How coaching can support employee wellbeing
I had a short stint working in the motor industry a few years back. The company I worked for was very forward thinking and had an external coach come in on a weekly basis to help the sales and service staff improve their skills.
It was an incredibly difficult time for me personally, having recently gone through separation and starting the divorce process. I was also having a very challenging time with my eldest son, 11 at the time, who had been getting in trouble at school, running away from home and had started down a dark path which ultimately developed more seriously.
The help I received
The coach I and the other staff worked with was fantastic. He really saw the bigger picture, in that for someone to give their best at work, they have to be managing all the things that are going on away from work. As such, we spoke a lot about my personal situation, what I could control and what was outside of my control, and put a plan together to improve the things I could control. Without his help and support I would have been completely unable to focus on my work and I believe ultimately I would have been signed off with stress.
My inspiration to become a coach
This coach, along with another I worked with on a personal basis, inspired me to train and qualify as a coach and help others through difficult times. I have experienced at first hand how coaching could help people improve their lives and manage obstacles such as stress, anxiety and depression.
What goes on behind the mask
We rarely know the full extent of what is going on in each others’ lives and whilst we may be present at work, often, it’s not where our focus is. We may be there in body but not in mind. When our lives feel out of control or there are things that are causing us stress, anxiety or depression, having a plan to deal with these things, can help. Having someone to talk to who is not emotionally involved in the same way that we may be, can help give clarity and understanding.
Mental Health problems affect one in six British workers each year (1) and mental health is the leading cause of sickness absence (2). In the UK alone, the annual cost of presenteeism, where individuals are at work but significantly less productive due to poor mental health, as well as from sickness absence and staff turnover, is estimated to be £29 billion (3).
As employers or managers, it’s very easy to focus on the outcome we want – increased sales, increased profit, increased productivity. Clive Woodward, the former England rugby coach, believed that we shouldn’t focus our effort on the outcome we want but the processes to achieve it. One of these processes is improving and understanding the benefit to organisations of employee wellbeing.
What a coach can provide
When I work with individuals or within organisations, the sessions with an individual are private and confidential and the details are not shared within the organisation. The first thing I do is to try and understand the current situation and where the challenges lie. From there we can work on where to focus our energy, what we are in control of and what is outside of our control, and clarify things like values, previous experiences, achievements etc and what outcome the person would like. We then create a plan to achieve it. Along the way we develop some affirmations, create some meditations that can help them relax and have regular check ins to ensure the person feels supported, listened to, and that there is a plan in place to manage the situation.
Coaching cannot promise to solve all of our problems or achieve all our goals but it can help people to feel supported, listened to, create a plan to manage a situation or work towards a goal(s) and ultimately improve people’s wellbeing, and within an organisation it can help staff feel valued and nurtured.
If you, your staff or anyone you know is going through difficult or challenging times, then please do not hesitate to get in touch for a free no-obligation chat about how I could help.