Why Professional Coaching Should Expand Beyond Executives
Coaching is incredibly helpful for everyone’s development path, not just the C-Suite
We have to stop sending employees down a destructive path of burnout or boreout.
During its conception, work was designed by humans as an act of community. But in my lifetime, work has been a workout—a race to the top of the corporate ladder. As I climbed this ladder, leading a team of 75 talented people in my twenties, work was purely a catalyst for achievement, acquisitions and other materialistic gains.
Success brought many positives into my relatively young life including status and stability. But as I prepared for leadership meetings, it also brought sweaty palms, high levels of stress and eventual panic attacks.
When work becomes less human and more transactional, we send ourselves down a destructive path of burnout or boreout; in my case, it was acute burnout. So why does this happen to so many emerging leaders?
Seventy-seven percent of employees are currently suffering from some form of burnout. Equally concerning to business, 52% are actively looking for new jobs. Why? The old leadership styles surrounding talent management practices no longer work.
Talent management has long been considered the overarching strategy behind aligning individual and organizational goals and fulfilling employee expectations in exchange for their loyalty. The pillars of talent management include employee assistance programs, learning management systems, workplace hierarchies, group training and compliance.
To survive the aforementioned statistics, organizations need to move away from a culture of talent management to talent empowerment, where all people have the necessary tools, resources and support to develop the competence, confidence and well-being to thrive at work and beyond. The five pillars of talent empowerment are as follows.
Empowerment starts with feeling good and functioning well. Growth and development opportunities must improve an employee’s well-being to then improve performance. In its simplest spectrum, personal well-being can be broken down into three zones: struggling, surviving and thriving.
About one in five Americans will experience some sort of mental health illness in a given year, with one in 25 suffering from a serious mental illness such as major depression or bipolar disorder. To address this group, many organizations have already implemented or increased their mental health services, including, for example, access to therapy within certain medical plans. But what about the majority of employees—the four in five—who are “surviving” or “thriving?”
Individuals feeling work-related anxiety or who are on the edge of burnout fall into the “surviving” category. It's imperative for organizations to offer these employees access to preventative mental health resources, following a wellness-before-illness mentality. Still equally important, employees who are “thriving” have the capacity to excel in their professional lives. These individuals are current high-performers who would benefit from professional development opportunities, keeping them fulfilled and satisfied.
Empowerment is when you have the confidence and competence to contribute cross-departmentally. Rather than boxing in employees to designated titles and departments, organizations should help them develop new skills in their chosen areas of interest. To encourage employees to develop new skills, consider the following.
Empowerment thrives in a company culture rooted in community, connection and contribution. To understand how we can create a more inclusive workplace, we must first understand who we’ve excluded in the past. When people feel they don’t belong, there are serious business consequences from poor work relationships and ineffective communication skills to high absenteeism and turnover.
To ensure your organization does more than “check the DEI box,” consider these options:
Empowerment is the ability to receive the proper support when you need it, where you need it. Whether someone struggles with leadership skills or depression, employees don’t need support 24/7, but they do need the ability to access support 24/7.
When selecting new partners, vendors or medical plans, it’s important to consider their on-demand resources before finalizing the deal.
Empowerment is all about personalization. To reduce turnover, absenteeism and medical expenses, enterprises need to bring in economically viable one-size-fits-one programming. In turn, organizations will likely see increased utilization, conversion and adoption. Examples of personalized programming for the above pillars could include:
The end goal of talent empowerment is not solely retention, but fostering a happy, healthy and productive workforce.