Imagine, for a second, a noticeably healthier version of your current organization. What areas for improvement come to mind first?
Ask this question to enough CEOs, founders, managers, and HR professionals, and common patterns emerge. You’ll hear ideas for improvements like:
- Managers and supervisors who more effectively empower their teams
- More productivity, collaboration, and engagement among employees
- Stronger vision and commitment to values from executives
- Increased respect for boundaries and work-life balance
- Systems in place to better support underrepresented employees
- Improved employee retention
When something stands in the way of achieving those improvements, organizational culture suffers. Fortunately for organizations, a changemaking resource like coaching can effectively address each one.
If you have a hunch that your organization is just a few key steps away from major improvement, this article is just for you.
Common Causes of a Struggling Culture
Organizational culture is complicated. For something that most people agree is important, it’s much less obvious how to get it right.
When it comes to what causes cultures to struggle, we’ve seen it all at a)plan coaching. Through our coaching engagements, we uncover the most pressing areas for organizational improvement. We then use coaching to create transformative action in service of those areas.
Following are a few of the most common causes of struggling cultures that we see through a)plan engagements. Our coaches are experts in both identifying and improving these trends.
1. Managers Have Limited Management Experience
People management rarely comes naturally to folks, something many companies overlook. Just like software development, sales, or marketing, managing people is a skill. Without a dedicated space to work on development, where are managers (especially new managers) expected to learn and grow their skills?
The cost: Employees lack role models and strong examples for how to show up in the workplace. Trust and communication suffers, as employees are unsure when and how to approach their managers and coworkers.
2. Not Enough Attention Going Towards DEIB Initiatives
Even at the most well-intentioned companies, DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging) initiatives require constant attention. True DEIB success requires more than just a statement to be better. It requires real change—from creating new task forces, to hiring new roles, to holding space for underrepresented employees to have a voice.
The cost: When DEIB initiatives suffer, so do collaboration, productivity, employee wellbeing, company reputation, and retention.
3. Misalignment Between Company and Employee Values
When company and employee values are misaligned, it’s nearly impossible for culture to thrive. Misalignment can take many forms. Does the organization truly champion employee well-being? Does the organization outwardly stand for causes that its employees also support?
The cost: When employees hold values that are not embraced by their companies, they’ll leave. Until then, an employee who is not bought into the larger vision will lack productivity and inspiration.
The Bottom Line
No matter the reasons(s), all struggling cultures share common problems: Unengaged, uncommitted, and uninspired employees, retention struggles, poor company reputation, reduced employee wellness, suffering work quality, and weakened team morale.
Coaching: The Ultimate Resource for Healthy Organizations
Enter coaching. Coaching is a resource that organizations can use to support their executives, managers, and/or employees. This mutually beneficial resource leads both individuals and the greater organization to make major leaps forward together. While coaching can help nearly anyone or any company, it is particularly impactful at organizations looking to nurture healthy cultures.
When working with a)plan coaching, the creation of a coaching plan begins with the executive sponsor or the person leading the process of bringing coaching into the organization. Because a)plan provides a bespoke coaching experience, all of our engagements begin with exploratory discussions to learn more about the organization and its desired outcomes.
Determining the Who, What, and Why
Designing an organization’s custom coaching plan involves key details like who will receive coaching, what type of coaching they will receive, and why they will receive coaching. (The who, what, and why always tie back to the organization’s desired outcomes.)
Who will receive the coaching?
When it comes to who will receive coaching at your organization, the options are plentiful. We have designed coaching programs for specific audiences within organizations, from co-founders, to executive teams, to managers, to underrepresented employees (UREs), to all employees.
What type(s) of coaching?
Since coaching can take many forms, its delivery also requires attention. At a)plan, we offer one-to-one coaching, team coaching, and broader training for larger audiences.
In designing a coaching program, we peel back the layers that led the client to coaching in the first place. Here we learn how coaching ultimately can enhance the overall health of the organization.
Coaching in Practice
Once a coaching plan is created, we hit the ground running with implementation. Let’s consider what it actually looks like to have a)plan running a one-to-one coaching program at your company.
a)plan coaching: High-Level Highlights
- Weekly one-to-one coaching sessions
- Flexible scheduling with coaches
- Entirely virtual (coaches and clients meet via video or phone)
- Proprietary coaching app tracks progress and coach communications
- Unlimited texting access to your coach
Through coaching, employees, managers, and executives gain a confidential, dedicated space to work on both personal and professional goals. Through a)plan specifically, users gain access to coaches who have supported employees at companies like Apple, MetLife, Nike, Stripe, and hundreds of thriving startups.
At the simplest level, coaching is a resource for actionable self-improvement. Organizations supporting such a resource build a foundation for positive cultural transformation.
Healthy Cultures Built by Coaching
The ultimate result of a well-implemented coaching program is the formation of a coaching culture. The establishment of a coaching culture manifests in the ways an organization champions its values, listens to all voices, encourages healthy communication, supports employee success, and embraces the shift to a more compassionate workplace.
The formation of a coaching culture creates tangible results. In fact, coaching turns the wish list at the beginning of this guide into a checklist as it unlocks predictable outcomes for organizations.
With these outcomes, the ROI of coaching speaks for itself.
Coaching once lacked the scalability, consistency, and affordability to impact organizations in these powerful ways, but a)plan coaching leverages technology, a consistent coaching method, and rigorous coach vetting to change that. That’s why today, more companies than ever choose coaching as the resource to create healthy, thriving cultures.