LMS & Professional Coaching: How They Help Solve HR's Biggest Challenges

Upskilling managers, motivating disengaged employees, and improving retention are the three biggest challenges facing HR professionals. 

The solution? Nearly 50 percent of organizations are planning to increase their L&D spending— up from 41 percent in 2021, according to a new Capterra survey. But as employees continue to quit in record numbers, is doubling down on old strategies the best way to attract and retain top talent? 

Yes and no…everyone's favorite answer. Let’s dig in!

What Motivates Employees to Leave & Stay?

Before we can explore solutions, we need to understand the intrinsic motivations behind employee attrition and retention. According to the latest research on the “Great Attrition” from McKinsey & Company, two out of five employees are considering leaving their jobs. Their reasons showcase three trends: 

  1. Reshuffling: Employees are switching industries faster and more often than ever before.
  2. Reinventing: Employees are quitting traditional 9-5 roles to become freelancers, part-time workers, or small business owners. 
  3. Reassessing: Employees with caregiving responsibilities— be it to take care of their children, elders, or their own health issues— are quitting in record numbers and debating whether it’s worth re-entering the talent pool or not.

To successfully come out of the war on talent, hiring managers need to consider the motivations behind these different segments of workers. Let’s start with the commonalities between the three. The McKinsey report reads,

“It cannot be overstated just how influential a bad boss can be in causing people to leave. And while in the past an attractive salary could keep people in a job despite a bad boss, that is much less true now than it was before the pandemic. Our survey shows that uncaring and uninspiring leaders are a big part of why people left their jobs, along with a lack of career development. Flexibility, on the other hand, is a top motivator and reason for staying.”

When asked to rank why they accepted a new job offer or what would draw them back to a traditional job setting, we start to see some differences. 

The reshufflers, who are traditional, career-minded individuals and the most sought-after said the most important factors in accepting a new job were:

  1. Career development and advancement
  2. Adequate total compensation
  3. Meaningful work
  4. Workplace flexibility, and 
  5. Reliable and supportive people at work

The non-traditionalists, those who are reinventing or reassessing their careers, ranked the following as the most important factors to return to a traditional job: 

  1. Workplace flexibility
  2. Adequate total compensation
  3. Meaningful work
  4. Support for health and well-being, and 
  5. Reliable and supportive people at work

Companies should continue to value their traditional employees, but there are not enough of them to fill the current job openings. But with the right strategies in place, companies can entice numerous employee segments at once. 

First, companies should sharpen their traditional employee value propositions which means exploring career visions with employees and creating career roadmaps or paths for advancement. They should also look at enhancing employee benefits to include more relevant programs. Life insurance, while you should not remove it from your package, isn’t actually helping you attract and retain talent. Personalized professional development and financial wellness programs, however, will. 

Second, companies should carve out their nontraditional employee value propositions, meaning how can they find ways to create organizational flexibility and strive to prioritize purpose and wellness over profits and illness.

Diver Deeper: 3 Organizational Shifts to Prevent Toxic Workplace Cultures

And, finally, companies need to invest in belonging, creating stronger team and organizational bonds. There’s a reason “RTO” is trending for “Return to Obnoxious Coworkers” rather than the intended meaning of “return to office.” As the McKinsey report reads, “building this organizational attribute will also make it harder for traditionalists to go elsewhere for a bit more pay.” 

Why are Companies Increasing L&D Budgets?

To reiterate, nearly 50 percent of organizations are planning to increase their L&D spending to upskill managers, motivate disengaged employees, and retain talent. But as employees continue to quit in record numbers, is doubling down on old strategies the best way to accomplish this? 

Here’s why the answer is yes and no. Let’s start with no…

The most common form of L&D in organizations of all sizes is a Learning Management System (LMS). Designed to deliver on-demand courses on a SaaS platform, their objective is to train employees on a subscribed skill or activity while providing progress metrics and other administrative needs. 

Differences between training and development

LMS objectives and HR's current challenges are misaligned. An LMS trains employees. Employees, however, are demanding development. While often used interchangeably, training and development are not synonymous. 

Training is a short-term, standardized process with a concrete goal. The goal, learning a skill or core competency, directly relates to their job requirements. 

Development, however, is an open-ended, personalized process that helps an individual grow their way of thinking. Development goals are future-focused and dictated by the employee to help advance their career.

An LMS only helps companies achieve standardized training and compliance. That’s why, according to Lorman’s study on employee training,

  • 74% of surveyed employees feel they aren’t reaching their full potential at work due to a lack of development opportunities.
  • Only 29% of employees are "very satisfied" with their current career advancement opportunities available within their organization, and 
  • Nearly 59% of employees claim most of their skills were self-taught.

To genuinely upskill managers, motivate disengaged employees, and reduce turnover HR leaders need to invest some— or most— of their L&D budget into development.

So, what is the best form of development? And can any achieve all three business objectives? We finally arrive at our “yes.”

What is the No.1 Form of Professional Development?

Executive coaching is a highly respected professional development modality. It’s also the only one supported by scientific research. 

Utilizing techniques based in behavioral neuroscience and the biopsychosocial model, executive coaching involves a series of one-on-one interactions between a trained professional coach and their coachee. In these private sessions, the coach plays a critical role of an unbiased challenger and supporter, driving increased self-awareness and transformational behavioral change. As a result, the coachee becomes more effective through the development of new behaviors, skills, and habits impacting both their performance and wellbeing at work. 

But let’s get more specific. How does executive coaching compare to an LMS in solving HR’s three objectives for 2023?

LMS & Coaching: Upskilling Managers

A trainer or an LMS says, “here are the correct techniques.” 

A coach says, “let’s find the techniques best suited for you and your goals.”

Upskilling managers can refer to both training and development, but the 7 top strategies for improving management skills, according to Harvard Business School, include: 

  1. Strengthening Decision-Making Skills
  2. Cultivating Self-Awareness
  3. Building Trust Across Your Team
  4. Becoming a Better Communicator
  5. Establishing Regular Check-ins
  6. Carving Out Time for Reflection
  7. Completing Management & Compliance Training

As you can see, there are more “soft skills” or “people skills” listed than technical skills. This also aligns with employees' most common descriptions of a bad boss: unethical, untrustworthy, self-promoting, and/ or cutthroat. 

Use the below chart to compare an LMS and coaching platforms based on these 7 skills.

How an LMS & executive coaching help managers develop the 7 most in-demand leadership skills.

LMS & Coaching: Motivating Disengaged Employees

Three main reasons employees become disengaged are: 

  1. Lack of recognition and reward
  2. Lack of trust and/or respect in leadership, and
  3. Lack of autonomy (or abundance of micromanaging)

To improve employee engagement, based on research from McKinsey & Gallup, employers must: 

  • Consistently measure engagement levels
  • Host growth-oriented & strength-based conversations
  • Foster a supportive leadership team, and 
  • Prioritize employee wellbeing while leading by example

Use the chart below to compare an LMS and coaching in their ability to re-motivate the disengaged. 

How an LMS and professional coaching help improve employee engagement.

LMS & Coaching: Improving Retention

We don’t need a visual comparison for this one. 

There is no concrete data supporting claims that an LMS helps with attrition. Providing coaching opportunities, however, shows employees their organizations are willing to invest in their future. And as coachees begin to foster new business ideas, become more visible and respected leaders, and achieve their personal and professional goals, they are significantly less likely to leave. 

LeggUP is the only coaching company with Talent Insurance®. If any of your employees resign 90-days after completing their Talent Insurance program, LeggUP will reimburse you the cost of their program. Why? We know our programs help your employees feel well, work well, and live well, with coachees reporting up to a 73% improvement in job satisfaction in just three to four months and up to a 40% improvement in retention.

CASE STUDY: How LeggUP Improves Retention in High-Stress Jobs

LeggUP Talent Insurance:

Preventing the Top 5 Reasons for Resignation

Kelvin Thomas, PCC

Chief Experience Officer

Articles you also might like

Employee Involvement: The Top Benefits and How to Improve It

Employee involvement can make or break your business. ✓ Discover what employee involvement is, the benefits, and how to create an employee involvement program!

Read more
push arrow to go to next page

Kelvin Thomas, PCC

Chief Experience Officer

LMS & Professional Coaching: How They Help Solve HR's Biggest Challenges

How does executive coaching compare to an LMS in solving HR’s three objectives for 2023: upskilling managers, motivating disengaged employees, and improving retention?

Read more
push arrow to go to next page

Kelvin Thomas, PCC

Chief Experience Officer

Managing the Workload of Employees: Top 6 Strategies to Apply

Proper workload management can make or break an employee’s productivity and a company’s bottom line. ✓ This guide covers tips on managing workloads effectively.

Read more
push arrow to go to next page

Tom Finn

Chief Executive Officer