There are several reasons why you need to double-down on employee engagement in 2021. 

A more engaged workforce reports lower absenteeism and turnover, which translates into important business benefits: companies with high employee engagement enjoy greater profitability and better sales and fewer customer complaints. Companies with high employee engagement also report higher customer satisfaction ratings, which is hugely important during times of economic uncertainty. Right now, an engaged workforce is paramount if you want to succeed.

Given these benefits, how do you actively drive up employee engagement rates while ensure it aligns with other variables, like employee personality or compensation? 

Specifically, can coaching push your engagement KPIs in the right direction? 

The answer is a definitive YES – here are ten reasons why. 

1. Coaching assures employees of their career security, and especially, future employability.

Job security is among the foundational drivers for engagement, without which an employee will start looking for greener pastures sooner or later. By coaching employees, you assure them that you are invested in their future in your organization. Even if you go through a rough patch in 2021, coaching will improve a person’s overall employability, giving them job security in a difficult labor market. 

2. It helps employees feel supported by their co-workers.

A recipient of coaching is better suited to support their co-workers through both personal and professional crises. Specifically, they can quickly adapt to emerging situations (like the rise of full-time remote work) and continue to provide the same degree of support, direction, and advice. This drives up your workforce’s broader productivity levels, leveraging the culture of support and empowerment built via coaching. 

3. It strengthens trust among team members. 

Trust in one’s peers, leadership, and the organization helps to foster a sense of community or even “family,” which can keep employees engaged even during a crisis. An internal coach, or a manager who acts as a coach, will build these essential lines of trust within and between teams. As a result, employees are more likely to have buy-in for your company’s current and future roadmap, confident in where you are headed. 

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4. It directly impacts financial stability.

Coaching impacts an employee’s financial wellbeing in a number of ways. At the very least, it helps them to become more efficient, optimizing their time to improve business outcomes. In the mid/long-term, employees are better positioned to apply for a promotion, to enhance cross-skilling opportunities, and take on new projects that can strengthen their financial state. Even as your company gains from coaching at a macro-level, it cascades down to the workforce. 

5. It sets transparent professional goals and aids in achieving them. 

Coaching opens up new horizons for an employee beyond the here and now. Instead of the monotony of 9-to-5, which is intensified by the lack of socialization brought on by Working From Home, employees have clear professional targets ahead of them. And these aren’t just castles in the air: a coach helps employees clearly outline which goals are within the ambit of possibility and create an actionable path for achieving them. 

6. It equips employees to maintain their work-life balance.

In the age of always-on connectivity, work-life balance has consistently been a bug-a-bear. Now, with so many of us working from our living rooms or bedrooms, surrounded by our pets, family, and household chores, this balance is even harder to achieve. Coaching increases an employee’s self-awareness, helps them acknowledge stressors, and equips them to set clear boundaries. This brings us to the next point. 

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7. It positively influences both mental and physical health.

Work-life balance, financial stability, trust, support, and job security all contribute to an individual’s mental and physical health. Coached employees are less prone to burnout — something that nearly 6 in 10 employees experience — and they are more prone to adopting healthy work patterns, digital behavior, and communication practices. Better mental and physical health among your workforce drives up your company’s productivity KPI’s. 

8. It acts as a reward for above-average performance.

Your usual reward mechanisms – like a quick shout out at lunch or a pat on the back during coffee breaks – may not be available right now. Coaching offers a concrete way to appreciate the cumulative achievements of an employee. This type of non-financial reward can be game-changing at a time of tight budgets and unpredictable compensation hikes. 

9. It makes employees feel recognized for their accomplishments/potential.

While rewards are a tangible benefit an employee receives in exchange for good work, recognition is more of a sense or feeling that inspires employees, improves their mental health, and reinforces those lines of trust and community that you are working so hard to establish. The feeling of recognition goes beyond a mere “quid pro quo” – you also appreciate an employee’s inherent potential, making them feel valued. Coaching acts as an effective recognition mechanism in a very real way, by highlighting what the employee is doing right, what are the future possibilities, and how to get there. 

10. It links personal purpose with professional ambitions. 

If you look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self-actualization – or the capacity to become one’s best self – sits right at the top of the list. If an employee is able to achieve self-actualization while working for your company, they will be consistently and highly engaged. Coaching shines a light on employees’ often-latent personal purpose and aligns them with your company’s direction, paving a clear pathway for executable professional ambitions. 

You cannot overstate the value of your employees during a crisis. 

Gartner identifies these above ten factors as essential “needs” of an employee right now, without which engagement will falter. Coaching that adapts to the individual and the new normal, continuing to upgrade your workforce’s capabilities even when remote, is integral to any roadmap for people development, marked by resilience, people-centricity, and future-readiness.