Why a coaching management style is best for hybrid working

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Hybrid working is here and for many organisations, the transition has been difficult. A lot of organisations worrying about hybrid working. In particular the negative impacts on mental health with isolation, as well as communication issues.

Organisations are aware of how essential it is to support managers through this journey. Adapting to a new way of working, will take time. Knowing how managers, in turn, can support their teams.

This article will outline what is hybrid working. Outlining what the organisational concerns are around the new format of working. It will explore the effects of management styles – both traditional and transformational coaching styles. The effect of these styles in the aftermath of the pandemic. Exploring the transition in a new hybrid working environment.

The first question to address and to be clear on is what is hybrid working. How is it being commonly defined and used within organisations?

What is hybrid working?

The recognised definition of hybrid working is a type of flexible working where an employee splits their time between the workplace and working remotely.

Hybrid work allows employees to take work wherever they are — in the office, at home, or if need be the coffee shop.

The result of this shift means that organisations are reshaping their work environment but also the way teams and team leaders communicate. A more versatile way of communicating is required to ensure that trust is shown to remote employees. A high level of trust and confidence in the deliverables rather than the tasks ensures that efficiency and productivity remain high.

Organisations I have talked to during the pandemic have raised a common theme around issues with the move to a hybrid model.

Homeworking 5 minutes quiet!

What are organisational concerns around hybrid working?

After 18months of the pandemic, has meant that many organisations are looking at the wellbeing boundaries that need to be created. Overcaring managers are exhausted, burn out and in some cases have reached the end of their tether.

Whilst working with various organisations, the top biggest mental health concerns that organisations are noticing around remote and hybrid working include:

1. Lack of clear communication,

With remote working communication needs to be more deliberate and has to be clearly directed. However, the enormity of information arriving on everybody’s desk is growing.

The noise of Microsoft team ‘pings’, emails, and disruption of working from home and meant that communication has become more prolific, noisy and less directed.

2. Overworked staff with few work/life boundaries

Despite the initial fear from senior leaders, that staff would take more time off when working from home. It is recognised – and well researched – that employees have worked more than was required.

3. Stress and burnout increase

Uncertainty around job roles, the impact of the pandemic on the economy, the increased workload and the issues of home working with disruptions from children, postman and Aunt Mable has meant there are little ‘work-life boundaries’. The increase in stress and therefore burnout has been widespread.

4. Presenteeism and Leavism

Prolific online meetings are increasing levels of presenteeism. Presenteeism is defined as whilst physically being at work yet employees are not present or fully functioning.

Leavism is working whilst on leave – and during the pandemic that scope was increased to include working longer days.

Presenteeism – zoning out at work

Business critical issues of Hybrid working

Whilst working with organisations the business-critical issues that have been raised around hybrid working include:

  • Need to establish clear channels of communication
  • A requiremnent to rebuild employee engagement
  • How to best build team collaboration
  • How to retain key performers who have had time during the pandemic to consider their options, resulting in a worldwide phenomenon referred to as the ‘Great Resignation’.

The Great Resignation is what commentators are calling the record number of employees leaving their jobs.

Lockdown provided an opportunity to reflect on how employees wanted to work, from where and how they wanted to be treated. It gave employees the space and time to consider and realise what they want from work.

In the UK, job vacancies soared to an all-time high in July, surpassing the one million mark.

What is the great resignation?

This trend is clearly highlighted in the McKinsey report entitled The Great Attrition or the Great Attraction? The article highlights some of the business-critical issues that organisations are currently facing with hybrid working.

Highlighting that the previous solutions to retaining staff have traditionally been pay raises and bonuses. And yet currently, salary increases and bonuses are having the opposite effect. Salary increases are in fact demotivating staff rather than motivation.

With an increased salary or bonus, the implication to the employee is:

  • They weren’t paid enough in the first place!
  • The relationship with the organisation is simply a transactional one.

The report found that people are leaving jobs today because: 

  • They don’t feel valued by their managers (54%) 
  • They don’t feel valued by their organisations (52%) 
  • They don’t feel a sense of belonging at work (51%) 

The feeling of not belonging to an organisation, or misaligned organisational values that don’t resonate with the individual is particularly prevalent in the younger workforce that is so critical for organisations to move forward.

Transactional leadership management doesn’t appeal to their sense of belonging, and more altruistic personal values.

Whilst this traditional management style has its advantages in the workplace. And yet there are also some distinct drawbacks to this management style in the modern ‘hybrid working’ world.

What are the traditional and transactional management styles?

Transactional leadership focuses on the role of supervision and group performance. Leaders who implement this style focus in general on specific tasks and use rewards and punishments to motivate their teams.

Traditionally this form of management style evolved around a strong personality style. A charismatic leader within the top leadership team, who required the final say in all policies and the authority to ‘veto’ other managers decisions.

Leadership is managed visually with regular check-ins with teams to ensure that deadlines are being met.

What are the advantages of a traditional management style?

In organisations where a charismatic leader directs the culture of an organisation and reflects the values of the employees – the results can be effective. When a ‘value’ match of the charismatic leader and employee work well the organisation drives forward to success.

In addition, a high-risk organisation requires highly specific protocols and procedures then a strong structure will again work well. Adherence to precise deadlines can ensure high levels of streamlined productivity.

This type of management style also works well in organisations that are growing fast and need to onboard staff quickly – a management structure that is clear, with procedures that are well defined and adhered to, can mean faster onboarding and bring new staff up to speed quickly.

Employees are able to ‘check in’ regularly with their mentors and ensure that all the deliverables are on track. It provides quick and effective access to guidance and can be reassuring.

The question that arose dramatically from the pandemic is, what if something goes wrong? What happens when team leaders and employees need to come up with ‘out of the box’ thinking and be able to make decisions in an autonomous way?

What are the disadvantages of a traditional management style?

Arguably the command & control management has devolved. This hierarchical structure of work has been eroded during the pandemic as workplaces were democratised.

The onset of remote hybrid working meant that micromanagement was no longer possible.

And remote working meant an increasing need to trust the process, the teams and the employees.

What is a coaching management style?

A trusting management style requires confidence and skills. the skills a- manager become empathetic and employees more engaged and have a vested interest in the solution ‘principle-driven leadership’

Coaching

A coaching style management team requires a devolved, trusting management team that leads with a more hands-off approach, less direction, and more guidance.

An attitude of ‘not knowing the answers and being comfortable with not knowing.

What are the advantages of a coaching management style?

A coaching style of management creates:

  • More autonomous team members
  • Thinking for themselves and reassured that on track
  • Less hands-on for team leaders removes workload from their desk
  • Free up managers time
  • Increased problem-solving skills
  • Improve levels of communication that based on trust, and support
  • Facilitation rather than prescription
  • Coaching partner offers ‘thinking partner’

What are the disadvantages of a coaching management style?

A coaching management style requires a high skill level. Emotional agility and self-awareness are required.

In workplaces where managers and team leaders are recruited to a leadership position based on their ability rather than their management coaching skills. The gap between what is required to coach versus their ability ‘to do’ the job can be wide.

A level of self-awareness and self-management is a requirement to manage teams effectively, which includes being able to set aside one own agenda and emotions, whilst engaging with the team member.

Effective listening is a skill that takes time to acquire and cultivates.

In some organisations, the perceived time and effort to develop these skills are seen as ‘not business’ critical. Strong organisational cultures that have been using the traditional methods of compare

Effective listening

Moving forward

To support organisations with performance issues and boost productivity during hybrid working contact Adele for coaching sessions for team leaders and employees. Coaching that use a structured approach towards clear objectives, personal growth and moving forward.

Coaching is an empowering process and forward-thinking for both the individual and the organisation. Whilst facilitating managers to become more self-aware and empathetic leaders, so that they perform at a higher level and take targeted actions, to increase team productivity and engagement.

Coaching within leadership development builds a coaching culture of leadership and improves personal and team solution finding and accountability.

I specialise in working with the legal industry & financial services organisations co-creating a strong company culture, allowing business longevity and profit. Whilst developing all aspects of top performers so that they maintain the motivation and commitment needed to achieve their goals, leading to higher productivity & ultimately profitability. Creating trackable action plans, align with personal and company goals, aid accountability, and maximise productivity.

Lee Jennings Pension Planning at Openworks

Adele’s coaching session was very valuable and well-timed during COVID lockdown, working from home.”

Lee Jennings Pension Planning at Openworks

If your organisation is looking to incorporate a coaching programme or would like to investigate the opportunities that coaching can offer  please email me to discuss your organisational requirements or book an appointment straight in my diary

#corporatewellbeing #resilientleadership #resiliencecoach

Book a 15min call to find out what will work for your business Book a call, Adele Stickland
Chris Noble Director of Saunderson House

Adele recently did some training on mental resilience for Saunderson House and it was slick and inciteful, whilst also being extremely helpful. I was particularly impressed that she took the time to follow up immediately on some feedback that I had given. And an invite to a personal discussion, which was also very useful. Not only does Adele clearly ‘know her stuff’ but she also cares and is very authentic. I would be very happy to recommend her services

Rakhesh Rao
Senior Infrastructure Analyst

Adele came in for an online coaching session at work. Little did I realise how the coaching would come into its own over the following week or so. How to manage situations has really helped me the last few weeks. I would recommend you go in with an open mind and see how the training can really benefit you”

Adele Stickland

Adele Stickland

With over 20 years of experience in the wellbeing industry, Adele has a unique insight into stress awareness and resilience within organisations. With a powerful combination of personal experience and industry background Adele is ideally placed to understand the needs of organisations looking to improve corporate Resilience Programmes and specifically tailor them to their requirements. As a former leader in the marketing world, Adele was employed in a variety of corporate roles spanning advertising, retail, and marketing together with over 20 years of running her own wellness business. After becoming a victim of ambition-burnout herself, through personal development, training and learning. Adele recognises that resilience is a skill that can be learned and developed using a crafted framework bespoke to each organisation.

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