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Coaching On Demand is the New Employee Benefit

I am feeling a little cheated.  Hopeful, yet cheated.  Let me explain. I joined Grand Heron International’s network of certified coaches last year because I wanted to continually evolve my coaching skills while aligning to a company mission that resonated with me: Elevating society through liberated minds, one coaching conversation at a time.

Unlike the developmental coaching I was trained in, or the on-the-job coaching done as part of my role as a leader of people, the coaching context provided by Grand Heron International’s program of in-the-moment coaching is different.  Through its services, it offers organizations and individuals  an opportunity to access a professional and certified coach when they need it most, in the moment. Through coaching on demand, your are helping your employees thrive, especially in the most challenging times.

Access to Coach When You Needed it Most

And this is where I am feeling cheated because I never had access to a coach, just-in-time, when I was stuck, when someone had pushed all my buttons and my emotional intelligence was about to go out the window.  That is when I needed coaching the most. Coaching has historically either been reserved for the upper echelons of the C-suite (and I am grateful for the coaching received in such a context) or as an “intervention” to fix an issue with a leader who is driving droves of employees to visit the human resource department and for all the wrong reasons.

A Benefit That Helps You Through Challenging Moments

I was reflecting on all the different types of employee benefits and perks of my career and how instead of free coffee or yet one more loyalty points recognition program, I would truly value the employer who offers access to coaching, any time, as an employee benefit.

If you are like me, the free coffee did not help me that time I was in mourning and a colleague’s insensitive comment etched my heart so deeply that I needed a moment in the bathroom stall to recompose myself.  The free coffee did not help me deal with the mounting frustration of an eight-week circular business discussion for which a decision could not be reached.  I am willing to bet a call to a coach would have reminded me of the basics of providing feedback, seeking an alternate perspective, forging a different plan of action since the prior actions were merely wasting time.  Insanity, Albert Einstein would call it.  And although the free coffee helped warm me up on a cold January morning, it was a cold blast in the face when the employee in front of me unexpectedly lashed out as I provided feedback on the year end review.

But you must have had access to a coach as part of an Employee Assistance Program you must be saying?  Yes, I did and am grateful for that. However, not only are those sessions limited in quantity, they seem to be best reserved for longer term, developmental topics such as career planning topics for example.  I had to make an appointment and they would call me back in a week.  What I am talking about here are the moments when you are stuck, on the job.  You cannot speak to a colleague, a boss, or anyone else in “the system” just because they are either not available, part of the problem or you would not trust them to boil an egg.

Get Unstuck and Move Forward with Confidence

You see, in the moment that an employee becomes stuck they need a literal and figurative “reboot”.  On their own, they will eventually come to a restart but it is often through trial and error, a rollercoaster of unnecessary emotions and a toll on work and family.  The difference between a reactive simmer and a boil can often be mitigated by one or two calls to the real-time coaching program.  Imagine all the savings in lost time, productivity, team interventions for lack of effectiveness if we would simply shift the simmer to a newly perceived stillness. In that stillness, we get unstuck.  The path forward shows up.

I don’t want to leave you with the impression that the causes of getting stuck, and the need for a coach, are always negative ones.  I have seen many positive causes such as deciding whether to take a new job assignment, how to make the transition from individual contributor to a manager of people following a well-deserved promotion or how to adapt to a new, innovative working model.  At its core, getting stuck is usually a response to a change, positively or negatively perceived.

Healthy Workplaces Make Coaching Accessible

Recently, more and more companies have been differentiating themselves by providing access to tele-medicine services.  This is a wonderful recognition of the importance of employee health.

However, health is a composite of so many variables beyond physiology.  Healthy workplaces make coaching accessible.  Any time.  Not when people are fizzled or burnt out.  Not exclusively for certain roles or titles.  For everyone.  Just like the free coffee.  You are probably saying, but we have leaders and a leader’s job is to coach. Indeed, however great leaders are like the lottery, sometimes you win some, sometimes you lose.  Your employees deserve access to a sustained quality of coaching.  Sustainability after all is the predictor of long-term wellbeing in our organizations and ultimately our societies.

To those employers who are offering the Grand Heron Plus to employees, congratulations on embedding coaching into the fibre of your day to day.  I am convinced your results will speak for themselves.

Learn more about Enza Cignarella – click here.