Whether you are an employer, company leader or HR professional, the abbreviation, V.U.C.A. soon becomes common knowledge. It represents Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. It's a concise way of summing up our world of perpetual and unforeseeable change, especially so in recent times.
Managing and Coaching aren’t the same, although coaching is a component of successful management.
While management puts the focus on results and solutions to problems faced by the company as a whole, coaching is more oriented towards the problems faced by the employees, and towards helping them address these problems from a ground-up level.
Coaches are especially keen on building a relationship with members of the company and draw from their own professional experience to help advise, steer and give input. It's critical to note that a mentor/coach’s role isn’t tied to knowing everything about the employee’s job, as the coach’s job is focused on direction and support. A coach can be a consistent sounding-board and may even help with psychological wellness issues, as coaching someone opens up correspondence channels; essentially helping the employees to express issues or difficulties which can act as stress-relief as well. Moreover, the information shared in a mentor/mentee relationship is usually kept confidential and private.
The best way to help employees in times of crisis is to return to the fundamentals. When a V.U.C.A. circumstance emerges, pioneering employers and HR professionals should display finesse. Interpersonal finesse and soft-skills identify with employees’ character, attributes and feelings; using effective communication, adaptability, critical thinking, inspiration, instinct, and so on, to help create more grounded and effective relationships with the employees, and to make manoeuvring V.U.C.A. conditions easier for everyone.
Effective coaches dial-in on building a better relatability through compassion, which they can do by asking the following questions:
Posing non-restrictive questions allows for genuine and open answers, which help reinforce the bond between an employer and an employee. As per Gallup, managers represent around 70% of the variability in team engagement, so it is imperative that managers continually improve communication with their team and use training practices to increase inspiration and productivity – particularly in times of trouble.
Earlier studies showed that 76% of employees reported experiencing burnout occasionally at work. However, newer research from 2020 reports a rise in burnout risk.
Here are a few focus areas:
Giving team members freedom to bond will help them see that empathy, sympathy and camaraderie exist even during crises.
An HR manager’s job now includes assisting team members with minimizing exhaustion, burnout, or deterioration in their physical and psychological wellness. You may likewise need to check-in regarding the tools they are currently working with, and whether they can carry out work tasks effectively with what they have at their disposal.
In these uncertain times, as employers, leaders and managers, you need to clarify to your team that you are there for them. Doing so will lead to an increase in trust, inspiration, and communication about issues so you can lend a helping hand where required. All of this contributes to a safer, happier and more productive workplace, equipped to deal with any uncertainties and crises that the present or future may have in store.