Coaching as an HR tool part 1

Recently, there has been much discussion about the low level of employee engagement. From the employer perspective that is alarming, and raises several further questions.

To what extent should we keep an eye on employee retention? Is commitment a purely individual affair? What do we need to do to win over Millennials (Gen Y); a generation that reportedly cares as much about being part of an organisation that shares their values as it cares about salary. What about the generation that follows (Gen Z or iGen), soon to be starting on its collective working life? What will drive that cohort? And how do we ensure we motivate the most experienced, often older workers?

The world of work isn’t separate from other spheres; the economic, the political and the social. They all shape how our colleagues think, their aspirations, their motivations, and creating the sort of work environment that attracts, motivates and retains your people is worth consideration. Then there are developing technologies such as digitalisation, big data, and virtual reality, part of a growing list that changes the way people work and feel about working.

There is no definitive right or wrong way to address the whole issue of getting the best out of one’s colleagues. However, one approach that I’d argue has a major role to play in HR, is coaching. Coaching has traditionally been seen as a means to engage senior management and improve leadership skills. Still, with a rapidly changing work environment coaching should be a way of managing change and leading colleagues through it. Coaching provides means to increase employee engagement and development and, as a result, give them both the skills and the desire to move the whole organisation towards its goals.

In addition to coaching in HR, you’ll increasingly hear talk of ‘Agile HR’. Agile HR as such is not a new concept and is here to stay. It’s very much about delivering an organisation’s existing long-term plans and goals, but at the same time it’s about having the skills and the sharpness to be able to develop more immediate responses to emerging issues.

The latest technology doesn’t just deliver real-time feedback that allows HR professionals to be truly agile and react quickly and effectively to rapid changes in direction both internally and in the wider operating environment; it also makes data accessible and easily comprehensible. It makes the data useful. Agile HR uses that data to create a strategic long-term plan and to set related objectives, and it uses it to monitor progress towards these objectives based on shorter-term goals and metrics.

But Agility in HR also means having the ability to lead and develop staff and employees faster and more effectively than competitors. And that’s where coaching comes in.

In my next posting I will share you with the secrets of coaching in HR and how to bring it to your organisations HR operations.