Management & Leadership

The top 3 reasons why millennials are hiring coaches

Dec 07, 2017
Millennials in the Workplace

Millennials don’t want bosses; they want coaches – leaders who will help boost their self-esteem, create career opportunities and achieve work-life balance.

Key takeaways

  • Research shows that millennials are increasingly hiring business coaches to get ahead in their careers.
  • According to studies, the top reasons Millennials hire coaches are: to boost self-esteem, to find better job opportunities, and to create a work-life balance.
  • Both managers and millennial employees can learn from these findings, implementing coaching tactics in order to achieve the results they so desire.

According to the 2016 Global Coaching Study conducted by the International Coach Federation, more and more millennials are hiring coaches. The research indicates that their top three reasons for doing so are: to boost self-esteem (40.9%), to find better career opportunities (27.6%), and to create a work-life balance (25.7%).

Whether you’re a manager or, indeed, a millennial yourself, here’s how hiring a professional coach can address each of these key workplace issues…

1. Coaching for self-esteem

There’s no getting away from it: self-esteem is crucial for career success. It doesn’t matter what work situation you are in, be it just starting out or running a company, confidence – and, by default, a positive self-esteem – plays a massive part in the day-to-day activities of most occupations. Having a strong sense of self-belief can also have an enormous impact on your effectiveness and enjoyment in your job. And it influences how we communicate with friends and colleagues. Being confident in the workplace enables us to be situationally proactive, assertive and focused.

• For managers: According to the 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey, the majority of millennials leave their companies because they are dissatisfied with how their leadership skills are being developed. The long and the short of it is that they want to be invested in and developed as leaders to equip them to make an impact in their current organisations. If this criterion isn’t met, they feel undervalued and look elsewhere for work that will enhance their confidence and sense of self. With the insight provided by a coach, managers are able to understand this need and keep an open dialogue with millennials to develop a career plan together.

• For millennials: Coaching is a form of leadership that directly impacts long-term personal, career, and leadership development factors for the receiving millennial. Coaching, not to be confused with mentoring, prioritises inquiry-based conversations where the coach asks powerful questions to the millennial. These questions are designed to be open-ended in order to broaden perspective, explore options, and discover avenues for growth and problem solving. In essence, a true coach is a “thought partner” with their millennial.

2. Coaching for better career opportunities

According to a study conducted by Barna Research, nine in 10 millennials expect to stay in a job for only three years. For managers, this so-called “job-hopping” naturally begs the question: “How much should we invest in millennials if they’re going to leave soon?”

• For managers: The simple fact remains that leaders go where they grow. Certainly millennials have received a lot of coddling and a lot of criticism, but they haven’t received a lot of coaching. Unlike criticism, which just tells you what you’ve done wrong, coaching shows you what to do differently. Unlike coddling, which won’t let you fail, coaches do let you fail, forward. And where critics throw insults from the stands, a coach is in the game. Coaches aren’t just for you. They’re with you. As a manager, if you don’t take a coach mentality with millennial employees, your staff will be tempted to be critics. Many negative things are said about millennials but one thing they’re good at is telling if someone is real or not. If young people sense they are being treated like projects instead of people, you might just be accelerating their departure. Create a culture with a long runway of coaching and growth and you’ll be offering them something that’s hard to find anywhere else.

• For millennials: All your life you’re climbing ladders. A coach will tell you that it’s better to climb significant heights to a few meaningful places than to climb insignificant heights to a ton of great opportunities. You’ll never sharpen your craft if you’re constantly changing what you feel called to do. With the help of a coach you will be able to wisely choose a few ladders, put them on the right walls, and ferociously climb even when it gets difficult. In time, you will see results.

3. Coaching to create work-life balance

According to a study conducted by Opium Research for Pricewaterhouse Coopers, development and work-life balance are more important than financial reward for millennials. This generation is committed to their personal learning and development and this remains their first choice benefit from employers. In second place, they want flexible working hours. Cash bonuses come in at a surprising third place. Yet, the same survey reports that work-life balance promises are not being kept: 28% of the millennial respondents said that the work-life balance was worse than they had expected before joining their companies.

• For managers: More so than ever in the history of corporate culture, employees are asking, “Does this organisation value my strengths and my contribution? Does this company give me the chance to do what I do best every day?” Because for millennials, a job is not just a job – it’s a life. Managers with coaching experience instinctively know that millennials are not pursuing job satisfaction – they are pursuing development. Millennials want managers who value them as both people and employees, and who help them understand and build their strengths. In effect, millennials don’t want bosses – they want coaches.

• For millennials: In a world unable to switch off, it is a common misconception that being busy is being productive. The reality is that many of us are on a treadmill to nowhere. Enter the professional coach, whose job it is to help you work smarter, not harder. Balance means the important things in your life are not being neglected in a single-minded pursuit of being busy. Coaching is an opportunity to pause, question what’s not working, and return armed with better strategies, instead of continuing with the default position that can threaten your career, and even your health.

Interested in studying coaching? With more millennials entering the workplace, there’ll be a greater demand for good coaches. SACAP offers a wide range of coaching courses that can help pave the way for a career in coaching. For more information, enquire now.

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