How being coached and developing your coaching leadership skills can improve 'employee engagement'
You, employee engagement and coaching
Have you ever considered what coaching can do for you personally? As well as being transformative for individuals, it can have an amazing impact if you adopt a coaching culture in your business and equip your leaders with coaching skills. The greatest way to measure this impact is through measuring employee engagement.
As I’ve studied employee survey results, it’s astounded me how many people would trade their next pay rise for their immediate line manager to be replaced - even for them to be sacked! Employee engagement is a topic I thought I’d never have to think much about - it’s just for the people at the top of big companies, right? Maybe not. Read this article and see what you think!
'If we do nothing, everything doesn't stay the same'; it's just another way of saying people always need support and development, because the workplace is continuously changing, so we can't just keep doing what we have always done.
How engaged - the extent to which we feel passionate about our jobs - affects us all. Therefore, we can all influence the engagement results. 'Does it really matter?', you ask? Well, I believe the answer is yes, because wherever you work and whatever you do, you can directly influence the area you work in. It's not just your chance to have a voice or have your say. It is your opportunity to understand how you can make it better for your own business or where you work. Still thinking it’s not something you can influence? Everyone can start just by being a better colleague to each other - often one of the lowest survey outcomes.
Engaged employees are happier, more satisfied with their careers, and are better performers. The key to employee engagement for the leadership team is capturing the hearts and minds of the employees, so they are willing to offer more of their capability and potential. If the employees are doing this anyway, forced into it by staff shortages and increased workload, the workforce will inevitably become stressed or eventually want to leave. Thus, impacting businesses both large and small with the loss of experience, increased running costs, and overall reducing profit.
Do you run a business, manage anyone, or lead a team? If so, ask yourself 'are you being the boss that people want to work for?', or more importantly are you being the person/leader you want to be at work? You can be the catalyst for change, impacting the lives of many of the people around you.
Martin Luther King said "a genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus, but a molder of consensus"; all of us can be leaders in our own way.
A good leader inspires others and leads by example, which can then have a ripple effect. If you aren't sure how to make a difference to your employee's opinions starting today, start with knowing yourself better, to enable you to better support those around you.
4 ways to improve employee engagement
1. If you haven't already, invest in a coach
A coach will help you to discover your life purpose, your passion. Get to know your values and any limiting beliefs you may have; once you understand yourself, you will be better able to influence the lives of the people who work around you. Being the best version of yourself will uplift everyone.
2. If you don't do it already, learn to coach
ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential. When managers are great at telling people what to do, the job gets managed. However, the staff are often demotivated and under-valued, and lack creativity and inspiration. Staff become empowered when you enable them to think for themselves, taking responsibility for their actions. Coaching your team will help them build confidence, making embedding change easier. When you coach others, you trust people to choose their own goals, and people can surprise you; they will challenge themselves much more than you would ask them to do.
3. Be the leader that leads by example
Once embedded, coaching will free up more time and prevent that familiar. Groundhog Day. Through coaching, you will be encouraging and developing your team, providing positive feedback. These are significant motivators on employee surveys above money, development, and positive feedback/recognition.
4. Be flexible!
Technology has changed the way we work, mobiles and emails are with us 24/7. We often answer emails on our days off, make calls out of hours. I've even been skiing on the top of a freezing mountain where guys have stopped to take a business call - are you committed to giving up your personal time for work? This shift in work-life balance means, as leaders, we are all giving and asking for more, but are we managing the effects of this in return? Little things could make a difference, like wifi so people can lead their lives at work, access to healthy snacks, exercise facilities, use of office equipment, to name a few. What could make a difference for your team?
Lastly, I want to leave you with this thought:
Recognising behaviours that support the companies values and supports employee engagement improvements will show that you're listening! "People flourish when they are praised and listened to". Encourage more positive behaviours, and demonstrate you are putting your people first.
Has this got you thinking? What difference could coaching make to you today?
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