The world’s largest, ongoing study of the employee experience tells us that employee engagement is a critical contributor to organizational resilience and performance. Measuring employee engagement for more than two decades, Gallup has established a strong link between engagement and performance, as borne out by key business metrics that include retention, productivity, safety, and profitability. It has also identified activities that contribute to employee engagement. Many of these markers align with the goals and activities of coaching, in which employees can explore opportunities to learn and grow, achieve personal alignment with company mission and purpose, and receive encouragement and recognition for their contributions to the success of the organization. Coaching is a powerful lever in driving higher levels of engagement across an enterprise.
how coaching contributes to higher engagement
Coaching drives engagement by making employees feel valued and boosting morale and motivation. This, in turn, improves productivity and performance, by providing both the tools, and perhaps more importantly, the encouragement to enhance their skills. Coaching opens the window to greater insight into strengths and opportunities. According to research by the Human Capital Institute and International Coach Federation, 54% of companies that are classified as high-performing have a strong coaching culture. Coaching can be indicative of increased employee engagement, with 65% of employees from companies with strong coaching cultures rating themselves as highly engaged. That compares with 2022 Gallup metrics of 21% global engagement (and 32% in the U.S.). While it is challenging to identify a direct link between coaching and engagement, the more employees who take advantage of coaching, the higher the probability that the organization will note a measurable improvement in performance.
what happens when employees are disengaged?
Just as engagement can drive higher performance, its lack can do the opposite. When employees are not engaged, they are psychologically unattached from their work and company. Because their engagement needs are not being fully met, they’re putting time — but not energy or passion — into their work. Actively disengaged employees aren’t just unhappy at work, they can be resentful that their needs are unmet and make no secret
that they are unhappy. Every day, these workers potentially undermine what their engaged coworkers accomplish. When an employee is disengaged, they often underperform in their tasks and projects. Think “quiet quitting,” a state of near boredom in employees who have lost their spark. It’s the subject of lots of headlines recently, but it is a condition that has been around for as long as people have been working. Everyone knows a slacker. While they are often ignored, slackers can also cause frustration that some employees get away with doing the bare minimum, leaving go-getters to pick up their slack. For that reason alone, it is wise to take action to move the quiet quitters off the mark, either by encouraging them to explore their options outside the organization or capture their interests in internal opportunities. Career coaching is an excellent way for them to explore possibilities and offers the potential for a turnaround.
a case in point: how monster unleashed greater engagement through coaching
Monster is a global leader in connecting people and jobs. Every day, Monster aims to make every workplace happier and more productive, including its own. To help advance that goal, it partnered with RiseSmart to launch Monster PATH, a program that individualized the experience of development and coaching for every single employee at Monster. According to Kaelyn Phillips, Director of Global Talent Development at Monster, this venture into democratized coaching has changed the culture at Monster. “It's changed the mindset of employees. It's changed who we see as potential for the future. It's changed everything. And it's a program that has made a measurable impact. We've actually seen metrics change as a result of this program. And it's all because we made it individualized for each and every employee.”
“We took a view that we needed to do something to help our employees understand where they could go next, so we put together a career atlas, carrying every single job description at Monster.” The atlas gives employees (and their managers) the ability to view competencies and compare job descriptions. It makes it easier to identify the skills and competencies needed to get ahead.”
The Monster PATH coaching platform gives each employee an individualized experience and the opportunity to connect with a personal coach. The coaching experience is employee-directed. It does not assume management knows what employees want and need to excel in their current job or get to the next step in their career. The result? Every single employee feels valued. And, says Kaelyn, “It's been really empowering for people.”
As the coaching platform connects employees with external coaches, it takes the onus off managers to provide that role. Managers already have enough on their plates, so Monster PATH is more of a help than a hindrance to them in developing their teams.
the impact of a more engaged workforce
Improving employee engagement should be a goal for every organization. In its 2022 State of the Global Workforce report, Gallup reports that “business units with engaged workers have 23% higher profit compared with business units with miserable workers. Additionally, teams with thriving workers see significantly lower absenteeism, turnover, and accidents; they also see higher customer loyalty.” Providing more employees with the tools and resources to excel can be one of the most critical contributors to the success of an organization. When employees are committed to their company and are positively motivated, their engagement reflects in their work. When they are encouraged to learn and grow and are recognized for the job they do, they will feel valued. They will thrive, as will their employers.
For additional insights into the relationship between democratized coaching and employee engagement, view our infographic or take a closer look at our research in “unleashing worklife possibilities: the worklife coaching report 2022.”