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Posted by on Jul 19, 2017

Coaching Is Essential to Your Staff Retention Strategy

Coaching Is Essential to Your Staff Retention Strategy

Two women having a coaching conversation.

If you’re thinking strategically about employee retention, then your budget has line items to fund coaching.

Employee retention isn’t just about making sure employees don’t leave. It’s about ensuring employees feel invested in. Not just “productively utilized,” but supported, engaged, heard, trusted—effectively connected to their work by the opportunity to deploy their strengths.

Without using coaching skills, managers, leaders, HR professionals, even peers, may not know how to hold conversations that help employees do that.

Recent research shows that HR, Talent Management, or Learning and Development professionals are more likely to use coaching skills with the intention to support traditional business outcomes, like enhanced employee performance and productivity.

But they may miss the opportunity to use coaching skills to increase employee self-confidence, enhance personal growth, and improve job satisfaction—all of which can contribute to employee turnover.

Here are a few benefits of having an effective coaching culture at your organization to support employee retention:

Employees of companies with strong coaching cultures are more engaged than those at organizations who do not. That’s 62% vs. 50%, respectively, according to a joint report between Human Capital Institute and the International Coach Federation.

Coaching helps individuals work on behaviors that will guard against burnout. According to a 2017 study by Kronos, “[N]early half of HR leaders (46 percent) say employee burnout is responsible for up to half (20 to 50 percent, specifically) of their annual workforce turnover.”

Peer, team, or group coaching helps create the experience of social support, which is shown to impact personal well-being. From hormones to neural activity, social support impacts how an individual is able to handle stress and even guard against serious conditions like heart disease. We can’t neglect our responsibility in creating the environments in which we, and our teams, work.

Employees will feel that their boss pays attention and cares. The adage goes that employees leave a bad boss, not necessarily a bad job. “Managers/leaders who use coaching skills appear more likely to view coaching as an opportunity to improve the relationship with their subordinates.” ( Take some time to think about how the relationships you have with your staff may be influencing whether they want to stay in your organization or take their talent elsewhere.

Whether internal or external coaches are used—or managers, leaders, or peers are trained to use coaching skills—building a culture of coaching throughout your organization is one way to address employee retention before employees ever think about leaving.

Check out our offerings for coaching services and our coaching skills training course (Anytime Coaching – enroll in our September class!), and read our other practical, tactical blog posts on coaching and mentoring.

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  1. Regarding “Coaching Is Essential to Your Staff Retention Strategy” article; this should be required on every supervisor’s training AND PERFORMANCE plan. Employees gravitate toward supportive environments, not simply the pay grade. We all know employees that took voluntary change-to-lower-grade positions to escape unsupportive work environments. Let’s stop the expensive merry-go-round of bleeding training dollars going into new employees when we could have trained supervisors to retain their own journeyman talent. Must read article. Thanks! MJB

    • I agree completely Marti, that all supervisors should receive ongoing training on coaching and mentoring. I look at myself and I realized only after having been a supervisor for a few years that I needed to be doing this more strategically. I only realized this after having taken some leadership classes. Many people become supervisors without knowing how to be a leader, and some of them never learn. The unfortunate thing about it is, you don’t always know what it is you don’t know. If your own management fails to provide you with the type of coaching and mentoring you need, then you may be slow to learn just how much coaching and mentoring you should be doing with your own team. If we do not get the support from above, it makes our jobs far more challenging.

  2. Very informative article with knowledgeable insights. Thanks for sharing!

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