By Madhukar Govindaraju, Founder & CEO

Women belong in all places where decisions are being made” – Ruth Bader Ginsberg aka, Notorious RBG.

Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s crusade for equal rights is known to everyone. Throughout her career, she focused on making those in positions of power become aware of the challenges that were unique to the women workforce. It was her strategy to help men in power see the differences in opportunity and treatment meted out to women, just because they were, well, women.

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 was an outcome of her fierce dissent amongst many other such path-breaking acts that paved the way for equality for women. It is now the responsibility of corporate organizations to take this movement a step further and provide women the support they need to become prolific leaders like Ginsberg. 

If we look at the leadership gender gap, it shows us that while it still might be a man’s world, forward-thinking organizations now know that we need both men and women to succeed. 

There are several reasons for this gender gap – reasons such as inexperience, family responsibilities, or . But given that we are now in the 21st century, companies need to find a way to deal with these obstacles. 

Without delving into the controversy of the underrepresentation of women in leadership roles, let’s instead look at how to fix this gender imbalance. 

There is enough evidence to show that women not only do well in leadership roles but thrive in them. A report from Associated Press and Equilar, among the 25 highest-paid CEOs, five of them were women. 

Some of the largest and most successful enterprises have had women steering the ship – from IBM’s Virginia Rometty to PepsiCo’s Indra Nooyi to Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg to Mary Barra of General Motors, you just have to cast a cursory glance at the Forbes world’s most powerful women list to see that the ‘so-called’ reasons to keep deserving female candidates  away from the C-suite are quite honestly, baseless. 

Now that cracks in the glass ceiling are getting deeper, it is about time for organizations to realize that fixing the gender imbalance is not only the right thing to do, it is also important for organizational success.

The business case for promoting gender diversity

Yes, there is a business case for leaning in towards gender diversity. 

Research from McKinsey discovered that promoting gender diversity leads to better business results and that gender-diverse companies perform better financially. 

Organizations with women in 30% of leadership roles are 12 times more likely to be top-performing companies. 

 

Joanna Barsh, co-chair of the International Council on Women’s Business Leadership’s Leadership Working Group and author of ‘How Remarkable Women Lead’ further shows that it is now becoming important for an organization’s leadership to match its customer base. Given that women make up a substantial chunk of the customer base in almost every industry, having more women representation is just good old common sense.

Barsha goes on to state that gender diverse teams also come up with better solutions especially for “non-linear, complex problems”. Solving these problems need diversity of thought, backgrounds, skillset, and experience.

Business case aside, women leaders can be a huge benefit since they bring a growth mindset, are hugely participative in getting more thoughts and ideas, and in bringing positive emotions to the workplace.

The silver bullet to fix the gender imbalance

It is apparent that gender diversity efforts are not a zero-sum game but end up benefiting all employees. It is about time that we move away from ‘second-generation gender bias’.

While there are many solutions to fix the gender diversity gap, focusing on learning and development initiatives is an important step in the right direction. 

Women leadership development programs have to now become bolder and more tailored to help women navigate the corporate landscape and equip them with the tools, knowledge, and skills they need to create an impact and have greater influence across the organization. 

What should these innovative programs include?

Firstly, women leadership development programs have to be a continuous process. These programs have to be designed to drive a shift in behaviors. 

Hence, coaching becomes a critical tool for enablement.

  • Leadership programs have to now move away from its myopic worldview and understand that just like women bring specific skill sets to the table, they also have certain specific challenges to navigate. The objective of coaching, hence, cannot be to make women leaders more like their male counterparts. Instead, it has to focus on how women can leverage their unique skills such as empathy to develop their own leadership style and implement a personal leadership strategy.
  • Organizations also have to open up networking opportunities for women leaders as this helps them advance their careers. Coaching can help women build this network and develop connections to create opportunities for broader exposure and authentic engagement by eliminating self-imposed restrictions.
  • Organizations have to assume the responsibility of identifying their high-potential women employees and then employ data-backed guidance to help them overcome leadership challenges. Leveraging tests such as Behavioral Assessment tests or 16 Personality Factor self-evaluation to identify strengths and weaknesses can help in closing the skills gap and assist in building authentic leadership.
  • Coaching programs also need the technology push to connect high performing women employees with the right mentors who will help them navigate women-specific challenges. For example, some women might need greater help in managing organizational complexities than their male counterparts owing to the years of social conditioning. This very conditioning might prohibit them from asking questions for the fear of being perceived as weak. A good coach will help such women employees with the right tools to manage perceptions while establishing credibility and their individual leadership styles without sacrificing their inherent femininity.
  • Women leadership development programs have to also become hyper-focused on monitoring and measuring coaching progress and ensure that they have the right tools to provide timely nudges. An AI-enabled coaching platform can come to the rescue and help to deliver personalized, contextual, and relevant nudges to address skill gaps and unique learning abilities.
  • Leadership programs for women also need to become analytics-driven and should employ actionable insights from rich analytics on skills development, performance, engagement, and more. These engagement insights can be used to further fine-tune women leadership programs and make them contextual, relevant, and consequently more impactful for the women workforce. This also helps in building women leaders who are better prepared for their current and future responsibilities.
  • Social conditioning helped men remain unaware of the plight of women in the workforce. It was people like Ruth Bader Ginsberg who helped them see that inequality and discrimination existed. In the same way, social conditioning can also influence many women leaders. It is important to get the guidance and coaching to see which of these influencers are self-serving and which need to go to thrive in the corporate world. Coaching is the most effective way to help women make more intentional choices about their leadership careers. This includes taking the agency to control their careers, building authenticity to discover their leadership styles, strengthening professional connections to grow professional relationships, and increasing self-awareness and clarity. 

Most importantly these programs have to help women leaders develop a sense of wholeness that many women struggle with – the battle to seek roles beyond work or to unite different life roles into a single integrated whole. 

Coaching can help women realize and internalize that it is justified to value multiple roles and accept a broader definition of success – one that helps them let go of the idea that work and success come from equitable distribution of time between work and their other roles. Instead, wholeness helps women set priorities and value all their commitments while letting go of roles, obligations, thoughts, and mindsets that no longer serve them.

While it might be a man’s world as sung by James Brown in 1966, today we concur more and sing along loudly with Beyonce when she says, “Who run the world? Girls”.

Connect with us to see how an AI-enabled coaching platform can help your organization fix gender imbalance and give your women leadership program the makeover it needs.

By Shalini Ramakrishnan, Director of Product Marketing

Ready or not, organizations worldwide have had to adopt remote working at a scale never experienced before. 

As organizations and employees navigate this new world, finding their rhythm can be challenging for many. Undoubtedly, there are tremendous benefits to remote work. However, in an environment plagued with uncertainty and fear owing to the pandemic, it can be hard for employees to be completely productive and engaged. Settling into remote work can especially be daunting for those who thrive on the routine and the social interactions of an office or a worksite, making it significantly hard for them to focus on work. 

While adjusting to remote work for employees is hard, it can be harder to manage remote workers. Managers now need to have very high empathy levels to motivate and guide their teams and need to support their teams through this transition while supporting themselves. 

Given these shifts, organizations have to empower their employees to navigate this new normal. Coaching can play a big role in helping employees manage this change while helping them move along their career paths. 

Let’s accept it. Things have changed 

Given the current version of working remotely is unlike the remote working we did previously, making this shift is not easy for many. 

  • Families are juggling full-time work while facilitating online learning for kids who are out of school for an indefinite time. 
  • Most have their spouses working remotely as well. Adjusting to this new scenario is quite different from any other time. 
  • Organizations need to take cognizance of the fact that their employees are now adapting to a unique set of circumstances where they are experiencing a broad range of emotions, most of which are unpleasant. Worries about how to showcase work, how they will grow within the organization, and how their career will progress are growing concerns for employees. 
  • Many, especially the high-potential employees, might be finding it hard to figure out avenues to contribute more and show an impact. The absence of face time with managers and leaders can lead to feelings of isolation and insecurity, and general disconnect. 
  • While managers might just be checking in more frequently than usual, it can also often be misconstrued as micromanaging. This could lead employees further down the disengagement path unless the rules of engagement are redefined. 

How can coaching help?

Coaching the remote team can help alleviate most of these problems by giving them the guidance and clarity they need to traverse this challenging environment. 

Coaching gives them access to individuals who will guide them along their career path while being empathetic towards their problems without holding any judgment. 

Coaching a newly-remote team is also essential to help them understand how to navigate this new normal and make the right moves to become more visible across the organization. Unlike a one-time training session, coaching is a constant process and helps employees develop the power skills to complement the technical abilities needed to thrive in challenging environments. 

Today, and in the days to come, skills like critical and strategic thinking, growth mindset, empathy, EQ, communication, collaboration, and the like will be essential to enhance business outcomes. 

Organizations have no option but to help their employees improve their behavioral and power skills and upgrade their technical skills if they want to move along the path to profitability. And the path to this is through coaching.

How to coach your newly-remo

te team?

Before organizations begin coaching their employees, they have to first refocus and redesign their leadership coaching strategies. 

Read: Want to Create A Pipeline of Leaders? Train Managers to Become Better Coaches

Leadership coaching in the COVID era will demand a makeover as leadership has now become more virtual than ever before. 

Since leaders have to be the positive agents of change, it is imperative to build authentic leadership models that will inspire employees to follow the leader and remain engaged in the workplace. 

Coaching strategies for remote teams need to be driven by data. 

Gone are the times when employees could be brought into a room and made to go through any training program. Relevance, context, and personalization are now extremely important – especially when organizations need employees to be self-motivated and highly engaged. 

Coaching strategies for a newly-remote workforce have to therefore focus on:

  • Becoming more contextual and relevant to the employee. Using data-backed Behavioral Analysis or 16 Personality Factor Assessments help in identifying gaps and areas of improvement and help in making coaching contextual for the employee
  • Establishing the right coach and employee pairing to drive better connections and better outcomes. Organizations can easily achieve this by using an AI-powered platform that can connect the right coach with the right employee to help them address their skill gaps.
  • Building emotional intelligence of employees and their managers to help them collaborate better by being more empathetic and understanding towards each other’s challenges.
  • Empowering employees to discover their strengths and weaknesses and nurture their talents to grow leadership skills, improve productivity, reduce job-related stress, and improve interpersonal relationships in a remote environment. 
  • Providing powerful, personalized, easy to use, and private coaching interactions. Provide AI-driven contextual nurture touch points to make coaching more effective and impactful.

This is a time when organizations have to utilize their emotional intelligence to understand the plight of their employees. 

The United Nations has issued warnings and has emphasized the concerns of mounting stress owing to this pandemic. Never before have employees experienced such ambiguous times where fear of jobs and career trajectories are at loggerheads with a crumbling economy and personal health worries. Organizations that give employees the support they need to steer the rudder will be rewarded with loyalty, commitment, and the benefits that come from having highly engaged employees. 

Connect with us to identify ways to leverage the AI-driven coaching platform to coach your newly remote workforce and their managers for success. 

By Shalini Ramakrishnan, Director of Product Marketing

Recently Gallup conducted a survey on employee engagement amidst the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. They found that 49% of workers were not engaged with work. They put long hours into their work but were not passionate about it. 

As remote working continues and employees increasingly face burnout, there is a risk of disengagement.

One way to solve it is through coaching. Companies are looking for ways to offer meaningful mentorship and coaching to employees to equip them with the right skills so they can use it to upskill themselves and feel engaged with the work they do.

However, coaching should not be done like a drill. It has to be truly valuable and effective for the employees. 

Coaches can make it effective by avoiding a few common mistakes while coaching mentees.

Common Mistakes That Coaches Must Avoid During Coaching

  • Not understanding the strength and weakness of mentees

No two mentees are the same. Every mentee, even in the same position, may have a different set of strengths and weaknesses. For example, a mentee with good technical skills may not be effective in communication. Some thrive in challenging situations, whereas some others might crumble. Coaches often fail to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their mentees. This results in ineffective coaching that may not add value to the mentee’s growth. A good coach evaluates team members on their soft and hard skills and finds out their strengths and weaknesses before finalizing the coaching approach. 

  • Not personalizing the coaching

Imagine teaching an advanced course to a person starting from a beginner’s level. The person will not understand anything, which would make teaching ineffective. That’s what happens when coaching is not personalized and aligned with the skills and specific needs of the mentees. Mentees might find it uninteresting and tune out mid-way due to lack of engagement. Coaches often use textbook coaching methods to coach their mentees, which may or may not add any value and could lead to a loss of precious time and effort. If coaches want to improve the outcome of coaching, they need to understand the learning gaps, set SMART goals for their mentees, and develop a personalized coaching journey with the help of HR, Subject Matter Experts, and the mentee. Personalized coaching could help increase employee engagement and employee productivity at work. 

  • Lack of transparency and communication

Lack of trust and transparency could derail the entire coaching process. Coaches often get so involved in the routine tasks that they do not communicate with their mentees as much as they should. This results in a lack of transparency between the coach and the mentee and eventually leads to the mentee losing interest in the coaching process. Coaches have to make efforts to build transparency and have a regular conversation with the mentee to develop trust and improve engagement throughout the process. There should be an open-door communication between both parties to exchange ideas freely and discover new areas of improvement that can lead to successful coaching. There must be a way to provide holistic feedback to mentees to ensure continuous improvement. 

  • Not measuring the outcome of coaching

One of the common mistakes that coaches often make is not measuring the outcome of coaching. They set goals at the onset of the coaching process but fail to measure if the coaching has been effective. Lack of tracking renders coaching ineffective. Coaches must evaluate the mentee on their skillsets and identify the next steps to make coaching successful. The performance can be rated in different ways – through self-assessment, peer rating, and frequent feedback provided by the coach throughout the duration of coaching. The outcomes must be measured regularly to make coaching effective.

  • Lack of engagement

Lack of engagement is an issue that most coaches and employees face during the coaching process. Coaches and mentees do not fix a coaching schedule and tend to make it a mechanical process. Lack of engagement does not add any value to both parties, especially if it results in minimal transformation within the mentee during the process. If companies want to see real transformation in their employees, they have to encourage continuous engagement between the coach and mentee. From addressing concerns to guiding mentees to think critically and innovate, coaches need to have 1:1 engagement with them to improve their performance. 

  • Limited accessibility to content

Coaches tend to rely on the in-house resources to coach their mentees. Sometimes the in-house eLearning content may not alone suffice to develop the skills of the mentee. Real case scenarios could inspire mentees to build their capabilities and transform themselves and the company in return. That’s why coaches need to look beyond limited in-house content and tap into third-party eLearning programs and integrations to evolve their mentees.

Also Read: Power Up Your eLearning Initiatives with Coaching

Conclusion 

Coaching is no longer a nice-to-have feature in a company. It has to become a part of the company’s innate culture. Companies need to invest time and money in good coaches, robust tools, and coaching strategy. 

At Numly, we provide enterprises with solutions that can help make coaching a seamless part of the company. Remember, a company that invests in its coaching programs is the one that can quickly pivot during stressful situations and grow with an innovative mindset. 

By Shalini Ramakrishnan, Director of Product Marketing

In an upside-down world characterized by seclusion, social distancing, and sanitizers, organizations are battling many challenges. 

Whether it is accepting that the new normal is now just normal or coming up with creative strategies to foster growth and keep employees motivated is topping the priority list of most organizations. As fear and uncertainty become a pervasive feeling, organizations need to recalibrate their leadership coaching strategies to help their leaders navigate these tumultuous times and help their teams do the same. 

Read: Want to Create A Pipeline of Leaders? Train Managers to Become Better Coaches

Organizations might have become more virtual than ever before, but they need real and authentic leadership, and for that, here are a few things to consider:

Remote work is here to stay

Enabling remote work and virtual teams during the initial days of the pandemic might have seemed like a one-time incident. The mass experiment of working from home has resulted in niche demands for leaders to provide the right guidance and motivation for their teams. There has been a profound impact on the nature of work. We now stand at a turning-point of people management.

The move to this remote and virtual work model quite naturally demands a change in the modus-operandi. It needs a step-change change in behaviors and mindsets of leaders so that they can lead their people, and consequently the organization, to success.

Read: Keeping Your (Newly Remote) Team Engaged with Coaching

This can only be achieved by coaching leaders to become more authentic, intelligent, observant, caring, trusting, accountable, and empathetic in their leadership styles. 

In other words, leadership coaching and leading has to finally get hyper-focused on things that really matter.

Designing new ecosystems for communication and collaboration

Leadership styles need a makeover, especially as virtual collaborations have almost replaced face-to-face work environments. Leadership coaching in the post-COVID era has to become more focused on building communication and collaboration capabilities.

As leadership becomes more virtual than ever before, organizations have to coach their leaders to communicate values, strategic intent, meaning, and vision of projects with their team members. It becomes essential to build identity using storytelling, display emotional responses the right way to motivate and convey commitment and passion, and develop a sense of unity.

Read: A Manager’s Guide to Coaching Their Teams

Since chance meetings in hallways are now replaced with digital media, communication has to happen with greater intent and more discipline, even when there is no urgent problem to solve. Leadership coaching has to now focus on helping leaders understand and internalize that even if there are no problems to solve, it doesn’t mean that there is nothing to discuss.

The spotlight is on emotional intelligence

In the post-COVID world, leadership coaching needs to focus on developing leaders who can foster trust and respect by demonstrating reliability, integrity, and confidentiality. Along with this, they have to work towards developing their emotional intelligence to create strong, motivated, and committed teams.

Read: The 3 Most In-Demand Power Skills for Managers Today

In an atmosphere characterized by fear and uncertainty, leaders have to be the positive agents of change and know the right strategies to keep the workforce motivated and engaged. 

Leaders have to develop their intuitiveness and communicate more clearly, honestly, truthfully, and empathetically. This is even more important for leading those who are first-timers in the world of virtual work. By developing emotional intelligence, leaders can help alleviate feelings of isolation and help employees navigate their work and their career paths with enthusiasm.

Thus, leadership coaching has to focus on building leaders who are more self-aware, can self-manage, and have a high degree of empathy to navigate and guide relationships at work with greater clarity. Doing this will help organizations foster leaders who can inspire others, manage conflicts, and encourage teamwork and other important competencies and move people in the direction they desire.

The art of letting go

In this new era of work, leadership coaching has to focus on helping leaders develop their skill of letting go. By no means does this mean looking the other way and absolving oneself of responsibilities. It means relinquishing control and micromanaging to gain greater and more positive influence.

The focus then moves towards building authentic leadership that inspires teams to become more accountable towards their work and take greater ownership of their actions. This can only happen when leaders show greater trust in their people, enable the growth mindset, and learn to personalize and individualize interactions. By doing this, leaders allow a sense of autonomy to prevail, which, in turn, builds accountability in teams.  

Things that matter

The remote work and virtualization experience will need a paradigm shift in leadership styles. Therefore, it will need new leadership skills and models. As this new work environment evolves, leaders have to be coached to play crucial mobilizing and facilitating roles and will be judged more on their capacities to mobilize their environments to expedite new competencies.

Elements like increasing their digital literacy to navigate the digital workplace, improving their agility to drive project momentum, accelerating strategic and creative thinking capabilities, or becoming more intentional and authentic in engaging with employees will have defining effects on organizational outcomes. Additionally, leadership coaching in the post-COVD world has to lean heavily towards building the emotional intelligence of the leaders to help them build team resilience and drive organizational evolution.

While the pandemic has introduced a difficult time, it also presents an opportunity. It is time to build authentic leadership models that drive a sense of belonging and shared values across the organizational value chain. 

Our AI-powered coaching platform helps organizations move along this journey and helps them develop their leaders to shine in this new and confusing world of work. 

Connect with us to assess how you can create a robust leadership pipeline that is ready to take this new world head-on.

By Shalini Ramakrishnan, Director of Product Marketing

Companies are at the cusp of digital transformation and are making ‘upskilling’ employees their priority. 

Take AT&T, for instance. They decided to overhaul their legacy systems and hence had to upskill their employees to keep pace with the emerging technology trends. 

While an overall upskilling of all employees is necessary, companies have started taking a specific interest in upskilling their engineering and tech teams due to the dynamic landscape of technology. But what worked yesterday may become redundant tomorrow. 

However, merely teaching new programming languages or new technologies is not enough. Tech and engineering teams have to be coached on power skills to bring in behavioral changes in their team members. 

Read: Power Up Your eLearning Initiatives with Coaching

Let’s look at some coaching strategies that can be used to upskill the engineering and tech teams.

7 Upskilling Coaching Strategies

Identify learning gaps

The first step towards designing a coaching strategy is to identify the learning gaps and fix them. One way to find the gaps is by asking each employee to fill a self-evaluation survey to identify their strengths and weaknesses. The assessments must be prepared according to the nature of the employees’ role. Ensure that the self-evaluation survey includes questions about both – the soft and hard skills, so that mentors can create a coaching plan accordingly. For example, a person with excellent hold on Python language may score low on communication skills. For a team leader, communication is as important as technical skills. Such gaps can be found and fixed for each employee.

Set up coaching goals

Once the assessments are done, the HR and the employees’ coach must identify the core goals that the employees must meet to close the skill gaps. They must communicate the goals they expect the employee to meet. There could be two kinds of goals – the short-term goals that aim to close the immediate gaps, and the long-term goals to achieve a specific outcome such as nurturing an employee for the leadership role. The coach must ensure that the goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant to the employee, and time-bound. This will help both the coach and the employee to remain on track. 

Personalize the coaching

No two employees in the same role or title are similar. That’s why the same learning or coaching path for all employees is not advisable. Employees engage better and show up to 180% improvement in their jobs when their coaching is personalized. Personalized coaching involves aligning the coaching goals based on the employees’ strengths and weaknesses, their interests, their readiness, and their current proficiency levels. The coaching journey is tailored based on various parameters and tested in an individualized manner.

Offer one-to-one coaching

The most crucial thing about coaching is to choose the right coach for the right employee. Finding a coach cannot be based on guesswork. It has a science behind it and might require the help of technologies such as AI to assess and find the right match. Based on the skills gap, companies must identify the areas in which the employees require immediate attention, discuss them with the employees, and pair them with the right coach for each area of improvement. Coaches must help employees face the complexities in their careers and focus on transforming their future for better by improving their skills. Although this form of coaching aims to hone the skills of employees; coaches have admitted that the process has also helped them become a better coach. 

Make coaching holistic 

Engineering and tech teams cannot be proficient in technical skills alone. Of course, it is necessary to master technologies and new programming languages. However, these teams also need to acquire soft skills such as communication, negotiation, creativity, and leadership skills to build meaningful engagement with customers and peers. That’s why it’s essential to make coaching a holistic process. Coaches must assess employees based on their soft and hard skills and ensure that the coaching plan covers all the aspects required to build a good future leader. Even the evaluation and progress should be measured based on all the aspects. 

Make communication a continuous process 

A coach-employee relationship goes beyond a few weekly or monthly meetings. It requires commitment from both parties. A continuous and contextual communication process is needed to make coaching more productive and useful for employees. The idea is to build a healthy personal-professional relationship between them. This one-to-one communication can happen through various devices such as phones, tablets, and internal portals. The communication process must also involve evaluating the employees and coaches and sharing the feedback. So, the coaches know what they must do to offer a more meaningful mentorship to employees, and employees would know what they must do to achieve the goal earmarked for them by the coaches. There should also be a system to provide engagement scores to both the coach and the employee to assess and improve their engagement levels. 

Measure the outcome

Evaluation is not a one-off process. It is a continuous process. Coaches must use data analytics to measure the overall progress of employees and offer feedback on their skills, engagement, and performance. Continuous feedback will help employees to become more mindful of their strengths and weaknesses and transform themselves proactively. The outcome of  coaching should not be only on an individual level. The impact must be evaluated on the overall enterprise-level too. 

We have developed a coaching program, especially for engineering and tech teams, to help them learn hard and soft skills. The program will benefit engineers who seek guidance, managers and executives, engineers who wish to coach, and the SME and HR teams. Check out how we help in transforming the engineering and tech teams through our AI-based coaching platform.

By Madhukar Govindaraju, Founder & CEO

The climate of change influencing global markets continues to put pressure on organizations to improve succession planning. They need to constantly build a strong pipeline of leaders to ensure continued business success. We can credit the rise of leadership development and leadership nurturing programs to this need. 

However, developing a leadership pipeline with people with the necessary hard and power skills has been an uphill battle for most. Day-long or week-long training programs on leadership development are not delivering the intended results. This is primarily because ‘leadership’ is not one skill. It is a set of multiple skills, most of which demand a behavioral change. 

Read: Is Your Leadership Development Initiative Not Working? Here Is How To Fix It

Behavioral change can only be achieved with constant reiteration and internalization. Given human disposition, even the most driven and talented employee will find it hard to remain motivated enough to drive and implement a change unless there is a shift in behavior. 

Managers are valuable cogs in the wheel of organizations looking at developing their leadership pipeline. While identifying high-potential employees is a part of the manager’s purview, making sure that the talent is nurtured and pushed in the right direction is also an essential part of this job role. The manager is the bridge that connects the organization to the employee and, hence, has an important role to play in developing leaders for tomorrow. 

Here are a few compelling reasons why you need to train managers to become better coaches if your organization wants a strong pipeline of leaders to leverage in the future. 

Leadership has to be built at every level

While there are few who move into the leadership pipeline, organizations now have to work towards developing a ‘leadership mindset’ across the spectrum of employees. A leadership mindset is growth-oriented, it focuses on being solution-driven, it is steeped in ownership and critical thinking. 

These are qualities and skills that help every employee do their job better and become more outcome-driven and productive. These skills, or the lack of it, have to be identified, honed and nurtured to develop the capable leaders of tomorrow. Since managers are the ones closest to their teams, they need to be trained to coach their teams to help the teams develop these skills. 

Coach to drive performance 

A leadership pipeline can only be called a strong and mature one when it includes people who have emotional intelligence and technical intellect. Managers are the best people to identify which team member lacks in which aspect and are well aware of areas that need development.

The team’s performance is one of the primary responsibilities of a manager. In this world of rapid change, managers have to inspire their teams to become performance-driven, and not instruct them. They can communicate in the language that inspires to maximize team performance. However, most managers admit that they don’t coach their teams and stick to disseminating technical and functional skills and only review performance because they don’t know how to coach! 

When managers become better coaches, they can proactively help their team members identify areas of improvement and ensure employees track and achieve their goals proactively.

Goodbye surprises and awkward conversations

Coaching managers to develop stronger teams and individuals helps them understand the strength of coaching. Once they learn and understand how coaching helps them to drive their team, they can identify and implement all the changes and strategies needed to develop a high-performance team. 

Coaching managers also leads to better team engagement, fewer awkward conversations, and no surprises when it comes to performance management. When managers themselves become coaches, they know how to guide individual team members proactively along their career paths by providing contextual, unbiased, and regular feedback. 

They also become more capable of identifying issues early and help their teams become better problem-solvers. They can help their team members be more agile and adaptive towards change and also become more innovative. 

Establish the difference between managing and micromanaging 

Managers have to be on top of everything and make sure that their teams meet their goals and targets. However, often managers end up micromanaging everything, thereby removing individual autonomy and freedom from the equation. The result is a team that is highly dependent on instruction and is unable to make the right decisions. When managers micromanage, they send out a clear message that the team members cannot be trusted. Is it then a surprise that members of such a team do not qualify to be future leaders?

With coaching, managers can understand the subtle difference between managing and micromanaging. It helps them identify the strengths and weaknesses of their team members and gives them the tools they need to bridge these gaps most appropriately. 

Instead of instructing, managers then enable a growth mindset within their team members, which helps the latter believe that failures are learning opportunities and obstacles are opportunities in disguise. 

Finally, given the rise of the millennials and Gen Z as the dominant demographic in the workforce demands a shift in the way managers lead their teams. Understanding the motivations of this workforce and identifying the best ways to engage with them is essential. For example, this demographic wants managers to be their sounding board for their ideas. They also want to devote time discussing new ways of working and evaluating how they will progress to the leadership path. It thus becomes essential to coach managers to connect with this demographic in meaningful ways so that they can move away from the old method of ‘managing by instruction’ to ‘managing by inspiring’. 

By coaching managers, organizations make leadership development a continuous process. Consequently, they can have an army of qualified, well-adjusted, and high-potential employees constituting their leadership pipeline. 

Get a live demo to discover how NumlyEngage™ can help you coach your managers better and improve employee engagement, performance, and productivity by up to 400%!

Upcoming Webinars - Engaging and Up-Skilling Your Employees From a Distance

3rd and 17th December, 2020