The One Solution to Many Common Organizational Challenges
Simply put, a Leader Coach is a qualified, internal manager that works with employees to help them be their best. In “The Cycle of Transformation: Igniting Organizational Change Through the Leader Coach”, author Deb Siverson writes that a Leader Coach must, “possess both the skills and the desire to build trusting relationships, effectively listen, and genuinely care about the hopes, wants and dreams of others. They also must have the technical capabilities for the role they are being called to and a strong desire to succeed.”
Leader Coaches are not therapists. They are not explicitly problem solvers. Instead, Leader Coaches help others untangle their own knots. They question, challenge, inspire and support. They administer assessments and conduct observations.
Leader Coaches establish an environment of trust, where employees feel safe to share their vulnerabilities and vent their frustrations in a confidential, altruistic space.
But so what? What does this have to do with the bottom line? Companies are in the business of supply and demand, not trust and vulnerability, right?
Here are some of the major ways Leader Coaches make significant impacts to an organization’s culture, and yes, the bottom line.
Increase Employee Engagement – A recent Gallup study revealed that only 22% of employees in the U.S. are engaged and thriving at work. It also surmised that employee disengagement costs U.S. businesses a shocking $450 – $550 billion each year in lost productivity. However, another study conducted by the Human Capital Institute (HCI) and the International Coaches Federation (ICF) found that overall, 65% of employees from companies with strong coaching cultures rated themselves as highly engaged. According to ICF Global Board Chair Damian Goldvarg, Ph.D., MCC., “The benefits of building a strong coaching culture are clear. Organizations with high-impact coaching programs are more likely to see greater staff engagement and retention, as well as increased revenue.”
Clarify Goals – There is no shortage of attention-stealers during a typical work day. The modern employee is constantly trying to adapt to an ever-changing landscape of responsibilities, partnerships, time constraints, budget cuts, staff reductions, and competing priorities. Many times, individuals place more emphasis on survival than prosperity. Good coaching strives to cut through the weeds and focus on the coaching priority, which may or may not have an apparent task-application. As Deb Siverson writes in “The Cycle of Transformation”, “Self-confidence, for example, is a coaching priority that shows itself in various ways. It can cause people to over- or under compensate by being either overly aggressive or timid. It will manifest again and again.”
Align Values – In a world of computers and automation, it’s easy to focus on processes and protocols when assessing situations. But you can’t program your human capital, you must inspire and collaborate. Leader Coaches guide individuals along their own self-discovery. Not just feeling what is important, but naming specific values and aligning those with the organization. According to a recent BlessingWhite Engagemnent Report, “We believe that aligning employees’ values, goals, and aspirations with those of the organization is the best method for achieving the sustainable employee engagement required for an organization to thrive.” When a job or role touches a fundamental value in people’s lives, passion can outperform procedures.
Establish Accountability – Job responsibilities offer a certain amount of built-in accountability, but Leader Coaches take it a step further. Leader Coaches champion individual’s self-directed accountability. Like an alarm clock, Leader Coaches stand vigilant to remind others of the goals and timetables they have set for themselves. But while a clock simply bleats when it’s been told to, a Leader Coach is an active, caring, invested component in the goal-attainment strategy. They assume greatness, provide support, and challenge excuses.