May 17, 2021

Dealing with your mental wellness at work is challenging. Just bringing the topic up takes a tremendous amount of courage, even though it’s reported that 78% of employees felt impaired in their mental well-being (Oracle. 2020). 

The last thing an employee wants while expressing their needs, is to feel stigmatized or at risk of losing their job. Not doing so though, only piles on more stress, which then affects your overall productivity, physical health and emotional well-being. According to a recent study from McKinsey & Co., “Workplace stressors such as long hours, economic insecurity, work–family conflict, and high job demands are as harmful to health as secondhand smoke,” (McKinsey, 2020). 

The toll of poor mental health costs employers billions each year. More recently though, there has been growth in companies who are investing in wellness programs for their workers. Employee wellness programs have been a great way for businesses to create environments that support good health practices, to enhance the awareness of their workers and for changing negative behaviors. However, many of these programs don’t necessarily tailor to each individual’s needs and sometimes rely on outdated approaches. And as the Covid-19 pandemic has shown, keeping employees engaged and happy while working remotely, has brought several challenges to organizations and leaders alike. This is one of many reasons why digital coaching is valuable for transformative change and leadership.

Clear well-being benefits that personalized coaching delivers

Developing A Positive Mindset: Building resilience and coping skills help coachees positively reframe their current mindset, which allows them to live a better life and thrive in their job.

More Motivation: Motivation is better activated and more effective when they make sense at the individual level.

Better Understanding: A program tailored to the individual allows the coach to provide useful strategies and information best suited for the coachee and their experience.

Improves Engagement: Through self-reflection and positive reinforcement, employees can find meaning in the work they do.

Greater Results: Saves costs on health care. Plus, better health outcomes for employees and their families means better productivity, retention and impact. 

People want personalized experiences 

Personalization matters, especially during these unpredictable times where people are feeling isolated and teams are more disconnected than ever. Because everyone is going through similar experiences (eg. lockdowns, remote-work, etc.) it seems that employees are more hesitant to bring up problems or mental challenges they are facing while working from home. Prior to the pandemic, The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) reported that only 43% of employees felt comfortable disclosing unmanageable stress or poor mental health to their employer or manager. While equally, managers were reluctant to approach their employees and were uncertain about their responsibilities in regards to reporting workers who are experiencing a mental health problem (CIPD, 2016).

With coaching, people can be themselves and speak freely. Coaching is highly confidential and an open space for coachees to address the topics that are most important to their personal and professional growth. Personalized coaching increases an employees ability to feel relaxed, valuable and to think clearly. Having a neutral person to talk to allows employees to share their emotions in an appropriate or constructive way. With a clear and confident mind, an employee can be transparent to the employer about their mental health and stress. This isn’t always the case for classroom based approaches because each employee behaves and makes decisions in different ways. So when you tailor your program to each person’s needs, they can maximize their potential and perform at the highest quality. 

Leaders are also in an interesting position, as they are not able to observe their employees behavior on a day-to-day basis and are left to rely on occasional video meetings and by measuring output. This has put a lot of pressure on leaders to find creative ways of keeping employees engaged and happy, on top of their regular managerial duties. With personalized coaching, managers are able to build both their instructional and leadership capacity to produce transformative change. This includes improving the communication among team members so they can effectively align in efforts and work more efficiently together.  

Coaching provides a seamless process that helps ensure leadership that teams are setting goals each week based on best practices. By working on just a few of their goals each week, it ensures the growth and resilience amongst leaders. Leaders who consistently work on themselves have a better ability to improve engagement and team spirit.

Corporate Responsibility

Failure to manage mental health at work risks damage to employer brand and potentially high litigation through courts

Positive management of mental wellbeing can be part of a corporate responsibility agenda. 

Coaching improves the lives of the coachees

Personalized coaching will improve and grow your culture. Digital coaching tries to motivate workers, enhance their coping abilities and improve their recovery from coping with high demands. Some of the impacts are listed below:

9 out of 10 people find meaning in their work after a coaching session 

7 out of 10 companies finds that coaching improves team spirit

50% boost in self-awareness

60% boost in engagement

Coaching is strengths based and the role of the coach is to help the coachee figure out what their strengths are and how they can better utilize them. Focusing on strength allows the coachee to feel engaged. Applying our strengths helps us to reframe and reassess challenges and ultimately, provides us with a steady dose of wellbeing to build positive coping mechanisms.

How coaching works: 

Through a structured discussion, the coachee engages in an in-depth conversation about their reality and well-being. The coach actively listens and will guide the coachee on key focus areas that they find most pressing or challenging or an area that can provide the most systematic change. Once the goals for growth have been determined, specific actions are collaboratively developed between the coach and coachee. The coachee then tracks and monitors their progress and determines what outcomes they want to produce following the next coaching session.

Differences between therapy and coaching 

Factors such as a healthy work environment, engagement and stress play a huge part in an employee’s well-being. This is where digital coaching helps. Digital coaching is tailor made to the individual and allows them to customize their goals and measure their performance throughout the process. 

Oftentimes, leaders will provide quick fix responses like exercise or therapy, instead of solution-oriented approaches like coaching. Though exercise and therapy are great ways to boost your mental wellness, they don’t always translate into the workplace. Therapy focuses on past trauma and treating mental health disorders, whereas digital coaching is solutions-oriented and future focus. Therapy also tends to focus on analysis, while coaching focus on resource activation which is meant to remind the client of their strengths, abilities and available support.