Build a High-Performing Team
Coaching and Counselling can be very successfully applied in a business context to understand and develop human resources. Many business managers are aware of their people's individual needs but are unsure how to accommodate them, build effective teams and to work with their strengths. Individual Coaching, Counselling and Executive coaching sessions can be provided to employees to increase their personal skills, self-awareness, self-esteem, motivation and wellness, therefore making them more productive in the workplace. These can take the form of an Employee Assistance Program or engagement of an internal coach or counsellor for a more consistent approach.
Individual sessions and other workplace services which are well aligned with coaching are further detailed below including career progression and succession planning incorporating skills development and employee growth, performance management and human resources rescaling (up or down) decision-making.
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Potential Benefits of Workplace Coaching to the Organisation
- Benefits to culture, engagement and cohesion;
- Deployment of skills in the right areas, increased employee retention, employee skills development aimed towards productive outcomes and succession planning;
- Increase in leadership and management effectiveness, aligned with organisational culture;
- Improved performance management processes allowing employees to recognise their strengths and weaknesses, develop in the correct areas, and address any external concerns affecting workplace performance;
- Promotion of a coaching and development environment, where employees embrace change and continuous improvement;
- Effective decision-making, goal-setting and planning;
- Improved client or customer communication and stronger relationships;
- Improved team effectiveness and team development, increased employee motivation;
- Improved organisational performance and productivity, which in turn leads to an enhanced industry reputation.
1. Employee Coaching and Counselling
Many organisations are aware of the need to support their employees' emotional and psychological well-being, to actively provide employees with confidential counselling services which identify and address problems affecting their personal or work performance. Further, organisations are now starting to recognise the benefit of employee coaching for those without a specific problem to address, but who are seeking personal and professional growth to maximise their potential, achieve balance and develop new skills.
There are two mechanisms for providing these workplace services, either through use of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or through engagement of an internal coach or counsellor. An EAP allows provision of an 'as-needed', independent, off-premises service, either for an annual or sessional cost, and the services can also be extended to immediate family members if preferred. In contrast, internal coaching or counselling provides a service for employees located on-premises which benefits from immediacy and understanding of the organisation, but holds the risk of hindering employee openness. I uniquely offer both coaching and counselling services, either internally or externally, whereas many other providers simply provide counselling under their EAP. This breadth allows greater engagement with employees, covering more life areas, past, present and future, therefore provides great potential for both employee and organisational growth.
Please refer to the Executive Coaching, Life Coaching and Counselling pages for more information surrounding specific benefits and concerns which can be addressed within your EAP or internal offering, or contact me for more information.
2. Career Progression and Succession Planning
Career progression, skills development and succession planning are ideal focus areas for workplace coaching - often required due to gaps in services of an over-extended human resources department focussed on recruitment and transactional work, and performance review processes isolated to individual departments with a limited holistic view.
Coaching provides the opportunity to work directly with the organisation and its employees to define specific areas for growth and development which will benefit all parties.
The evaluation process is typically run as a formal project, involving:
- Management and employee interviews;
- Development of a deep understanding of the organisational structure, roles and responsibilities;
- Analysis of organisational needs and upcoming strategies, or competitor strategies, which may change the environment;
- Analysis and comparison of employees and their skills, performance in their roles and development areas, their short and long-term aspirations and organisational fit.
A final report may detail skills' gaps in the current state, future gaps where strategy or structural changes are expected, training proposals for existing employees (both general and specific to individuals), employees mapped to career paths, and areas of risk where succession planning is not in place, with mitigation strategies. This process can be adapted in scope and breadth, for example, implemented organisation-wide or targeted towards specific departments or projects depending on organisational needs.
Coaching is often more successful for this type of work than the traditional consulting approach; while consulting heavily focusses on organisational goals it often fails to consider individual preferences and motivations. In contrast, coaching accommodates employees' strengths and weaknesses, their preferences and challenges both professionally and personally, and their motivating factors. In the long-term the latter approach provides greater benefit to the organisation and productivity.
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3. Human Resources Re-scaling Decisions
In response to market fluctuations, organisations are frequently required to scale up or down their human resources, sometimes dramatically. In these instances it can be beneficial to understand the existing and proposed organisational structures, the teams and individuals involved, their strengths, development areas, and their career preferences, in order to make effective decisions. Coaching can assist through providing insight, creation of a balanced structure with the appropriate employee mix, assistance with change, or understanding of workplace motivators.
Where a down-scale is necessary, hard decisions may have to be taken. I am uniquely positioned to provide both assistance with decision making, and redundancy coaching and counselling to displaced employees. This service allows the affected individuals to explore their future and options for job or career change, and to provide motivation and support through their transition.
Conversely, where an organisation is scaled up dramatically, for example where a large, new project is quickly initiated, workplace coaching can offer additional assistance with recruitment, such as interviewing and psychometric testing, to ensure new employees are a fit for the organisation, and that their interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence are appropriately developed.
4. Performance Management
Many organisations have organised and effective performance review processes in place to explore employee progress, performance and development areas annually or more frequently. However, it is common for these processes to end with the review and perhaps some scheduled training.
Experience and research shows organisations struggle to manage both poor performers and at the opposite end high performers, with processes often geared towards reporting and acknowledgement of performance rather than managing it well.
Workplace coaching provides an effective service covering these gaps, through provision of individual coaching opportunities. For individuals who are struggling, this may include re-examining their career path, assessing strengths and weaknesses, exploring what is hindering their performance or progress - noting this can sometimes be related to interpersonal difficulties or external factors rather than skills deficiencies - and creating goals and development paths aligned with their and the organisation's future preferences, to assist them in achieving their potential. The independence of an external coach may be more revealing in these circumstances than similar discussions directly with a manager or HR representative, and may allow greater openness from the individual depending on the agreed level of confidentiality.
For high-performing individuals, a manager may not have the time or budget to be able to facilitate these individuals' growth effectively. Additionally, these individuals often remain segregated to their particular department and are not provided opportunity to develop elsewhere in the organisation, while a manager may be reluctant to lose their skills. This may be a reasonable short-term solution, however in the longer term, where they are not provided with opportunities they will look elsewhere and the organisation loses a valuable resource and expertise. Coaching for high-performers allows a focus on their specific goals and development needs to allow them to achieve their potential - in particular, the holistic coaching approach allows detailed exploration of areas such as interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, self-awareness, confidence and motivation, which may not be addressed through traditional performance management processes which tend to focus on specific operational skills or generic management skills.
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My training covers many different coaching and counselling techniques including: learning and personality theories, cognitive-behavioural, solution-focussed, narrative, Gestalt, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), emotionally-focussed or person-centred approaches, along with the Sherpa Coaching technique, the GROW model and the Co-active Coaching model.
If you have a preference we can certainly work with a specific approach, if not, I will tailor what works for your needs, rather than choosing a single method. I work best through open and honest discussion, from a strong analytical and objective perspective and a well-studied interest in people, psychology and the mind. This has allowed me to develop high awareness and problem-solving abilities which have been incredibly useful in making improvements in my own and others' lives.