Fears of a global recession have produced unpredictable consequences across all walks of life. Just look at the contradiction between headlines of mass layoffs and recent US Labor Department data showing 1.7 jobs for every unemployed person. A strong labor market means that firms looking to hire must continue to introduce new measures to secure talent.
Companies with an eye to the future are asking: How can we help our employees develop, future-proof them against market transitions and digitization of jobs, and keep them happy and engaged?
The answer, put simply, is coaching for all.
Understanding an employee’s work goals will allow you to support them with access to professional coaches and materials and help them build their skills. This goes against more than two decades of assumptions behind talent management — namely, that company strategy would be best served by reserving coaching for a privileged group of senior managers.
Randstad research shows that nearly half of all employees across the globe actively sought a new job this year. Employees feel more empowered than ever to find new opportunities that align with their personal values, pay good wages, offer the benefits they want and help them advance in the post-pandemic era.
This is where career coaching comes in. Coaching helps employees navigate professional challenges and grow as professionals — and it is something they overwhelmingly want.
In fact, according to a new study by Randstad RiseSmart, 93% of employees view coaching as a valuable exercise, and 97% of employees who have worked with a coach ranked the experience positively. They cited benefits like increased confidence and improved communication and leadership skills. And because of recent technological advancements, the cost of coaching has come down while accessibility has gone up.
Despite the enthusiasm and reported benefits, the picture is not all rosy: Only 27% of survey respondents say that coaching is a service available to all employees at their company, and 10% funded their own training, saying their employer had ignored their request or denied it outright.
Back to those assumptions: Coaching has historically been reserved exclusively for executives, either strong leaders who understood that additional training would unlock even more talent or executives who were seen as having a “fatal flaw” that needed correction.
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And there was another reason that coaching tended to be closed off: cost. A good executive coach can cost upward of $3,000 per hour. Couple that with a philosophy coaching was for the “most important” members of an organization, and you’ll get a walled-off benefit available only to those at the top.
Today’s employees want something different – and smart companies will invest in their human capital and capitalize on a new work model. In fact, they already are. Nearly a third of all global companies told Randstad that coaching is already a priority for them.
The workplace is different from how it used to be, with less hierarchical organization than ever before. Ideas and performance, not pedigree or past, are the currency of success. And we’ve seen that engaged, developed employees add significant value to a company’s performance.
Pairing employees with a career coach will help keep employees engaged, boost talent mobility and retention, and improve goals around development and productivity. In the process, you can create a cycle in which more investment into coaching will create more skilled employees, which will in turn create more revenue opportunities for businesses.
Organizations are also increasingly committed to diversity and equity goals, finally correcting decades of injustice for marginalized communities. But it is not simply enough to hire diverse talent; companies also need to support their advancement. Democratized coaching should be a staple of any real corporate DEI practice.
A business that creates a coaching-centric culture enables employees at every level of an organization to explore their full potential. The benefits show up ultimately in talent retention but also in employee engagement, internal mobility, and attractiveness to potential candidates for open positions.
There is a reason why 95% of employees who have entered a coaching program are likely to continue with their coach, and 99% of employers who help their workers enter those programs report it as having a positive impact on their business. Coaching works, and when offered to all, it has the potential to benefit everyone.