The coronavirus pandemic has affected the way people feel. Progress Coaching Chief Coaching Officer Tim Hagen believes business leaders and coaches should adapt to the moment to build a satisfied workplace and retain employees.
“The world’s been turned sideways,” says Hagen, who led a CUNA Councils virtual roundtable, Virtual Coaching to Inspire & Motivate During Challenging Times, on Feb. 10. “What’s going on in people’s minds today becomes your tool.”
Many people have faced uncertainty since early 2020. Companies are dealing with the Great Resignation, with people leaving their jobs regardless of if they have a new job lined up or are ready to retire.
Hagen believes the Great Resignation is a window into the population’s psyche, and that many people are making short-term decisions based on job discomfort, workplace flexibility, or money.
Furthermore, he believes many people have forgotten their professional goals as the workforce has been “playing defense” —just getting by while waiting for the pandemic to end and normalcy to return.
Employee turnover and the shift to virtual work leads Hagen to believe workers have lost some of their sense of connection. Therefore, he believes coaches, managers, and business leaders need to facilitate connections, teamwork, fun, inspiration, and emotion.
“Get people to get in touch with their emotions, feel connected, and maybe laugh a little bit,” he says, noting that leaders should use engaging events, videos, music, and games to create energetic group coaching sessions. “Once you facilitate and fuel people’s minds positively, you get them thinking differently and they start to own what they need to do to successfully change.”
Coaches can also use self-awareness to drive greater activity and accountability among staff. Three questions to facilitate self-awareness: What did you specifically learn? What did you learn about yourself that you are committed to? What actions will it take to drive change?
Hagen suggests going through a whiteboard coaching exercise in which employees illustrate who they are. In these motivational and career sessions, Hagen suggests coaches use terms such as “opportunities to raise your game” rather than “constructive feedback.”
“Find out what motivates people,” Hagen says. “Our goal as coaches isn’t to change people, it’s giving them the opportunity to change.”