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Boss to Coach - the #1 Way to Elevate Employee Engagement

This week, I am presenting on the above topic at the NC SHRM Conference so I thought I would post on this topic because it’s important and fresh on my mind. So, why is this topic important? I think most of us are STILL having challenges retaining and engaging our talent. According to Gallup, employee engagement is down to 32% (dropping from 36% in 2020) and 18% are disengaged (up by 4% from 2020).

Why Moving Bosses to Coaches is the #1 Strategy

  • In It’s the Manager, Gallup even says that transitioning managers to coaches should be the number one priority for senior leaders to elevate employee engagement. I believe them - they have lots of data!

  • Google Project Oxygen which studied the traits of their most effective managers found that the best managers were good coaches.

  • Everything I’m reading indicates that the younger generations in the workforce don’t want bosses, they want coaches. I think this is true for most of us, but particularly for Millennials and Generation Z who now make up 50% of the workforce.

3-Step Boss to Coach Framework

You may be thinking - well that sounds good but how can I actually do that? In my workshop, I'm presenting a 3-step framework to move your bosses to coaches and create a coaching culture:

  1. Develop them to be good coaches - that one is a duh.

  2. Insert coaching conversations into your culture.

  3. Provide opportunities for employees to further grow and develop.

Areas in Which to Develop Your Bosses

To transform your bosses into coaches, you need to develop their skills in the following areas:

  • The importance of and how to create a foundation of caring and trust.

  • Giving feedback, positive and constructive, in a motivational way.

  • Listening actively and asking open-ended questions.

  • Coaching others by guiding them towards solutions – rather than giving advice or fixing.

This would be a really long post if I went into detail on what to include in each of those areas. But this gives you a general idea of what might be included.

In next week's post, I will share some of the coaching conversations that you can insert into your organization to support coaching.

Need some help developing your leaders?

I offer a Boss to Coach Workshop for managers AND a Boss to Coach Train the Trainer program. Reach out if you are interested in learning more.

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