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Why coaching could be your secret weapon in your engagement strategy

It goes without saying, employee engagement affects individual, team and organisational performance.  If you need the evidence to convince you, start by looking here.  The challenge for almost every organisation is how to genuinely engage their employees.  I see lots of activity in organisations under the banner of “employee engagement” or “employee experience”, but without enough thought put into whether these actions actually affect employee engagement.  

 

The 2022 Gallup State of the Global Workplace report found that only 21% of employees are engaged at work. So isn’t it time that we took a different approach to “engagement” plans, strategies and activities.  

 

What really drives engagement is not the extrinsic motivators such as pay, benefits or gifts or parties.  It’s intrinsic motivation – think about Dan Pink’s autonomy, mastery, and purpose.  So what can you do?  How can you dial up engagement levels – true engagement levels?  My suggestion is to develop your leaders to be better listeners, coaches and collaborators…..

 

When executed properly, coaching provides greater intrinsic motivation.  According to McKinsey, when employees find greater intrinsic motivation, they are 32% more committed to their work and 46% more satisfied with their jobs.

 

First let’s understand what coaching really is. At its simplest, coaching is helping people learn, rather than teaching or telling them. A coach is not a subject expert, but rather focuses on helping the individual improve their game by encouraging them to think broadly about potential approaches/techniques/tools.  So coaches don’t tell you what to do – they help people solve their own problems and improve their own performance.

 

Let’s pause here for a minute.  Coaching is not always appropriate.  Given coaching is about helping people solve problems, this is only appropriate when there is not a definitive answer or approach.  Sometimes there is one, and only one, solution.  Coaching is not needed here – teaching is needed.  This is the answer, please use this one.  But in this VUCA world, there are lots of times when there is not a clear answer -and the problem with relying on telling people what to do is that it does not guarantee people will do what you ask!  And that’s the nub of things.  People do not do what they are told to do.  

 

Why?  Because even if they are paid well, have great benefits, lots of social activities and access to comprehensive wellbeing support.  If human beings don’t have opportunities to think for themselves, apply their knowledge and skills and draw their own conclusions – they will eventually be disengaged.  

 

The NeuroLeadership Institute calls this an “Insight” – the phenomenon of unexpectedly solving a complex problem.  Think of insights as the “Eureka!” moment – when a story falls into place and when we see relationships and patterns we were previously unaware of.

 

Fundamentally, this is what coaching does. Coaching is the technique of helping people have their own Eureka moment.  Research shows that people are more likely to remember an idea they have generated themselves and feel engaged when they seek out answers themselves rather than just being given a solution.  This is where the intrinsic motivation comes in – doing things because it’s internally rewarding.  Having an “Insight” is also accompanied by action and a desire to achieve an outcome.  So not only are people motivated, they are also motivated to act and put that idea into action.  

 

The final bonus?  When you have your own Insight about solving a problem you’re more likely to apply that idea/knowledge/skill to similar situations in the future. Not a one off solution, but a longer term change in behaviour – in other words, inspiring the self-directed willingness to try new things and make new discoveries. 

 

So what, I hear you say.

 

According to research by Gartner for HR to identify organisation’s priorities and challenges for 2023, the largest share of respondents identified “leader and manager effectiveness”; with change management and  employee experience also featuring in the top 5. Can you see how coaching could address all three of these areas?  Coaching for critical leaders whose behaviour is influential on others around them.  But also increasing the coaching capabilities of all leaders in your organisation.

 

At Blue Grape, we do both – leadership and executive coaching, AND programmes to develop managers to be better coaches.  There’s a difference between the two – and certainly managers do not need to be certified coaches.  But they do need a coaching leadership style in their leadership toolkit, and it’s that different approach to our development programmes that sets us apart from other organisations.  

 

If you’re like the many other organisations who’ve seen their engagement levels stall since the Pandemic ( 2022 Gallup State of the Global Workplace), could coaching be your secret weapon in your engagement strategy?  If you think so, give us a call and let’s talk about how we can help you…..

 

Read about why
people love us.

People love us because of our ability to quickly understand your business needs and translate these into pragmatic people solutions.

People come back to us because we’re human, genuinely nice people and love building lasting relationships with fun people who want to do great things!

HR Project Manager
HR Project ManagerFinancial Services
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I had the great fortune of working with Rhiannon on the delivery of a global systems integration project.

Rhiannon was instrumental in ensuring the platforms success spear heading our Group wide upskilling programme. Her personal commitment and willingness to confront the challenge of change was exceptional.

Without her personal drive, consultative mindset and unfailing customer centric approach in both responding to our ever-changing requirements and the broad development needs of our workforce we would not have effected the change we have.
Head of People Development & Training
Head of People Development & TrainingFinancial Services
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Rhiannon very quickly gets to grip with the culture of an organisation and demonstrates the perfect style to build rapport with participants.

Her creativity in the design of workshops is exceptional and the way in which she combines blending learning elements worked incredibly well with the learners at my last organisation.

I recently had the pleasure of supporting Rhiannon with over 20 workshops embedding a new online performance review system and she maintained motivation and energy at all times.
Head of Procurement
Head of ProcurementGovernment Function
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One of the biggest challenges you can undertake in your job is to arrange a team away day. My advice for you is to ensure you know what you want to achieve, pick a suitable venue but most importantly pick a facilitator who can support you to achieve what you want.

Rhiannon managed to understand our problem, the best way to approach this and how to deliver on the day. After three phone calls her understanding of who we were and what we needed to do was amazing. The only negative feedback I have had from the team is why we didn’t get her in sooner.

My thanks for a great day and keeping us focused on some big and difficult topics. Would thoroughly recommend and will certainly ask Rhiannon for more support going forward.
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