Due to its high value and importance in improving growth and performance, organizations are opting for employee coaching on regular basis. Many organizations are even working on the coaching culture, an integral part of the daily management operations, and embed it in regular learning conversation.
Coaching and training are one of the most vibrant parts of any organization’s development and learning policy. It comes with several advantages that can have a positive effect on the performance of individuals as well as the end product or output of the company. It brings an empowering nature to the company and promotes an inclusive culture.
However, the practice is not as smooth and good-looking as the theory and there are some barriers to coaching in the workplace. We will throw a light on the typically faced barriers to effective coaching in organizations:
1. Deficiency of Leadership Skills in the Top Brass
One of the major barriers to coaching and mentoring in the workplace is the lack of leadership in the top management of an organization. They interfere in the coaching model and pay lip service to it setting a bad example for the overall team. Also, in most cases, the leaders do not convey the importance of coaching to their juniors, who in response don’t take the coaching sessions seriously.
If the executives of the company stick to a bossy style of leadership, only care about exercising power, and pay attention to the short-term gains, it becomes difficult for a coach to thrive and develop a top-performing team. For setting good examples of coaching and mentoring in the workplace, leadership has to act wisely, be supportive, motivating, and committed. This will encourage the employees to work for the long-term goals of an organization.
2. Organizational Culture
In many organizations, one of the main operational barriers to coaching is that it is considered an activity arranged for under-performers. In such organizations, resistance exists to coaching not just from the team members or junior level employees but from the top command too. This is a kind of misconception that results in people running away from the coaching sessions. In some cases, individuals are habituated to a specific way of working over a long period and tend to escape new ideas. They are not compelled by the idea of change and don’t want to learn new processes.
Coaching should not be conceived as training for non-performers but as an encouragement process for those who want to improve and move forward in their career. A good coaching session can also help in compelling the individuals toward learning new ideas and trying out new processes.
3. Low-level of coaching skills
Organizations sometimes deploy their managers as coaches who do not have the necessary skills required for a good coach. A manager may be a good leader but not necessarily a good coach. For training to be successful, a coach must blend well with the team and understand the nature and work style of every individual. A successful organization always works on strategies to overcome barriers to coaching and mentoring including hiring professional coaches with advanced skills and competencies. Organizations can also hire trainers to train their managers as coaches.
4. Limited resources
There are a number of individual barriers to coaching in the workplace, however, some barriers are on the organizational level. One of such barriers is the scarcity of resources. Some companies are not big enough to have intensive training and development programs in their yearly strategies. They are neither capable of hiring external coaches to train the employees or work on their development.
We have also seen cases where if the company is hit by an economic downturn, the first step they take to compensate for the loss is by chopping training and development. Such organizations do not consider coaching as a long-term investment. It is imperative for organizations to learn the vitality of coaching and development in the progress of a company.
5. Learning and work Contradiction
A dichotomy exists in most workplaces, where work and learning are considered two completely different practices. Work always gets a high priority and employers are reluctant in releasing their employees for even a day or two of training. A culture exists in organizations where bosses feel that letting a subordinate train will affect the work. Organizations should consider coaching and learning, as part of daily routine tasks. They should work on promoting a culture where the employees get maximum support from the organization to develop their skills
6. Short-Term Vision
Short-term focus produce organizational barriers to coaching. Leaders mostly gravitate towards the quick solution without considering the long-lasting effects. If a team is not progressing or facing hurdles, leaders tend to shuffle the team. They do not dig deep into the root cause or work on the development of employees. For organizations to be successful, it is necessary that they consider the long-term solutions like training and coaching rather than opting out of short-term solutions
7. External pressure
Several times, organizations are negatively affected by external events like unstable economic conditions, budget cuts, or executive transfers to shut down their coaching and mentoring programs. The companies while looking for their survival consider training and development as the least effective solution.
However, it is a misconception. In such difficult situations, mentoring is the most needed process to streamline operations. Coached employees can tackle the difficult external factors more effectively as compared to non-trained employees
Coaching Barriers – Final Word
Whether a company is initiating a new coaching program or refurbishing an old one, it will face several barriers. To overcome these barriers, successful organizations make a plan, determine all the hurdles, and communicate it to the coaches.
Coaching and development is one of the most important and seek ingredients of success. Although many factors may affect this process, with proper planning, budgeting, and will, leaders can promote coaching culture in their organization. Those who are not fearful of the barriers but ready to face and overcome them, always have the last laugh.