Managers misjudge their strengths and weaknesses

More than half of the UK’s managers misjudge their strengths in the workplace, according to research from Chartered Management Institute (CMI). CMI recently asked 2,000 managers which aspects of management they thought they were best at. Many claimed to excel at managing people, some said they were great target-busters and others claimed they were strongest […]

ICF gauges global awareness of coaching

Liz Hall The public’s awareness of coaching varies widely across the globe but on average, more than half of the general population is aware of professional coaching, according to the first set of results of a survey by the International Coach Federation (ICF). Overall, 51 percent of 15,000 participants in the ICF Global Consumer Coaching […]

Bottom-line measures ‘undermine’ coaching

By Tamsin Slyce Coaches who market their work using return on investment (ROI) risk undermining coaching’s professionalism, argued Anthony Grant of Sydney University at the Association for Coaching (AC) UK’s first conference. Such bottom-line measures ignore important variables and can only be indicative of a single specific engagement, Grant told delegates at the AC UK/University […]

Top talent value coaching, mentoring and networking the most

Liz Hall Senior employees value coaching, mentoring and networking more highly than the more formal development opportunities offered by a talent management programme. This was one of the themes that emerged in the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s (CIPD) survey on how it feels for senior employees to be talent-managed. CIPD research has shown […]

Nasa’s rocket scientists hone people skills

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, […]

John Leary-Joyce takes up helm of EMCC UK

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 […]

Organisations barking up wrong tree with employee engagement strategies

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

Henley helps train Singapore’s civil service

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 […]

Poor Practice report reveals top ‘no-nos’

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 […]

Welsh Public Service launches peer supervision

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 […]