Zaizi prides itself in being an organisation which puts people first. Our purpose is realising potential, not only for our customers and fellow citizens, but for our own people too.
For several years now I have been looking for a company which felt ready and able to invest in its people enough to support a full time, permanent organisational coach. I am delighted to be moving into that role at Zaizi.
What is an organisational coach?
To understand why a business might value an organisational coach, let’s start by defining coaching.
A coach understands that our people and our teams of people are naturally creative and have all the resources they need available to them. The coach partners with people to hold a space of empathic enquiry in which they can deepen their awareness and create solutions for themselves, in order to realise their potential. An organisational coach does this at all levels of the company, with individuals, teams, groups and whole departments.
An organisational coach might work with:
- individuals who have confidence issues that hold them back from performing effectively in their role
- teams which have issues of alignment, or where toxic behaviours and conflict are preventing them from delivering
- departments who are missing an understanding of each other’s roles and challenges, and could work more effectively on a shared strategy if this awareness were present
People can opt in for coaching, or they can be referred by a colleague. Either way, they must want to participate and be fully engaged in the process.
How a coaching strategy can aid individuals and teams
Coaching strategy can have a positive effect on organisations by helping at both an individual and team level.
It’s common for me to encounter people with imposter syndrome. This is when someone’s ability to do their job is hampered by them constantly undermining themselves internally.
Once I worked with a junior developer to take some time to look at the beliefs she held about herself and where the evidence for these was coming from. When she went away to look at this, she found all the evidence she actually saw was to the contrary, and contradicted her assumptions. Afterwards, she described herself as happier, prouder and more motivated to continue to improve. Her career thrived.
Another example is a development team who I met following an extended period of stress and frustration. Their hard work had gone unnoticed and they felt constantly pulled in different directions. Team coaching sessions gave them the opportunity to surface and identify these stresses and begin to process them. As a result, the team became stronger, more aligned, significantly more positive and empowered towards creating a better working environment. They had processed the negative experiences and now co-owned a positive solution.
READ: Zaizi recognised as “digital minds with a social heart”
Judging the success of a coaching strategy
So how do we know whether this venture is successful? Each coaching engagement has a goal that we agree at the start and work towards together. During the engagement, we assess progress towards this, and then again at the end. We need to see that each initiative brings value to the individual, team or group which, in turn, brings value to the company as a whole.
For a long time, I have believed in the value of this role in our organisations. We often see coaches brought in for fixed term engagements, which have a hugely positive impact and enable our people to move forward.
After a time, though, the coach goes away again but the organisation doesn’t stop experiencing change, growth and new challenges. By retaining this role on a permanent basis, we are always ready to respond to the needs of the organisation and support our people accordingly.
If you’d like to know more about organisational coaching strategy, please get in touch.
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