coaching and why it’s the superpower your managers might be missing.

At NKD, we know that the power of great coaching can’t be overstated. More than just another tool in your leadership toolbox, coaching is a way to unlock potential, bring out the best in teams, embed change and shift culture. 

Coaching is about inspiring teams, not telling them what to do. During tough economic times when businesses feel pressured to drive results, opting for a directive approach—telling people what they need to do—rather than a supportive and guiding coaching style can be tempting. However, research consistently shows that adopting a coaching culture drives success. Harvard Business Review found that coaching boosts productivity by 44%. 

An article from Dale Carnegie states that an “estimated over 40% of Fortune 500 companies use some form of coaching within their organisation today. The Institute of Coaching cites that over 70% of individuals who have received coaching have benefitted from work performance, improved relationships and more effective communication, whilst 86% of companies who have employed coaching services believe they have more than recouped their initial investment through increased productivity, heightened employee satisfaction and increased staff retention.”

What makes a good coach?

Coaching is a technique which allows you to draw out the best in people. It changes a leader’s relationships with colleagues from one which is less ‘instructor/manager’ and more ‘navigator/facilitator’.

At NKD, we model our coaching programmes on the next-generation ‘thrive’ approach, which looks at holistic growth and focuses on strengths, values and purpose. Unlike traditional coaching training, which focuses on problem-solving or skills development, our approach to coaching encompasses well-being and fulfilment alongside goal achievement. 

When we support businesses to embed a coaching culture, we’re really teaching managers to develop skills that are core competencies for all exceptional leaders: effective communication, emotional intelligence, active listening, having a growth mindset, and practising inclusive leadership. 

When managers use coaching techniques as a fundamental part of their performance management practice, they help people to contribute, learn and develop to the best of their abilities. That’s because great coaching builds psychological safety, which is the hallmark of workplaces with excellent employee engagement scores. When leaders use coaching techniques, people feel safe contributing ideas, taking risks, problem-solving, and thinking creatively. Colleagues start to better understand themselves, their working methods, and their relationships with others. By uncovering talents and fostering resilience, ‘thrive’ coaching helps individuals find meaningful and impactful solutions that are aligned with their authentic selves.

Why invest in coaching? 

To build brilliant bosses

A survey from Gallup revealed that 86% of employees think their bosses are uninspiring… yikes! Yet, managers who adopt a coaching approach are consistently rated exceptional managers. In a fascinating article in Fortune, a company replaced all its managers with coaches, and their employees became 20% happier.  When “70% of the variance in team engagement is determined solely by the manager”, it’s vital to ensure managers have the tools to build resilient and motivated teams. With coaching training, managers are equipped to empower people, which inevitably leads to improved workplace well-being and productivity. 

It’s great for business

In extensive research by Gallup, teams that receive strengths-based development achieve 19% increased sales, 29% higher profits, and up to 72% less turnover. 

In a Forbes article, “Insights into the Transformative Power of Coaching Cultures,” they report that the ROI (Return on Investment) of coaching is well documented. One source suggests that for every $1 spent on coaching, companies reported a return of over $7. 

For professional development

It’s no secret that businesses face an employee engagement crisis along with skills gaps and dwindling staff retention rates. Investing in people has never been more critical to ensure they feel valued, empowered, and motivated to perform. 

When you coach the people in your teams, you’re showing them that you care. You’re demonstrating that you’re invested in their goals, their progression, and helping them to succeed and grow. When people feel guided in this way, it naturally improves the way they feel about their workplace. Feeling positive about their role and their manager will mean they’re more likely to stay, more motivated to achieve, more engaged in tasks, and more likely to speak positively about your business and brand. 

“With good coaching skills, employees build mental fitness that unlocks many benefits for both the employee and the organisation. It leads to more productive, resilient teams, and less likely to leave voluntarily.”

Better Up

For human-centred performance management

Our coaching approach forms part of a year-round performance management framework that encourages constructive feedback, tangible goal-setting, and practical action. People thrive when managers are equipped to provide support, direction, feedback, and coaching at the appropriate times. 

Building a coaching culture

Businesses that invest in coaching for their employees are proven to have teams who are more motivated and confident, have higher job satisfaction, and increased productivity. Our coaching programmes can accelerate managers’ ability to support their people’s skill development and career growth and drive a culture of autonomy. Coaching is a managerial superpower that’s worth investing in. 

Click here if you want to know more about how we can support your people adopt a coaching culture.