The Value of Coaching Employees into Higher Positions

Managing a division or running an entire company is time-consuming. It’s hard to carve out time to coach subordinates to move up to higher positions. But good professional development can add up to savings and success for your entire company.

Coaching employees

“Professional development often takes a back seat to other business priorities,” says career and life coach Joanne Korman Goldman. “When people see the potential for growing in their role or advancing to a higher position, they’re eager to learn, work well with others and produce better results. This is great for a manager and the overall business.”

Save on Turnover and Training

Like every other business, your company experiences turnover. The average across all sectors is 15 percent. That turnover is costly. Typical costs for training a new worker are about 20 percent of that worker’s annual salary. For workers earning less than $30,000 per year, it’s about 16 percent, according to a study by The Center for American Progress.

With a good coaching program, you will retain more employees. Better retention will generate savings that can help fund those other business priorities you were focusing on instead.

Here’s how the savings from coaching might add up. You coach a worker who earns $25,000 a year to get her ready to move up to a supervisory role earning $35,000 a year. Instead of spending $7,000 (20 percent of $35,000) to hire and train a new supervisor, you spend $4,000 (16 percent of $25,000) to hire and train a new entry-level worker to replace the one you promoted.

At higher salaries, the savings are greater. Replacing a top manager who earns $75,000 annually with a worker earning $50,000 who is coached, trained and ready to move up can save your company $15,000 (20 percent of  $75,000) in training. If you have to hire a new middle manager earning $50,000, your net savings are still $5,000. Of course ideally, you have a worker earning $35,000 or $40,000 who is coached and trained to move up to middle management.

Plus, you won't have to learn as many new names and faces.

Elements of a Coaching Program

An organization needs to support and advocate coaching people as a strategic, ongoing process for growth. You may need to bring an outside team in for initial training. After that, your leaders should be ready to act on their own.

The best bosses/coaches listen closely to employees to understand additional strengths these workers have that they may not be using in their current positions. These leaders ask thought-provoking questions to subordinates that spark intellectual curiosity, Goldman says. They help design individual action plans for employees that are exciting, challenging and yet also achievable.

Your goal is to challenge your subordinates but not overwhelm them. This takes a little more time and thought than a typical performance appraisal but the results are worth it.

The best coaches work even better when they have a coach of their own. So don’t be shy to ask for coaching for yourself.

Sending a Good Vibe Companywide

Coaching sends a positive signal to everyone in your workplace. They feel encouraged, empowered and valued. They feel ready to move up.

“Promoting people from within shows others in the organization that they, too, can advance in their careers,” Goldman says. “Investing in people through coaching is a sign of caring. When people feel cared for, valued and supported, they feel more confident, make better choices and have improved outcomes, benefiting their manager, department and organization.”

Benefits to You and Other Leaders

If you’re a middle manager thinking of starting a coaching program, you will benefit too. In some companies, managers are reviewed based on steps taken to develop their staff. Becoming known as a coach shows the C-Suite that you’re promotion-worthy, Goldman says.

“A manager who becomes known for coaching people into higher positions becomes a sought-after leader and mentor, improving his or her own chance of moving up the ladder.”

As you move up, you can be confident that you have well-trained, coached, empowered employees ready to step into your former role.

Best Programs Pay for Themselves

Finally, the best coaching programs pay for themselves. “A culture that values learning and growth attracts and retains top talent,” Goldman says. “The savings from hiring and on-boarding expenses can be invested in coaching and continuous improvement, raising levels of innovation, productivity and output as a result of greater employee satisfaction.”

Coaching benefits you the company owner or manager as well as your employees. You retain more employees, save money and improve performance.

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