In a perfect world, there would be a person in every organization that attended to the monitoring of the employee’s mental, emotional and motivational well-being as it applies to their professional life.
Although some companies have found great value in having what they call a “Talent Advisor” or “Staff Development” person, most organizations do not have the budget and have rolled those responsibilities into their already overtaxed HR departments.
Other leaders attempt to manage this very important task themselves by having regular status meetings with their rising stars and high potentials. Aside from the time restraints, there is an uncomfortable truth to be recognized about this system:
YOUR EMPLOYEES WILL RARELY TELL YOU WHAT THEY REALLY THINK OR FEEL.
F. E. A. R.
As leaders, we want to believe that our direct reports will tell us what’s really on their minds, but unfortunately, even they may be unaware of what stops them.
Let’s look at the FEAR.
F: Feelings: employees can feel that they will appear weak or stupid for admitting that they need help. They want to appear capable and strong in the eyes of their superiors.
E: Experience: previous bad experiences with other managers have proven ineffective so they suck it up and move on, leaving good ideas to die on the vine.
A: Authority: challenging authority is a slippery slope if you learned to always agree with your boss. Rather than confront an issue, they sweep it under the rug.
R: Although this would never happen in some organizations, retaliation and retribution are common in many companies.
The outsourcing of professional development responsibilities has shown to more than pay for itself in retention and overall job satisfaction of valuable team members. Some companies report that ROI of coaching is 6x the cost of the investment.
Utilizing an outside resource allows leaders to know that the well-being of their high potentials, leaders and direct reports is being tended to without adding headcount. This also leaves the leader free to do the important work of planning, strategizing and growing the organization’s bottom line.
Here are some issues that employees bring to a confidential and supportive environment of external coaching:
•“I need to have a better relationship with my boss”
•“I need to grow as a leader or a manager”
•“I need to learn to have difficult conversations”
•“I need to learn to hold myself and others accountable”
•“Our team needs to work together better”
•“I am not sure I’m ready for the promotion I’m being offered”
•“I need to find a way to speak up”
•“I think I have imposter syndrome, am I really good at this?”
•“I want to get promoted but I’m not sure where to start”
These issues many times go unseen, potentially stunting the growth of the individual as well as the organization. These problems can frequently be solved seamlessly and effectively via coaching conversations. Additionally, a qualified person can support leaders and staff in the following areas:
•Managing stress and overwhelm
•Having hard conversations
•Dealing with difficult people
•Aligning with the organization priorities
•Seeking and preparing for advancement or promotion
•Training and onboarding
Hiring outside coaching for your best employees signals that you are proactive and willing to invest in them. It shows that you see their potential and want to see more of it.
If you already engage the services of outside coaching for your teams, congratulations! You are in good company. The most cutting edge and progressive organizations use coaches, both internal and external.
Think about it, who wouldn’t want to work hard to give their best to an organization that cares enough to invest in their professional development and wellbeing? For most, it is a dream come true.
It might just be time to start.