I recently observed CBS doing an interview with Tony Schwartz regarding his article in the NY Times. The article was entitled “Why You Hate Work” and the response to it set-off a tidal wave of comments. Already a successful co-author (“The Power of Full Engagement”), Tony shared an executive summary of the results of a survey of more than 12,000 workers done by his company (The Energy Project). In a nutshell, many workers lacked a satisfactory workplace. Add those feelings to the cynicism prevalent in much of the workforce and you can find non-existent discretionary efforts in getting things done commitment to the company.
So what did he say was missing? I picked up on 4 key things:
1. Renewal –opportunities to bring more balance and satisfaction to work and life through a manageable work week, breaks after 90 minutes, and vacation time that is encouraged. Results: More engagement with work and a 50% increase in creativity (think problem solving).
2. Focus – being able to concentrate on one important task at a time. Results: those who do are 50% more engaged.
3. Emotional Needs – to be appreciated and supported by their supervisor. Results: Feeling valued leads to being more committed.
4. Purpose – getting meaning and purpose from their work. Results: Employees who are engaged are 3 times more likely to stay with the organization, thus cutting turnover costs.
Why did these four jump out to me? Because coaches bring focus, renewal, purpose and appreciation to our coaching conversations. Most professional coaches will begin the coaching by focusing on the key intentions for the coaching engagement and working with the client to co-create a plan that will keep them focused on achieving their goals. We generally look to explore what they see as their purpose in life and how that may expand to their leadership role. Good coaches work with leaders on expanding their leadership capacity and plugging in self-care – think renewal. And then, most coaches know the importance of the emotional component and feeling valued. It is why we build rapport through trust and intimacy with our clients and encourage them to increase their self-awareness in valuing their strengths as well as weaknesses.
As organizations deal with the significant changes that are coming much more swiftly with technology advances, they would be smart read Mr. Schwartz and Jean Gomes new book “The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working”. In the meantime, I will be making sure that anyone who works for or with me has the opportunity to be more engaged by my paying attention to these areas. I’m also off to buy the book