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The Most Powerful Employee Incentive… Bring on the “C”

Hint: It’s not the Office Coffee Machine. Wondering what it is….?

By Kavita Ryali, Product Evangelist & Advisor, Numly™ Inc.

Great company leaders have an innate desire to hire great talent, train, make them happy, successful and have them stay and grow with them forever. FACT – that doesn’t happen and more often than not, attrition takes over. So, what builds resilience for the company and for leaders to have a strong sense of loyalty amongst employees, a high sense of pride and feeling of fulfillment?

Most employees feel that a ‘Coaching culture within the organization is a very powerful incentive.’ A coaching culture sparks a very conducive environment to foster all round growth, learning and self-attainment for employees. This learning is further super charged with engagement and empathy as there are connections happening at a grass root level amongst employees and between teams. Employees don’t feel in despair but feel they can get timely help and also help others in need. As an outcome of the coaching efforts, one genuinely feels invested in, feels secure and peaks in their performance. As a result, there is a natural environment setup for care, growth and mentorship across the entire organization.

Glue it on with “Internal Coaching”? The notion of “Internal Coaching” has grown significantly in the past 4 years. The key is in building a pipeline of change-ready leaders. In business, its simply when your coaches and coachees work within the same organization. These coaches can be trained managers, leaders, or any employee with oodles of experience, wisdom and an aptitude to share. Large companies, like Google and Microsoft, are including internal coaching as part of their employee development programs. Coaching has been identified by organizations as a critical leadership and management competency as well.

Why do companies care? Coaching and mentoring fuel learning, prepare our workforces for the future, and enhance the performance of organizations by increased Employee Engagement. With the advent of everchanging business models, Covid-19 disruptions and remote work environments, and a higher bar for meeting employee expectations, coaching and mentoring might become even more critical. According to Gallup reports and HR.Com reports , the state of employee engagement is dismal. Only 25% of U.S. workers are engaged in any meaningful way. Disengaged employees cost companies an overall U.S. $483 billion to $605 billion per year in lost productivity. Reasons for this are plenty – missed shifts, chronic tardiness, and disrupting others with negative workplace behavior. Leaders and coaching provide the “juice” needed to engage workers. Coaching can boost individual and organizational engagement and performance in today’s challenging times.

How do Employees and Managers Benefit from Coaching?

Here are three ways that employees and managers feels empowered in a Coaching Culture

1.Get expert advice

Employees and managers work hard, share smart ideas, drive multiple initiatives, yet more often than not, they don’t see growth commensurate with their efforts. Be it skill training, or the right tools to thrive in their jobs, employees are looking for help each and every day to get their jobs done. In a coaching culture, the first people they seek expert advice from are from their coaches. They are their sounding board. Be it a manager turned coach, a Subject Matter Expert (SME) turned coach or a friend/colleague turned coach, each one of them becomes an employee’s go-to person. It becomes a relationship that is built on trust. A timely advice from one’s “trusted advisors” goes a long way in improving our team’s performance levels. Now, the question is How do Managers and Leaders Develop Effective Coaching Skills and Competencies? Successful organizations like Microsoft, Google, HP, IBM, SAP and others have recognized that managers must be able to coach their employees and each other, and have included coaching in their management/leadership development.

2.Get or give help

Let’s face it our days at work is always full of challenges, conflicts, fear of losing a job and some really tough people to work with. Employees can feel lost, not know what to do or where to go and often succumb, feel stressed and give up. Individuals seek mentorship which is either not available (company too small) or senior team members are too busy to invest the time. Organizations with a robust coaching culture will find their employees are feel more safe and understood. They look to their coaches as their first line of defense.

3.Online Remote Work and WFH

The COVID-19 pandemic era has brought radical shift in working, learning and interaction models for employees and managers. Gartner’s HR Survey reveals that 88% of Organizations Have Encouraged or Required Employees to Work From Home Due to Coronavirus. The practice of traditional heavy lifting on commute, classroom training and meeting people over coffee or in conference rooms is moving away. So, what are we missing? – It’s the people and their physical presence, and yet we need to engage even more to work effectively. The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of fully digitized approaches to re-create the best of in-person learning, coaching through live video and social sharing. It’s now virtual coffee chats and online training and continuous digital presence to get work done.

Conclusion – How do Enterprises and Leaders ultimately benefit?

A coaching culture builds resilience and it is a force multiplier for any organization; resilient people strengthen teams when times are hard, and strong teams grow a lasting company. They also help people thru’ change in the post-pandemic world. Often times HR departments spend a lot of money on training their resources. However, employees and managers need support too and in varied unique ways as stated above. A strong Coaching Culture breeds teamwork and productivity. In its absence, employees feel susceptible to toxic stress, and negativity, leading to disengagement. The solution – Democratize Coaching. Team and organization members have an inherent set of strengths that they can coach others on while learning skills from others that they need to improve upon. This mutual exchange of feedback and skill growth sparks and facilitates engagement. Ultimately, effective Coaching, between and amongst employees builds teams of Trust, and YES, High Performance.

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