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Give Your Employees the Gift of Coaching

By Madhukar Govindaraju , Founder & CEO

Organizations invest a lot in their employee engagement to keep them happy and productive at work. Adopting some of the fanciest technology solutions, setting up offices in hip locations, providing handsome perks, and lavish annual get-togethers…the list is veritably endless. 

While these elements have been lucrative draws, all or at least most, of these initiatives have been of no impact over the last year. What good was that fancy campus with no one to inhabit it? What good is that office cafeteria or game room when no one comes to it? 

The technology, yes, that has been an investment that has come of use in this age that we dwell in. Technology helped us stay connected, collaborative, efficient, and productive. As we leave 2020 behind us, we take with us great learning from it – that the world of work has changed in indelible ways, and it is time for organizations to re-evaluate what matters to their workforce.

Coaching – the best new year’s gift

2020 was the year of the unexpected…a year that compelled organizations to completely rethink and rework their business to adapt it to a global pandemic. While the embers of this disruption seem to settle a little, it is clear that disruption is going to be a trend in our lives for the foreseeable future. 

A painful lesson that the past year taught us was that even the best-laid plans can bite the dust and that the future might not unfold as we predict or want it to. 

Building organizational resilience becomes critical in this world of constant disruption, especially because the rules of engagement, of how you control and manage things and people, have changed.

When disruption reigns supreme, organizations need a new approach to do things, especially where people are concerned. In such uncertain and unpredictable times, a good people management model is not based on pre-existing guidelines or principles of accountability or even the driving cultural norms. 

It, instead, rests with coaching.

Coaching, in essence, is designed to accelerate the adoption of new competencies. 

The new world order, or should we call it chaos, demands a new approach. That apart, here are a few compelling reasons why employees need the gift of coaching now, more than ever.

The New Rules of Productivity and Collaboration

Organizations have to look at avenues to drive and cultivate collaboration given the new distributed and remote world of work. 

With no physical interaction and dynamics at play, employees need new tools to hone their critical skills that enable collaboration – critical thinking, communication, strategic thinking, ownership, accountability, empathy, and the like become essential skills for productivity and collaboration.

Sticking to yesterday’s playbook to drive collaboration is not going to work today. As the rules of the game change, employees need constant guidance and proactive feedback based on data-backed insights into their critical skills. With contextual, timely, and relevant guidance, they can ably navigate this complex world-of-work, where collaboration boosts innovation.

The added advantage of coaching is that employees can ask for help, address queries, get feedback, and determine solutions without fear or judgment.

Rise of the Gig Economy

The ‘gig economy’ has been on an incremental rise for some time now. 2020, perhaps gave it the push that it needed to transform into a serious trend that organizations across the world are accepting and using. The need for specialized and niche skills such as new-age digital skills are on an upswing. This is especially true as the world is more software-defined and remote working and distributed work environments are the new normal. These influencers have further legitimized the gig economy and accelerated its adoption.

Research shows that 81% of companies have used gig workers. 29.7% of the organizations used gig workers for project-based work. 24.4% hired freelance workers or independent contractors for work that did not need 8-hour work shifts and 26.5% employed them as substitutes to absent full-time workers. 

While the employment status of these gig workers remains challenged, organizations are often found wondering if these workers should be a part of their coaching plan or not? An E&Y study revealed that “52% of contingent workers don’t receive training from their employer”.

This gig economy trend is going to continue on its upward trajectory especially as the need for niche skills grows incrementally. And while organizations have to work out whether they treat these workers as ‘employees’ or ‘external resources’, taking into account their learning and growth needs and enabling them with the right coach will lead to engaged and well-utilized gig workers.

From Employee Engagement to Enablement

What’s the buzzword for 2021? EMPOWERMENT!!

  • Organizations now have to focus on creating individual and group behavioral transformation to drive business outcomes. 
  • Employees need coaching to scale performance blockers, remain engaged, and self-motivated. They need to build their future skills or upskill themselves to meet the business needs. 
  • New managers need empowerment with the right set of skills to manage this remote workforce. 
  • Old-time managers need to reset their beliefs and adopt new tools and strategies to manage the new dynamics of the workforce. 
  • Leadership training also has to change to help leaders adapt and drive positive organizational outcomes in an extremely challenging business environment. 

There is a lot of work at hand, clearly!

The cue to alleviate all these challenges and navigate them lies with coaching. Given its continuous nature, coaching effectively helps in bringing about the behavioral change needed to become more adaptable and agile. It also provides employees the right support and direction to enhance their performance by addressing the hurdles they face. Coaching enables the workforce by providing guided direction which brings clarity to thought and thereby drives enablement.   

Transform Change Management 

New ways of working and new types of interactions became normal in 2020. 

Managers were challenged to maintain the motivation and employee engagement levels of their team members and avoid Work from Home burnout. Leadership styles have had to adapt to meet the requirements of this new world order. Performance management and employee experience have reached an inflection point and are ushering in the age of HR 3.0.  

Coaching emerges as a central theme to help organizations, managers, leaders, and employees become more responsible and agile towards change. Leveraging contextual coaching organizations can enable better change management and help employees remain motivated and engaged. They can help managers become better coaches and drive leaders to become more empathetic without sacrificing innovation.

The new decade dawns amidst challenges and struggles. As such, organizations have to go back to the drawing board and evaluate how to improve the processes and workflows and fine-tune them to meet the needs of this new year. At the same time, they have to understand and identify new ways to take their team to victory. 

This journey becomes far more outcome-driven and productive with an effective coach on their side… guiding, teaching, and helping employees, managers and leaders navigate the challenges they face by providing frequent, contextual, and timely feedback. It also helps employees feel more connected to the workplace as coaching looks at employees as whole ‘people’ and not as drones carrying on everyday tasks mechanically with little thought. 

Coaching considers an individual’s inner game and helps them overcome all habits of the mind that inhibit performance. It creates strong bonds and connections that bring behavioral change that drive performance. 

It, hence, becomes an incredibly powerful tool to motivate and engage the millennial worker, the rising and the most dominant generation in our workforce presently.

Connect with us to understand how to create a robust internal coaching culture leveraging a powerful, AI-enabled coaching platform. Give your employee engagement and learning and development initiatives the jumpstart they need to sail through 2021.

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