Oct 062008

Dr. Earl R. Smith II

One of the best ways to motivate and develop a corporate team is through a corporate coaching program. Unlike other programs, coaching programs are benefits that you can put into practice straight away. These programs are useful in motivating your team and achieving the best positive results possible in the short term. Here are some reasons why this is so:

  • Motivation has become synonymous with business. Unfortunately one of the main reasons why motivation does not always work is that a company offers employees rather insignificant incentives. They do not realize that these trivial enticements can actually make employees feel insulted or cheapened. A coaching program focuses on helping the employee or team member develop new skills and productive approaches to their role in the company. Few benefits will motivate them as much as such a recognition and support from their supervisors and peers. A coaching program says to them ‘you are an important part of this team and we are dedicated to helping you realize your full potential’.

As companies grow, staff members can feel neglected or unappreciated as attention diverts from each staff member’s individual efforts and potential. However, providing key employees with an Executive Coach recognizes their value and the company’s belief in their potential. A Coach is also a public recognition of that value and potential.

As long as key personnel feel that they have the support of their Executive Coaches and management team, they will have the courage to take risks and try new ideas – to experiment. The contributions help companies grow. Support and recognition are powerful motivation tools.

  • Coaching and Merit Performance Compensation: A rather commonplace tactic that some companies follow involves a salary raise based on time with the company. This policy is backward looking and sends the wrong message to the team member. Rewarding growth and performances is a much more effective approach. Providing an Executive Coach to such an employee can reinforce the idea that the company is ready and willing to invest in the personal and professional development of its key players. Sure, money is an important part of compensation, but I have experienced the lift that comes with a person considered important enough to warrant a coaching investment by the company. It has been called the ‘ultimate perk’.
  • Coaching and Evaluations: Most employees know how well they are doing – as well as what they are not doing well. Most managers are more focused on telling their employees how to work better instead of just asking their employees what they themselves, think they are doing right. An Executive Coach can bring these potentials into focus and help the employee and the company benefit from them.

In my own practice, I often organize assessment programs for clients and their context. These assessments establish a base line for the executive and allow measurement of progress against established goals. The result is often electric. The client sees the path forward and the company can chart progress along that path. It is a win-win situation.

  • Coaching and Overcoming Challenges: Often an employee will approach a manager about a personal or professional challenge that they are facing. Many times the correct response to these challenges is to help the team member develop the skills and knowledge to overcome them. However, many times this is something that the manager has neither the skills nor time to help with. An Executive Coach can help the employee develop the capacity to manage unfamiliar or daunting challenges – and do it in an off-line setting that accelerates the process.

Many of my coaching engagements focus precisely on this process. By helping the client learn how to meet and overcome challenges, I have increased their value to the company and improved their career prospects. Companies, which give their key team members an opportunity to become educated and improve their ability to solve problems, make high-return investments in the most important asset that the company has. Employees will learn best when they face and master new challenges. In the process, they will gain the skills and knowledge necessary to solve other, more difficult, problems. An Executive Coach will help them do precisely this.

A Corporate coaching Program will inspire employees to reach new levels of performance. It is the single most cost-effective investment that a company can make.

© Dr. Earl R. Smith II

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