16 January 2023

How Coaching can Help Reduce Staff Turnover

Steve Halsall

Red Tiger Consulting


2022 has certainly been a year of recruitment. Quite a few people have moved jobs, although not in the vast droves that the great resignation was predicting. Most of our clients have been recruiting to not only replace staff turnover but to expand their workforce to meet increased demand.

Employee Retention and Staff Turnover

Employee retention is a big issue for most organisations. High staff turnover can decrease productivity and ultimately hit the bottom line. Research suggests that people are not just moving for an increase in salary or other financially motivated perks. Remote working has certainly contributed to reducing employees’ affinity to organisations. Reduced productivity is one impact of leavers but it’s also an issue if key staff move to competing organisations, particularly if there is a skills shortage in that specific area or industry.

Whilst I expect our recruitment to be steady in 2023, many organisations will be looking to consolidate and retain their existing teams. Economic downturns tend to influence people to steer clear of risky behaviour and by nature, moving roles will always have an element of risk. That said, it is inevitable that there will be some element of cost cutting in 2023 and redundancies can have a destabilising effect throughout an organisation. There is no such thing as a ‘permanent’ role anymore.

There is always a natural attrition with any business and this should be seen as healthy as it provides the opportunity for change, with existing people moving into new roles or new hires bringing in a fresh approach and renewed energy. Businesses should be monitoring their staff attrition rates to ensure it doesn’t reach excessively high levels. I anticipate a ramping up of investment in existing personnel which will serve to reduce the level of staff turnover. This investment will be in terms of hard and soft skills training, mental well-being – all a genuine demonstration that businesses care for their staff.

Investing in Coaching Services to Support Your Staff

One area that we are seeing growth is in investment in Red Tiger Coaching services. Successful organisations embrace coaching and mentoring (for a description of the difference please refer to my post on Demystifying Coaching) and work hard to ensure they engender a culture of support, learning and development. I know this from my Barefoot Coaching course. Approximately half of the people on the course were working for large organisations where they recognise the benefit of having in-house coaching resource.

There is a fundamental shift in what people value in an organisation. For clarity, Coaching is a process of scheduled and consistent sessions that focus on employees’ strengths and areas of performance improvement. Coaching can be a key tool to inspire and motivate employees to improve knowledge, increase skills, and change behaviours to driver greater performance in the workplace. One other significant benefit of coaching is in improving the employee’s well-being. Ultimately Coaching can be a great method to support your staff retention and reduce attrition.

One misconception is that people only need coaching when they are struggling or under performing. Some organisations adopt the ‘if it ain’t broke it doesn’t need fixing’ mentality. The reality is that even strong performers can gain real benefit from being coached. Deloitte recently partnered with the independent research firm Workplace Intelligence to survey 2,100 employees and C-level executives (Employee Well-being in the Corporate Workplace) across four countries – the US, UK, Canada, and Australia – and found that nearly 70% of executives are seriously considering quitting their current positions for a job that better supports their well-being.

Work-Life Balance and Well-Being for Employee Retention

Coaching can be a really valuable tool to support change management, support well-being, avoid employee burnout and positively impact on retention. If your organisation is unsuccessfully focusing on transactional elements to drive retention (such as salary increases or improved benefits) it may be worth knowing that a recent McKinsey study identified that employees really prioritise relational factors such as work-life balance and feeling valued by their manager and organisation, coupled with a real sense of belonging.

Group of people in an office putting their hands in over a desk. Creating a positive coaching culture can improve staff wellbeing which helps with employee retention and reducing staff turnover
Feeling valued and that you belong is an important factor in the workplace for employees.

Coaching needs to get to the stage where individuals who are selected for coaching feel valued and worthy of the investment, with a key play into the organisation’s longer-term goals.

Another misconception I occasionally hear is that a coach (particularly an external coach) may accelerate the employee in question to leave the organisation. It is not the role of the coach to suggest or drive an agenda of leaving, but on rare occasions a coaching engagement may result in the employee wishing to leave.

The polar opposite is also a very realistic option in my experience. Using the services of a Coach can support the employee in thinking through alternative strategies to leaving, to explore different avenues and provide a fresh perspective on the challenges and opportunities that present themselves within their current organisation. Coaching can support the removal of barriers and help the employee navigate round specific challenges.

A common issue today is that of too much work and lack of focus (which will often impact on work-life balance). Coaching can support a proactive approach to managing workload, setting new boundaries and developing new tactics to deal with stretch situations. The other area that a Coaching environment can support is with interpersonal issues (managing conflict with a colleague) or with personal issues (challenges that present themselves outside of the workplace but could impact on the employee’s ability to perform their role).

Coaching and Retention: Your Business Actions

My call to action here is what steps can your business make towards a positive coaching culture? What do you currently do and how can you improve on this in 2023. I would invite you to consider engaging with one of Red Tiger’s qualified Coaches to help you shape your internal coaching programme or hear first-hand how our work has supported organisations with improving retention and reducing attrition.

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Published by Steve Halsall

Steve is the founder of Red Tiger Consulting. He has worked in Location Planning for over 20 years – both on the consultancy side and client side. His passion is building successful teams that evolve their capability (skills, software and data) to meet the ever changing requirements of analysis. In his spare time he is mainly kept busy with his two children, falling in and out of love with Liverpool FC and at some point he wants to re-start his golfing ‘career’.


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