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Coaching Isn’t Only For Senior Leaders

19 Apr 2015 - Blog

Coaching Isn’t Only For Senior Leaders

Millennials are fresh and eager to learn; they want to develop as quickly as possible. We only have to look at trends in employee engagement survey figures to see that engagement is at its highest during the first three years of employment. So, we need to take advantage of this passion and drive, and make an effort to encourage people while they are motivated to grow.

Of course, these days people don’t stay at organisations for very long, but if they’re people we want to hang on to, we want to encourage them to stay as long as possible.

As we mentioned in our post ‘Digital Natives: Millennials are the new business’ (link to post), Millennials expect instant feedback, having grown up with this through social media and advanced technology and so it makes sense that they would want the same in the workplace.

“Most Millennials want feedback at least monthly, whereas non-Millennials are comfortable with feedback less often.” Karie Willyerd

So how can we ensure Millennials stay engaged at work? A surefire way to keep career hungry Millennials engaged is by offering them opportunity for ongoing development and feedback. The answer? Coaching.


Why not coaching?

Coaching is everywhere in business these days and appears to be quite a new phenomenon, but we forget that coaching has been in the sporting field for many years.

The role of a coach may be different what it was back in the days of us aged folk running around the school playing field in our shorts and t-shirt dug out by the ‘coach’ from the lost and found, but the definition of the function of ‘coaching’ remains the same:

“The act of training a person or team of people in a particular sport, or the act of training staff in business or office practice.” Collins English Dictionary.

However, coaching is not training. Training tends to be skill specific and is about teaching someone the skills they need in a particular topic to implement post training. Coaching is ongoing and can be applied to all aspects of a person operating in a business environment.

“Coaching is not about telling people what to do, but helping them to achieve all they are capable of doing and being.” Karie Willyerd


But it’s expensive, no?

Coaching can be done in-house by managers and/or leaders, provided they have the skills to coach others. Making sure people have training to do coaching well is a must; a bad coach could serve to disengage employees.

However, if you don’t have the capability in house, you can hire external coaches to come into your organisation to work with Millennials. If you do decide to hire external coaches, it doesn’t have to break the bank. Because of the number of coaches in the market these days, the options are plenty and prices vary dramatically. Low cost doesn’t mean low quality though, it may mean a coach is newly trained and looking for experience.

Of course, if you can get a top notch coach who has been around the block a few times all the better, but getting a coach fresh from training can be a great way to help them develop with your organisation. They can become familiar with your ways of working without previous influence. This includes training your in-house managers to become excellent coaches for your Millennials and beyond.

Also, people don’t need to be coached individually like senior leaders often are, they can be coached in groups. This also means Millennials can learn from each other outside of coaching sessions and help each to grow.

Coaching doesn’t need to be a big outlay, and it can bring real benefits in terms of motivation, accelerated development and more engagement from Millennials.


Original article by Karie Willyerd at:


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