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Story Archive > ISHR By-Lined Articles > How to Engage and Align Employees

How to Engage and Align Employees

  • As featured in Womenetics.com ... using the GUIDE Coaching Model to ensure engagement and alignment on your team!

   By Monique Honaman — Womenetics.com

http://www.womenetics.com/my-careerlife/1832-how-to-engage-and-align-employees

How to Engage and Align Employees

Written by Monique Honaman   
March 29, 2011

How to Engage and Align EmployeesThe economy is turning around. Leaders are looking at their teams and wondering how to get the most out of them. Managers are trying to do more with less, working to rebuild loyalty, aiming to develop a next generation of leaders.

How does a leader do this? Our answer lies in a process and a methodology we call Guide Coaching. Working with an executive coach or a leadership coach has traditionally been viewed as something that was suggested for employees who needed to improve performance. It was not always viewed as a positive thing.

That view evolved, and over the past decade leadership coaches have been used to help develop talent. Typically, these coaches were brought in to work with an individual within the organization to assist her in leveraging her strengths.

Today’s hottest trend is to develop coaching skills in and across the existing leadership team such that all leaders are able to provide coaching within their organizations. This creates a true culture of coaching, which builds alignment and engagement within the organization.

Our philosophy is that anyone can be a coach and that anyone can be coached. There is no requirement for any expertise on the subject area; rather there is an expectation that the coach will ask the right questions and drive the right dialogue such that the person being coached – the “coachee” – is guided toward the right decision for herself.

These decisions cover a wide range of coaching realms. These may include coaching to resolve a certain issue, coaching for personal development, or coaching for fulfillment within career or life. Coaching is not to be confused with giving feedback and/or providing mentoring, which is a different subject requiring more formal relationships or expertise. Coaching simply requires five steps. As our methodology implies, “guide” is the key word, thus:

Ground – In this step, leaders establish expectations and set boundaries with their coachees. This where the coach begins to understand what motivates the coachee in terms of her values, her vision for the future, and her goals.

Understand – In this step, the coach and coachee gain mutual clarity on their intentions and vision. They clarify those things that drive intentions and often serve to unknowingly confuse the issues and inhibit positive momentum in the workplace.

Incite – Here coaches are encouraged to foster multiple perspectives and ways to view the topic being discussed. Coaches help the coachee identify obstacles and analyze various options. The pros and cons of each opportunity can be evaluated to drive commitment.

Decide – In this step, the coach facilitates the coachee to make a conscious choice about achieving her vision by clearing the obstacles, confirming buy-in, and guiding the coachee toward the necessary next steps.

Encourage and Execute – As a final step, the coach encourages the coachee to build upon the commitments made. The coach builds confidence, provides encouragement, drives accountability, and generally acts as a champion to ensure the coaching session ends with positive momentum in place.

Leaders who follow these steps and create a culture of coaching within their organizations help build engagement and alignment.

Many employees aren’t engaged. They are bored. Their values don’t align with those of the organization. They feel disconnected. They wonder about their purpose and the value they are providing. They may want to do their best, but they just aren’t engaged or motivated. They don’t have any initiative. They are merely the good soldiers following orders. Coaching an unengaged employee can lead her to understand more fully how her values align with the needs of the organization and instill a sense of purpose and passion.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are those employees who aren’t aligned. They work hard. They have tons of energy, but that energy is misspent. These employees may spin their wheels by focusing on the wrong things and wonder why they don’t feel in sync with their company. They become the rebels without a cause. They want to do what’s right, but their energy is misdirected. Coaching an unaligned employee can lead her to understand how best to focus her energies and her passions in a directed fashion that will lead to fulfilling commitments and adding value within her organization.


Monique HonamanMonique Honaman is the founder of ISHR Group which provides leadership assessment, development, and coaching services to Fortune 500 clients globally. This article is based upon the book, Guide Coaching: Building Alignment and Engagement in the Workplace written by Honaman, and her two business partners, Stacy Sollenberger and Ellen Dotts. The book is schedule to be published later this year.

Last Updated 3 Year(s) ago



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