Management/Employee Liabilities: When to Call in a Coach

Management styles can differ between reasonable people. Some employees respond more effectively to a more forceful approach while some employees react better when individually empowered. When employers fail to employ proper motivational techniques, productivity and morale may suffer. Employers who do not understand the nature of the problem may exacerbate it with ham fisted approaches. It is in these situations where executive coaches can be useful.

Increasing Organizational Morale

Morale is important for any business. Poor organizational morale will lead to friction between the organization’s various departments and an unwillingness to voice concerns to management. Interdepartmental friction and poor communication between organizational strata will substantially reduce productivity and decrease the amount of valid information that managers have to make vital decisions.

Low morale can also lead to high turnover. New employees must be oriented, trained, and otherwise integrated into the organization while departing employees take their training and skills to competitors. Employee retention is a problem for many businesses. There is a tendency among certain managers to dismiss elevated turnover rates as seasonal fluctuations or attribute them to external factors. While a consultant can be brought in to identify current organizational issues, an executive coach can train managers to identify systemic problems and address them before the problems manifest themselves in economically, or legally, damaging ways.

Avoiding Harassment Charges

In certain situations, a poor management style can result in a lawsuit for wrongful termination arising from a hostile workplace. While disgruntled employees may throw the term around with abandon, a hostile work environment actually has a specific definition. A hostile work environment is present where workplace harassment based upon legally protected characteristics has reached the point where an employee is afraid to come to work in the morning.

Legally protected characteristics include, but are not limited to, gender, race, sexual orientation, age, and disability. Employers looking to improve morale will often attempt to become friends with their employees. This common technique can help to improve the flow of organizational communication and make employees feel powered, thus making them likely to take initiative. Unfortunately, what passes for an off-color joke between friends can constitute harassment in a professional environment. Executive coaches can help managers identify the line between friendly banter and workplace harassment.

Improving Productivity

In a troubled economy with added pressure from international competitors, every business is looking for ways to do more with less. Improving employee productivity can be challenging if employees are already working at high levels of performance. Finding a good adviser, such as online in an executive coach directory, can empower managers with the tools necessary to train employees to reach their full potential and collaborate to achieve departmental and organizational objectives.

Managers must also be productive in their own right. Hard data is always useful, but demanding reams of documentation to support employee proposals may result in missed opportunities and employees feeling disinclined to bring forth further proposals. Managers who are afraid to take calculated risks in favor of empire building will harm the organization as a whole as well as their own personal careers.

Businesses make decisions based upon quantifiable data and exist to enhance shareholder wealth. At the same time, management is an art, not a science. Managers must know how to identify opportunities, motivate employees, and make important decisions while avoiding legally over-stepping their rights. Many of these skills are not taught in business school; they must be learned in the real world. Managers who wish to improve productivity and morale should consider hiring an executive coach. Coaching reinforced with real-world experience will provide managers with the tools to face the challenges posed by our changing times.

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