More awareness of coaching skills needed

Photo by Leon

With an increasingly competitive talent marketplace, new approaches toward management styles are necessary for organisations to cope with changes in the workplace.

One of the approaches is coaching, a skill every business leader should have, according to almost all survey respondents (54% of respondents strongly agree and 44% of them somewhat agree).

However, more than half (56%) of respondents say they do not intend to coach due to the lack the necessary skills and knowledge to provide coaching. In fact, only less than one in ten respondents (9%) has received formal training and is certified to coach.

These are some of the key findings from the recently launched NTUC LearningHub’s Industry Insights Report 2022 on Coaching, based on a survey of 200 working professionals based in Singapore, including 164 managers and 36 self-employed professionals.

The report aims to further understand the perception of coaching among business leaders and self-employed persons, after the State of Workplace Learning Report published in September 2022 (link) shows that three in ten (30%) employees cite coaching as one of the top three organisational support desired for their career development.

While coaching reaps significant benefits for organisations, therein lies challenges in implementing coaching-related initiatives at the workplace. Survey findings reveal only one in five (20%) respondents has an accurate view of coaching, with 14% believing coaching is a form of developing others, and 6% viewing it as encouraging self-actualisation.

Additionally, nine in ten respondents (91%) say they face challenges when acquiring coaching skills, with lack of time (40%) and support (35%) cited as the key barriers.

When asked what the top benefits of coaching are, respondents say that coaching improves employee performance (70%), actualises employee potential (65%), and improves employee engagement (59%).

In terms of coaching-related skills, active listening (55%), effective communication (54%) and giving constructive feedback (50%) emerged as the top three skills critical for effective coaching, according to respondents.

Commenting on the findings, NTUC LearningHub’s Chief Core Skills Officer, Anthony Chew, says, “Coaching is an excellent skill that can be used to support professional growth by empowering employees to seek their own solutions.

“This is especially so for the professional development of young practitioners, or the Millennials and Generation Zs, who are eager to contribute fresh ideas to the organisations they work for, regardless of their job roles.

“While active listening and effective communication are important in coaching, leaders should also work towards the skills and knowledge of asking good questions. We strongly encourage coaches to be multi-disciplinarian by constantly renewing their skills and knowledge across various domains to stay relevant and current, which will in turn give the coachees better confidence with their coaches.

“All this is aimed to align the personal objectives of each team member by tapping on their intrinsic motivations and to bring out the best in them, for the betterment of the workers and the organisation.”