Effective organisations take pains to ensure that they establish for themselves a clear vision and strategy. They further take special care to recruit and retain the best staff to help them execute on that strategy. If one considers the common-sense notion that the degree of business success is a function of employee productivity, then clearly it makes sense to maintain that productivity at an optimal level.
By its very definition, employee motivation is an important part employee productivity equation. This is one of the areas in which business coaching has its greatest impact. While financial and similar incentives can often provide a temporary boost in enthusiasm, the business coaching process is designed to create sustainable employee motivation.
The diagram below illustrates at a high level the mechanics of the business coaching process:
Just as an organisation establishes its vision, mission and execution strategy, so too do employees need to establish their own – minus the corporate jargon and in their own terms. Using a combination of individual and group sessions, a business coach supports employees in articulating what they want and how they might get it, particularly in the context of their organisation. The results of these sessions are usually more meaningful to employees than annually force-populated Personal Development Plan templates. In fact, if the results are appropriately structured and detailed they can effectively transform these templates into a living process for individual development – no doubt what they are actually intended to be.
This bottom-up data basically detailing each employee’s skills and motivating drivers then needs to be reconciled with the strategy and business objectives of the firm. This is done through a process of facilitative coaching sessions with the leadership team. The goal of these sessions is to best align overall corporate objectives to employees’ needs. Certainly not every employee will get whatever they want and it is up to the management team to negotiate a win-win solution with their staff. If this negotiation is real, the leadership team will have effectively laid the foundation for creating sustainable employee motivation.
As part of the business coaching process, there is a significant skills transfer element. The management staff in particular are given a primer in coaching techniques that they will use during the organisation’s employee appraisal process. After the initial implementation, the organisation and employee performance metrics that are established in the beginning stages of the process are used to feed back into the strategy at appropriate milestones. Employees are trained to apply a similar feedback mechanism against their personal goals to evaluate their own performance and track their progress.
People sustain motivation by regularly witnessing their positive progress in areas that are important to them. Effective business coaching provides this to employees explicitly, without losing any focus on corporate objectives at all.