Hiring an HR COACH?
The very concept of humans as resources in themselves goes back to the Stone Age, where man used his raw intellect and firsthand experience to craft tools to aid his survival. Essential non-verbal communication that existed at this time enabled them to look after one another and to form social bonds, or tribes, to be more specific. Flash-forward several millennia later, to the busy life of the 21st century with people balancing a multitude of tasks and running helter-skelter to complete them in time. With the competition for white-collar jobs exponentially increasing, people are under pressure to become the best choice for the job: in terms of qualifications and personality. It is this pressure that can either make him/her the best fit for the job, and propel them forward through their careers, or break them once they’ve landed a job at the company (much later on).
Enter the Human Resources (HR) department. This department is in charge of maintaining human capital, the most significant factor of any organization, much akin to engine oil for a vehicle, and water for its radiator. The HR department of a company plays a variety of roles in the organization. They are responsible for every aspect of employee functionality and well-being. From settling employee-manager conflicts to guiding proper workplace discipline, from managing job recruitments and recruit orientations to offer promotions, and from enforcing personnel policies to overseeing employee incentives and wellness, HR has a pivotal role in the organization. While the overall functionality of each organization depends on its employees and their professional (as well as personal) growth, it also depends on its HR department to enhance this functionality. Nowadays, the HR department in a company is very commonplace. This factor increases the pressure on HR people to be the best motivators, supervisors, examiners, well-wishers, instructors, and whatever else the organization’s employees require. It is this high level of corporate competency at the HR level that has given people a general impression of how an HR team manages a company—a ruthless group of individuals designed to forcibly bring out the best in the employees they supervise, ruling with iron fists. Often thought to be lacking social life and hated by everyone, these individuals could be described as “barely human.”
In a practical context, some of these aspects are true. Let me rephrase that. In the highly competitive working world, HR people do face intense pressure in doing millions of tasks for the company. These tasks change them over time, though not precisely everyone, and not exactly in every way, as described above. With the HR department becoming very common, the HR department faces the pressure of not only performing their main role effectively but also enhancing themselves by finding creative and productive ways to do their job in a more efficient way. This high level of pressure transforms them over time, into very strict (not ruthless) people who only focus on their employee supervision and the company growth, rather than focus on personal growth too, and the utilization of this growth in the best interests of the company.
As HR people have targets too, they too are under pressure to achieve these targets. So, they usually forcibly try to bring out the best in others, which can have detrimental consequences on the employees. Depending on a multitude of factors like pressure on the HR team, working style, company type and size, employee-HR relationship, and professional development of the HR team itself, it is either hated by everyone or just not cared for much. However, these people are humans too. They, too have a social life, a life outside of work. Thus, they too require development on all fronts—personal and professional.
This scenario is where a life coach comes into play. By definition, a life coach is a professionally trained person who helps you identify your goals, develop a realistic plan of action to achieve your goals, and maximizes your potential. Depending on the revenue of the company as a whole, and on the type of problems faced by the HR team, the company has to decide whether it needs a life coach, a therapist, or both. Therapists are different from life coaches, as they are licensed medical professionals who resolve emotional and mental problems in people, while life coaches help people achieve specific professional goals, by also aiding in personal growth. Since the problem at hand is the working methodology of the HR department, and its outcomes, the HR department usually requires a life coach.
A life coach is an expensive but important investment for a company looking to increase employee output exponentially. By hiring a life coach, these companies change the working style, and most importantly, the temperament of the HR team. Let’s go deeper into the kind of problems that a coach can solve for the HR team.
According to an article in the Forbes magazine, dated April 2020, the five problems faced by the HR department this year are—
(1) Finding and acquiring the best, high-quality employees;
(2) Maintaining this high quality and channeling employee energy constructively;
(3) Developing world-class leaders;
(4) Finding resources to use for development and training; and
(5) Fostering a sense of inclusion through diversity and acknowledgment of barriers.
As businesses become more and more complex, candidates for various jobs constantly push them to be the best that they can be. Showcasing an eclectic mix of talents, skills, and the ability to work smart, HR people often have a difficult time in selecting the best people, those most suited to the needs of the job.
Life coaches redefine their methods of selection, their psychological techniques to identify the best candidates and help slightly speed up the entire selection process itself. In today’s fast-moving world, it is not enough to be the best, high-quality employee, but also to maintain this high quality throughout. This applies to HR too. Thus, both employees and the HR team are under stress of a constant desire to maintain their high quality of work. A life coach makes sure that all employees (including the HR team) do not suffer a burnout, by emphasizing workplace culture that encourages work-life balance. Coaches redefine targets to make them sustainable and redesign them in order to give their clients the best balance of demanding work and relaxing private life. Leadership is an important skill in business, as a whole, as effective leaders can do wonders for companies.
Life coaches help their clients become better and more effective leaders who lead through example (by showing better results themselves). Additionally, coaches also help the HR team select leadership training programs best suited to the company’s agenda. While big companies invest a lot of money into workforce development programs, many companies are reluctant to do so, as this move does not promise income returns. Coaches help select the best programs for employee development and HR development based on the income of the company. They definitely emphasize the strategic importance of this move. Finally, coaches can help change the employee-HR equation, making it more productive, but more importantly, more inclusive, because proper workplace culture that is inclusive goes a long way in maintaining its structure and efficiency. In conclusion, a coach may seem like yet another expensive investment for a company looking to upgrade all their employees to the next level, but this move can work wonders. It is one of the best ways to get the vehicle moving forward towards excellence.