In every challenge there is opportunity and the COVID-19 challenge is no different. If we focus on the adaptations and improvements made by a variety of businesses, we’d celebrate the improvements they’ve found. These improvements will provide benefits, now and into the future. For the purposes of this blog, I want to focus on how best to capitalize on the “Work from Home” (WFM) environment. Since this was virtually forced upon all businesses, to some degree everyone has had to make adaptations to processes associated with virtually all aspects of their business.
As one of my clients aptly pointed out, when this impact first occurred, the most concerning part of the change was the potential damage to company culture. Why is it that culture was his first concern? Because, as we’ve heard, “Culture eats Strategy for breakfast”. In essence, Culture is nothing more that the sum total of behaviors within our organizations. The WFM environment immediately changed our behaviors, from what each of us do to how we interact with co-workers, clients, and vendors.
Given the magnitude of impact, let me share a technique that can benefit your company culture and performance in this new environment. Coaching! Coaching is a cultural differentiator that has been proven to provide significant benefits to companies that use it, both, internally and externally. 99% of the people that have had the benefit of a coach were satisfied with the overall experience, and 96% indicated that they would repeat the process again. Coaching has been proven to Increase Productivity, encourage Positive Perspectives, even in the face of challenging circumstances, and generate a positive Return on Investment. Why wouldn’t a company utilize this valuable technique. In my Navigational Coaching class, we train supervisors to “Coach” their direct reports. In doing so we virtually eliminate the need for the dreaded “Performance Evaluation” process. That, in and of itself, is a win for the organization, the HR department, the manager, and the employee.
Using the coaching model with employees that are in a WFM situation is even more valuable. The approach and methodologies support employees and sustain a positive culture throughout the organization. The benefits stem from the very process. While the process is very dynamic, you can begin to implement it by focusing on its core elements. Coaching is about guiding the Coachee to success, not “Telling” them what to do. “Telling” them what to do is reserved for core process steps that must be followed. Coaching is about achieving goals, efficiency, and effectiveness. Steps and processes to achieve those can be developed by the employee if appropriately coached by the manager.
The Coaching relationship is based upon:
A regular and frequent interaction between employee and manager to discuss the goals and the employees plan to achieve them, while allowing the employee to develop their own plans, leads to a better end result and engages the employee in a collaborative style. This approach let’s them contribute to solutions, take ownership for the accomplishment, and own the results. Managers are their coaches or guides.
The regular coaching conversation should follow a basic framework that involves 5 functional components.
Having these conversations with employees on a regular and frequent basis will enhance your culture through improved employee engagement and performance. Not to mention that you get rid of that dreaded “Performance Evaluation” process because the manager and the employee already know how they are performing to plan. It relegates the performance evaluation discussion to a compensation adjustment and next steps discussion. The performance part has already been addressed. This regular and frequent engagement between management and employee is extremely beneficial in a WFM environment.
Implementing a Navigational Coaching environment in your organization clearly takes more than just telling managers to do it. There are appropriate methodologies, mindsets, and techniques that need to be trained and supported to capture the benefit and make this an integral part of your company.
To capture this benefit in your company contact me at https://strategicorientation.com/contact/ to discuss having your supervisors trained in the Navigational Coaching Program.