The Value of Coaching in Corporate

Feb 27, 2024 | By Jenna van Schoor
coach adding value in a corporate team meeting

We previously hosted a webinar called Thriving Through Corporate Coaching. This webinar aimed to share how coaching has become widely recognised for its benefits for businesses, individuals and families. 

In the webinar, we spoke to coach Kirti Carr, Coaching Manager Kaylynn Philander, and SACAP graduate and businessman Nkulu Madonko to understand why coaching can add value in a corporate environment. 

In this post, we’ll discuss some of the insights shared in the webinar and why coaching can help to improve performance and wellbeing. We’ll also share some information about how to pursue a career in coaching.

What is coaching in corporate?

Kirti Karr began the webinar by talking about how coaching is a reflective process which involves questioning and expanding your view of yourself and the world. It’s also a way to address your fears and create a safe space to explore people’s needs.

But what does this look like in corporate? In a high-stress workplace, it can be difficult to imagine taking time away from your desk to talk about your team, your work, yourself and your needs. However, the fact that it seems inconceivable highlights that we need to slow things down and get perspective to help people thrive. If we don’t pause to reflect and learn, we can remain stuck doing the same things over and over again.

The pitfalls of a corporate environment

In a corporate working environment, which is often hierarchical and requires us to develop a work persona, we can tend to shut ourselves down when trying to fit into the organisation.

Of course, we all must perform our roles to the best of our abilities, and some level of conformity is necessary to ensure a harmonious working environment. However, shutting ourselves down can negatively impact our performance and wellbeing, even though it might help us align with the organisation’s perceived needs. We may unknowingly land up holding back some of our best contributions.

In short, by trying so hard to fit in, we lose connection with ourselves, our strengths and our capabilities. Coaching is necessary to reconnect and show us how meeting our needs and those of the organisation we work for don’t need to be mutually exclusive. Coaching also helps increase our awareness about the dynamics in our various personal and team interactions and how to increase their effectiveness.

What does coaching in corporate achieve?

As the pandemic has shown us, we can’t predict anything, no matter what work environment we find ourselves in. Of course, we all need a degree of stability, but 2020 taught us that there are no guarantees, so learning to flex and be adaptable continues to be critical in today’s working world. 

In this way, coaching can add massive value in a corporate space, as it helps us to deal with uncertainty and consider new ways forward. By taking time to reflect in a safe space, we can become more aware of our patterns and empower ourselves to act on our choices. We can create our lives, rather than merely passively receiving what comes our way.

Many corporate companies offer wellness programmes with good intentions, but these can often be a band-aid that doesn’t address the root cause of job dissatisfaction or poor performance. Coaching is customised to meet individual and team needs. It can provide a constructive tool for discovering what support you need and what you need to do to enhance your own success, that of your team and the organisation as a whole.

The concrete benefits of coaching in a corporate environment

We’ve discussed some general ways coaching can add value to an organisation. However, what are some of the concrete benefits?

In the webinar, Karr explained how the coaching process benefits the individual being coached (or coachee) and the organisation and coach themselves.

Value for the coachee

Psychological safety is essential for healing, digging deep, and accessing parts of yourself that can help you cope during tough times. 

Working with a qualified coach gives you a safe space to connect more profoundly to yourself. By fostering this inner connection, you can become more open to learning, which can also assist you to become more resilient and adaptable to change.

One of the key benefits of coaching is its ability to simplify complexity. We often feel like there is so much to do and so much going on. However, if we connect more with ourselves, we can better identify our priorities and what tasks are critical, which can also help reduce stress!

Value for the organisation

To be able to start incorporating a coaching mindset in corporate, we need to recognise its more tangible benefits beyond just connecting to ourselves and reducing our stress levels.

As Karr shares in the webinar, coaching increases performance and profits and builds more empowered teams. Historically, the focus of some large organisations may have been to drive output at the expense of personal wellbeing. However, in today’s world, coaching can help to increase staff retention, which means happier people at work!

As discussed above, coaching can help us become more resilient and adaptable to change. This resilience also translates to organisations and can help them to become more change-ready and even reduce costs.

Through cultivating psychological safety in the workplace, organisations can also work to understand their employees and their needs better. This awareness can go a long way to ensuring that diversity and inclusion become integral to the company culture, not just a form of window dressing.

Value for the coach

We might not think about how coaches could benefit in this context, as we see the result of coaching as more of a priority. However, to incorporate coaching into our working environments, we also need to see how coaching can be mutually beneficial, as this will inspire others to become coaches.

Some benefits of coaching in a corporate environment include expanding your awareness and sense of responsibility. Perhaps one of the reasons people have struggled in corporate in the past is because there wasn’t anyone serving this necessary role.

Coaching can also help you become more open and curious, which is valuable for organisational success and can help you refine your leadership style, depending on your career goals.

Coaching can also help you improve your emotional intelligence quotient or EQ because which organisation couldn’t do with more empathy and emotional awareness? To put this into perspective, in the webinar, businessman and SACAP graduate Nkulu Madonko briefly shared how he has put his coaching skills into practice while building his business(es).

How to become a corporate coach

There is a difference between internal coaching and being a corporate coach.

Internal coaches work within the organisation, while corporate coaches may work and consult with corporate companies but not necessarily work as part of their team. 

Coaching courses you can complete with SACAP

To help foster human-to-human connection, provide guidance, perspective and support and build better communication skills and strategies as a coach, you can study many different coaching courses.

Watch the webinar on our YouTube channel to get more detailed insight into coaching courses offered at SACAP.

For a brief overview, here are some of the course links below, which include undergraduate, postgraduate, diplomas and short course options:

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