Each week we bring you news, opinions and research on Employee Engagement, Leadership and Motivation, along with some thoughts on practical workplace applications.
Coaching Begets Coaching
BlessingWhite’s most recent research on coaching, due to be published next month, points to a strong correlation between a manager receiving coaching from their manager and their commitment, in turn, to coach their own team members. In this article, they summarise some of the key findings.
Overall, 79% of managers say they love to coach. This rises to 83% when they receive coaching themselves but drops to 76% if they get no coaching from their own manager. Similarly, managers who receive coaching spend more time coaching others than managers who are not themselves coached by their manager.
When it comes to expectations and belief there is a much bigger gap (21 points) between managers who receive coaching and those that don’t. Of the managers who don’t receive coaching only 69% say they are expected to coach others, while for managers who do receive coaching this rises to 90%.
Interestingly when it comes to the impact of coaching on organisational results, while 64% of all managers believe coaching drives higher performance, only just over half actually receive any coaching themselves.
The full report will be available in early May, and if you’re interested in getting a copy you can sign up via this link.
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Compassionate Leadership and Employee Engagement in the NHS
The King’s Fund’s Michael West, former Executive Dean of Aston Business School, discusses the findings of the NHS staff Survey, which shows levels of engagement in the NHS have risen. “However”, says West, “While the survey results can be presented from a ‘glass half full’ perspective, if we see the glass as half empty then the results are disturbing.” Some of the survey results are quite shocking – you can see them here.
The key thing is to address the problems because, as West says,”ever-increasing levels of engagement without increased support are not sustainable.” So what can be done?
NHS managers, says West, need to develop models of compassionate leadership. “Compassion is paying attention and listening with fascination to the other person (patients for example); understanding their distress or difficulties; having an empathic response; and taking skilful or intelligent action to help. So we need leaders to lead with compassion, and this means paying attention to staff.”
The well documented pressures on the NHS provide the reason for adopting a compassionate style of leadership at every level of the system and for listening, understanding, empathising and taking intelligent action to help at every level.
“Ultimately, high levels of staff stress begins to erode compassion and affect care quality, patient experience and patient outcomes,” concludes West. “It is vital that all NHS leaders recognise the imperative of developing a style of compassionate leadership to sustain the core values of the NHS. The real cost will be too great if they do not.”
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Google Crunches More Numbers and Discovers Good Teamwork is About Being Nice to Each Other
After an initiative named Project Aristotle, Google has distilled the key elements of good teamwork. What comes as no surprise to any good manager is that it boils down to team members being warm and friendly to one another – being nice.
Benchmarking 50 years of academic papers and analysing over 180 teams within Google, the Project Aristotle team discovered two behaviours that were consistent across the best performing teams:
- Team members spent an equal amount of time sharing thoughts and feelings each day. (“Equality in distribution of conversational turn-taking.’’)
- All team members had high levels of emotional intelligence (High ‘‘average social sensitivity’’).
Researches call these behaviours Psychological Safety – a shared belief that taking personal risks in speaking up will not result in embarrassment, rejection or punishment.
Whilst other factors such as shared team goals are important, Google’s data found that Psychological Safety is critical to team success. So there you have it – whatever else you do, if you want team success, make sure everyone in the team trusts each other emotionally, as well as technically.
4 Hard Questions to Ask About Your Company’s Purpose
In 1933 Dr. Ferdinand Porsche launched the People’s Car: Volkswagen. Its purpose was to enhance people’s lives through great engineering. The purpose behind the People’s Car resonated throughout the 20th century, and Volkswagen grew and prospered.
Then, in 2007, something changed. The Volkswagen leadership set a new overarching goal for the company: to become the world’s largest automaker by 2018. And although the company reached that goal three years early, no one can doubt now — in light of the emissions scandal — that in losing its greater purpose, Volkswagen ended up losing much more than its way.
Too many leaders today focus on the practicalities of what and how rather than the more distant and abstract question of why. But there are costs to such short-sightedness, as Volkswagen’s example makes clear.
How strong is your purpose?
Is it solid enough to guide you through uncertain times? Stress-test it with these four questions from Harvard Business Review.
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