By Tamsin Slyce How do you coach a rocket scientist? Answer: take a systems approach, NASA’s Christine Williams told delegates at the Association for Coaching and University of East London Leadership Coaching conference on 8 July. In 2008, NASA recognised its systems engineers were at the height of competence in the ‘science’ of their jobs, but were not great at the ‘art’ of it. Only a handful had the communication and leadership skills needed to operate cross-culturally and throughout the agency. To address this, Williams created a development programme with coaching embedded in it. Unlike most involved in the top-secret […]
By Liz Hall As its new president, John Leary-Joyce will be helping the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) UK clarify its unique contribution. “Each of the four bodies has a different character and offering so in this rich and flourishing profession I want EMCC UK to be clear about the unique contribution it makes to the market of coaching and mentoring,” said Leary-Joyce. Leary-Joyce, who steps into current president Mike Hurley’s shoes in September, will also be working closely with his European presidential counterparts to build a stronger more integrated European network of practitioners especially for coaches/mentors within organisations. […]
By Liz Hall
Many employers and coaches are barking up the wrong tree when it comes to the hot topic of employee engagement.
Employee engagement remains critically low because although it is employers’ number one concern, many are getting their strategies wrong. Employers need to shift the focus in their employee engagement strategies away from big-picture issues such as charismatic leadership and work/life balance towards rebuilding employees’ trust both in their employer and immediate manager, and the relationship between manager and direct report. These were the key messages in the Training Foundation’s white paper on employee engagement, The Rules of Engagement, launched on 14 June.
“This carries profound implications for the value of coaching, because the number one influence on employee engagement is the relationship between employees and their immediate manager – yet most have had no training on how to get the most out of their people,” said a spokeswoman for the Training Foundation.
The paper’s strategies have been endorsed by David Macleod, co-author of the Macleod report to Government on Employee Engagement (May 2009).
Employee trust levels in employers are low because of the current climate of austerity, wage freezes, lay-offs and short-time working. Rebuilding that trust in the employer, and in the manager, is an urgent priority.
Employers and coaches need to make sure they look at the role of emotions in decision-making. Recent discoveries from neuroscience and genetics are confirming occupational psychologists’ findings that the importance of emotions to decision-making is far greater than previously thought, says the paper.
The workplace climate is more important than organisational culture. Most employers are focusing their engagement strategy on organisational initiatives such as flexible working. Whilst important, these are not producing results because they are trumped by a far more influential factor – the importance of the employee/immediate manager relationship, which is the key factor in up to eight out of 10 decisions to leave a job, the ultimate measurement of engagement. Surveys by The Training Foundation and others show that less than 20% of managers have received any training in engagement skills and how to bring out the best in people.
Only 24% of UK employees are engaged with their job, according to the latest Gallup Engagement Survey and the CBI reported in May 2010 that employee engagement is now the biggest challenge facing employers. Sixty seven per cent of businesses said employee engagement was their priority going forward, while seven out of 10 said engagement would play a vital role in their business’ recovery
The rules of engagement are:
Rule 1 Engagement is founded on trust
Rule 2 Engagement is driven by emotions
Rule 3 Engagement is 20% culture, 80% climate
The Training Foundation, formed in 1998, is a performance improvement organisation focused on assisting employers to improve organisational performance in two critical areas; by sustaining high employee engagement and by effective learning and development strategies. For more information or to access The Rules of Engagement white paper, go to www.trainingfoundation.com
Appreciation of East-West cultural differences helped ensure a successful partnership between Singapore Civil Service College and Henley Business School. By Jane Campion Henley adapted its Certificate of Coaching to help the college train coaches to support fast-track development for the future leaders of Singapore’s 74,000 civil servants and 50,000 statutory body employees. “We needed a collaborative and transparent partnership; flexibility to customise a programme without losing its core essence; a clear focus on our desired objectives and target coaches; care in selection of coach candidates, and strong monitoring of progress,” said Singapore Civil Service College director of leadership development, […]
You’ve given the thumbs down to government intervention and the thumbs up to collaboration between professional bodies when it comes to dealing with incompetent, unethical and poor coaching practice in the UK. Only 14 per cent and 13 per cent of you, respectively, feel that government regulation will prevent or reduce incompetence, and poor or unethical coaching practice, according to the Poor Practice 2010 survey. Many of you want to see professional bodies jointly develop a code of ethics (84 per cent and 86 per cent, respectively) and a joint complaints procedure (76 per cent and 72 per cent). A […]
A peer group supervision scheme using Action Learning Sets (ALS) has proved more cost-effective than supervision offered by external coach supervisors, according to an evaluation. The scheme piloted across the Welsh Public Service has been a “marked success”, offering more value for money and more CPD than supervision offered by other public sector networks. Coaches who had previously received external personal supervision deemed the group supervision “superior,” said Paul Pivcevic, an executive coach from CQ Consultancy, who carried out the independent evaluation of the pilot’s first year. Coaches gained in confidence, while their clients said their coaches created “excellent coaching […]
Balfour Beatty Plant & Fleet Services’ multi-pronged wellness programme for managers in May proved a success, prompting plans to roll it out to all 450 staff. Ei World delivered the programme, Resilience Edge, which includes personal coaching sessions and focuses on peak performance, emotional intelligence, wellness and use of the HeartMath resilience tool. Geetu Bharwaney, founder of Ei World, said: “What is interesting about the programme is the unique focus placed on wellness for executives. It’s combined with real-time feedback on key health indicators and an emotional intelligence assessment. They also learn tools for resilience in the HeartMath system. In […]
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