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Coaching for engagement

Coaching is one of the most valuable learning and development strategies an organisation can offer. Mike Greatwood, CEO of The Dream Manager Program, offers five reasons why coaching is so good at improving employee engagement.

Its potential for enabling talented employees to grow and develop to achieve their full leadership potential is well known, but less widely acknowledged is the benefit coaching offers to HR as an employee engagement intervention.  

1. Builds trust in the organisation

Coaching gives employees the space to be heard, feel significant and listened to. This in turn helps employees to build trust in their working environments, especially if the coaching format used is small groups of peers, co-workers or project teams. When provided in a group based setting, coaching helps to develop trust among colleagues working in an organization and when delivered on an individual basis, it’s a chance for the employee to thrive without an audience and truly be themselves. 

Trust is built because good coaching has no bias towards the organization – the employee feels invested in and nurtured since the goal of most coaching is developmental and gives the individual the opportunity to develop his or her career and life choices. They feel part of a plan or a progressive agenda.

2. Encourages reflective behaviour

A coaching session provides a safe place to encourage self-reflection and open communication at all levels. It is an opportunity for employees to openly communicate where they are today and where they want to be in the future. This self-development process helps to build whole life engagement, which is an essential precursor to organizational engagement. The best leaders inside organizations understand this connection between personal and workplace engagement and it’s why they typically build an element of personal interest into business objective setting. And in doing so, it also helps employees to develop a better work/life blend. 

3. Helps employees become more goal orientated

Both at individual and group levels, coaching helps to support an individual in looking forward and becoming more intentional and action orientated about goal (or in our case ‘Dream’) setting. It enables the coachee to say where they want to be in the future and consider how they are going to get there. In turn, this helps to build workable plans, measurable steps and precise actions detailing how an individual or a team can get there. 

4. Improves self awareness

Coaching creates a culture of peer and colleague awareness. Managers who are self-aware are more effective than less self-aware counterparts because they are better able to understand their differences and what employees need and want.

Apart from performance improvements, when people become more self aware, they become more aware of their impact on other people, which is a key contributor to employee engagement. It’s a well known adage that people don’t leave employers, they leave their line managers and that’s verified in Oracle’s 2015 survey into employee engagement. 36% of the 1,500 survey respondents said that their line manager was the single most important determinant of how happy they are in the workplace and therefore their corresponding levels of employee engagement. This result was five times greater than the impact of the CEO (6%) and just under four times greater than the senior leadership team (8%). 

5. Increases accountability

As well as making people more action orientated, coaching increases individual accountability. This is because by stating goals/Dreams out loud in front of others, whether in a group or between coach and coachee, an unofficial, verbal contract is created and the likelihood of follow through is much higher.

www.thedreammanagerprogram.com

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