Archive for Coaching

Coaching tips to boost employee engagement

In my previous article I discussed the reasons behind quiet quitting and how, in generic terms, you can tackle the challenges related to employees who perform “but just the minimum”.  Link to the article

I am thankful for the great feedback I got from the article, and it inspired me to continue on the theme. I will shortly share some coaching questions and advice how to meet the employee who show signs of frustration, lack of commitment and dissatisfaction. In many organizations the annual performance reviews and discussions are performed during Q1 and I hope the thoughts below will be useful.

The lack of engagement or frustration can be a blend of many things as mentioned in my previous article. It is usually never a question of one parameter and this is why coaching questions work so well in these circumstances. It gives the employee the chance to transform the negative feelings to something positive, constructive and engaging.

My recommendation is always start by thinking about your own way of managing the dialogue.  Before making up your own analysis it is always good to:

  • Listen carefully what the employee is saying and be emphatic by trying to understand what he or she is saying and, even more importantly what he/she is not saying. This will help you and your employee reframing the issue in a better way.
  • When understanding the issue you can also be certain that you provide the employee with the support he or she needs to overcome the frustration.

The common mistake is that the managers draw conclusions, build solutions and aim to solve the issue too fast, without really understanding the problem. Some questions to ask your employee and make sure you have understood correctly the situation could look like this:

  • What would success look like for you in this situation?
  • What resources or support would you need to feel more positive and motivated in your work?
  • Can you describe this situation to see it in a more positive light?Reflecting around the past experiences can be a source of additional insight. It might be that the employee has experienced negative emotions before and overcome those. These questions can widen the perspective to addition above:
  • Can you think of a time when you overcame a similar challenge? What did you do differently that worked well?
  • Have you tried any strategies to address your frustration? If so, what were they? Did they work?

In coaching practice, we always aim to some concrete improvement actions which are defined by the client. Elaborating the different ways to meet the feeling of frustration can be formulated also in following questions:

  • How can we work together to find a solution to this frustration?
  • How can you use your strenghts to overcome this frustration?
  • What can we do to ensure that your work aligns with your values and interests?
  • What kind of feedback do you find most helpful and motivating?
  • What is the one thing that you can do today to make a positive difference and reduce your frustration?
  • What can we do to celebrate your progress and achievements along the way?

I strongly believe that negative feelings can be processed in a positive way and above questions can sserve as a starting point to more in-depth dialogue on motivation, accountability and workplace satisfaction. When investing time and effort to coach your employee. One discussion will most likely not be enough and sometimes you might need to engage an external coach to support employee.

International Coaching Federations Global Coaching Client Study shows most clients reported improved work performance, better business management, more efficient time management, increased team effectiveness, and more growth and opportunities. The same study found that coaching clients noted greater self-confidence, enhanced relationships, more effective communications skills, better work-and-life balance, and an improvement in wellness. Nearly 70 percent of individuals indicated they had at least made back their initial investment.

We at AIMS International Sweden are specialized to support companies broadly when working with Talent Management issues including building new way-of-working and providing Executive Coaching, Leadership Assessments and Executive Search. Please contact us in AIMS International Sweden in case you want to hear more from the solutions we can provide.

Mikko Taipale works as Partner and Executive Search and Talent Management Consultant in AIMS International Sweden. He is also a Certified Coach by International Coaching Federation (ACC).  Before starting in AIMS International Sweden he worked close to 20 years in large corporates as a HR leader with a focus on Talent Management practices.

coaching

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How to manage your talents who are quietly quitting

The term quiet quitting refers to an approach to work in which an individual meets the minimum requirements of their job description but nothing more, no discretionary effort, no going above and beyond. The term has been discussed intensively lately in media. It is widely known that organizations include employees who have attitude of working “just for receiving salary”.

Motivate – demotivate

Why do some employees choose to become quiet quitters? In a recent article in Forbes the decrease of productivity is connected to quiet quitting and enforcing stricter work from policies. If distance workers are required to get back to the office under the threat of discipline, it leads to disengagement, fear, and distrust. As referred to in the article Gallup found that if people are required to come to the office for more time than they prefer, “employees experience significantly lower engagement, significantly lower well-being, significantly higher intent to leave and significantly higher levels of burnout.”

I believe that neither behavior of quietly quitting nor the reasons leading to quiet quitting are new. People feel demotivated or have other reasons not to be engaged and they can choose the quietly quitting approach. In this article I will discuss what to do if you identify that the previously high performing talent or you suspect your recent key recruitment has become a quiet quitter.

Define concrete behaviour

To begin with, you should reason why do you believe a person a quiet quitter by identifying a concrete behavior. The most notable sign is of course the decrease of performance/activity levels.  But I have witnessed also other early signs such as lack of interest of generating ideas, negative attitude, low engagement level in meetings or sudden change to short-term and purely operational perspective. The term quiet quitter is rather descriptive – a formerly active employee become quiet and passive.

Get an objective overview about the reasons for being demotivated

My recommendation is while discussing with the employee to create an environment where the employee feels comfortable in sharing the reasons for lower engagement. I agree with Forbes article that changes in distance working policies might cause dissatisfaction. However I believe there are numerous other reasons which are at least as common such as relationships issues with manager or colleagues, job task dissatisfaction, possibilities to impact or unclear mandate just to name few.

Action plans based on individual circumstances

Since the effects of quiet quitting are harmful for the whole organization, it is important that the leaders establish practices to prevent low engagement and thus increasing productivity.  We recommend that managers define action plans to based on individual circumstances. I do not believe there exist a standard solution but rather a combination of several actions which might include:

  • Allocating new and more demanding job tasks, additional responsibility, or clarification of mandate.
  • Follow up dialogues (e.g., weekly).
  • Solving team/relationship issue, if necessary, consider moving the person to another team.
  • Implement stretched targets, providing clear message on higher expectations.
  • Clarifying workplace/distance working issues and trying to find a solution which works for both employee and employer.
  • Redesigning the office to become a place for collaboration and socializing.

Coaching and mentoring as tools

I believe that providing mentoring and coaching for the employee to discuss the motivational drivers is a very good option to increase the job commitment.  International Coaching Federations Global Coaching Client Study shows most clients reported improved work performance, better business management, more efficient time management, increased team effectiveness, and more growth and opportunities. The same study found that coaching clients noted greater self-confidence, enhanced relationships, more effective communications skills, better work-and-life balance and an improvement in wellness. Nearly 70 percent of individuals indicated they had at least made back their initial investment.

We at AIMS International Sweden are specialized to support companies broadly when working with Talent Management issues including building new way-of-working and providing Executive Coaching, Leadership Assessments and Executive Search. Please contact us in AIMS International Sweden in case you want to hear more from the solutions we can provide.

Mikko Taipale is Partner and works with Executive Search and Talent Management in AIMS International Sweden. He is also a Certified Coach by International Coaching Federation (ACC).  Before starting in AIMS International Sweden he worked close to 20 years in large corporates as a HR leader with a focus on Talent Management practices.

Quiet quitters

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Självkännedom – en nyckel till gott ledarskap

I mitt arbete möter jag dagligen intressanta personer som är i olika skeende i sin karriär. En gemensam nämnare för de som är verkligt framgångsrika är de som reflekterat kring sig själv och sina förmågor, dvs de som har en god självinsikt, självkännedom. De som har en realistisk uppfattning kring sig själv.

Styrkor och svagheter

Självkännedom innebär att man förstår sin personlighet och motivation, sina beteenden, vanor, reaktioner och tankar. Vi har alla styrkor och svagheter och det viktiga är att vara medveten om dem och hur de påverkar både oss och omgivningen.

Självinsikten ger dig möjlighet att fortsätta utvecklas då det ger dig en öppenhet för coachning, lärande och en medvetenhet om var dina begränsningar finns. Detta är viktigt för att veta till exempel vilka andra kompletterande personligheter och kompetenser jag bör omge mig med för att lyckas med mitt uppdrag. Vilken företagskultur, miljö och under vilket ledarskap kommer jag bäst till min rätt i? Trivs jag med väldefinierade processer och strukturer eller vill jag själv vara med och bygga och skapa dem? Kommer jag vara mest framgångsrik i ett entrepreneuriellt företag eller i de stora matrisorganisationerna?

God självinsikt skapar större förtroende

Större självinsikt och bättre självkännedom kan också hjälpa oss att göra bättre val, och framför allt att förstå våra beteendemässiga reaktioner. Att lära känna sig själv och sina egna känslor är därför en viktig nyckel till framgång – både privat och i arbetslivet. Om ditt beteende inte uppfattas så som du önskar kan du inte heller räkna med att få de effekter du önskar. God självinsikt skapar också ett större förtroende hos din omgivning, ledarskapet blir mer autentiskt, förutsägbart och mer stabilt vilket skapar större förutsättningar att lyckas som ledare.

Fokus på matchning

När vi rekryterar ledare är självinsikt och personlig mognad något som vi lägger stor vikt vid för att säkra en god match. Vi söker efter en samstämmighet med hur individen ser på sig själv och sina beteenden, hur omgivningen uppfattar dem och hur de faktiskt uppträder och uppfattas under en rekryteringsprocess. Vår roll som rådgivare under processens gång gentemot både kund och kandidat är viktig för att säkerställa en god matchning. Här tar vi stöd av assessment, referenstagning och vår erfarenhet som personbedömare.

De flesta bedömer själva att de har en god självinsikt. Intressant är dock den forskning som Tasha Euris hänvisar till i Working with People Who Aren’t Self-Aware i Harvard Business Review (2018-10-19) som visar att 95% av alla tror att de har en god självkännedom medan det i verkligen endast är 10–15% som verkligen har det. Hur har vi det då med självinsikten? Det krävs både vilja, mod och nyfikenhet för att öka sin självinsikt.

Hur kan man jobba med att förbättra sin självinsikt?

  1. Börja med att identifiera dina grundläggande personliga egenskaper och hur de påverkar dig i samspelet med andra och ditt jobb. Vad hos dig själv är det som gjort att du lyckats och misslyckats med det du åstadkommit?
  2. Fundera kring dina beteenden i olika situationer, dvs när du är på gott humör, när du har flow, vid en deadline, i förändring, när du är trött etc. Vad och vilka beteende får dig att reagera känslomässigt? Identifiera vilka beteenden som kommer lätt för dig och vilka som kräver mer energi.
  3. Spegla dig via din omgivning. Hur uppfattas du av din omgivning? Ställ frågan till de som du samarbetar med, de som rapporterar till dig och till din närmsta chef? Stämmer bilden de ger med din egen självbild?

Så mitt råd är att ge dig tid till självreflektion för att få ut din fulla potential. Glöm inte att vi ständigt utvecklas genom andra och vår miljö så självinsikt och självkännedom är något vi hela tiden behöver värdera och omvärdera för att ha en så korrekt och sanningsenlig självbild som vi bara kan.

självkännedom

 

 

 

 

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Ensuring effective onboarding through mentoring

I have previously written about coaching as a development tool and method and how it can benefit the improvement of the organizational performance . In this article I will look further into how companies ensure a fast and high-quality onboarding process by applying mentoring and coaching as a tool.

Based on this HBR article approximately 70% of Fortune 500 companies provide new employees mentoring support after joining the company. The recent studies evidence that these mentoring programs are clearly providing substantial benefits in terms of increased performance.

Individually designed programs

So how are these programs effectively established and how to ensure that you maximize the benefits? We have designed several onboarding programs including mentoring programs for senior experts and leaders and want to share below our experiences.

The critical question is if the onboarding program is optional or not. We have seen that some new managers simply do not see the need for a full program, and they decline mentoring (and also some other parts of onboarding programs). However, it is finally for the company to decide how the onboarding and introduction is managed. Our experience, supported by the research, is that well-designed onboarding programs will increase the performance which itself speaks in favor of having the program as a mandatory for everyone. At the same time for the senior leaders, we recommend highly individualized programs which are based on their specific onboarding challenges.

Include at least 3 mentoring meetings

We believe that a solid onboarding program includes at least 3 mentoring meetings. In practice this means that the new manager will be provided an experienced peer or senior managerial support in addition to support provided by his/her ordinary line manager. The mentor is acting voluntarily and providing his or her professional experience in the relevant field and many years of experience of company culture, products, services, decision making and collaboration through internal networks.

Enable faster introductions to the company culture

The main task for the mentor is to enable the fast introduction to the company culture and “unwritten/unsaid rules”. This might include sharing experiences on what kind of challenges other newly employed managers have faced. It is good to note that even mentor acts on the behalf of the company, not for his or her own interests, a successful mentoring relationship is also benefiting the mentor when providing new insights and outside-in perspectives to him or her.

Onboarding programs with clear targets

Onboarding program which includes mentoring should have some clear targets and evaluation in the end. This ensures that the program continues developing based on the needs of the new managers

To sum up, including mentoring into onboarding programs will increase the companies to reach high-quality results within a short timeframe.

We at AIMS International Sweden are specialized in supporting companies broadly when working with talent management issues including building new way-of-working and providing coaching, leadership assessments and executive search. Please contact us in AIMS International Sweden in case you want to hear more from the solutions we can provide.

Mikko Taipale works as a Partner in AIMS International Sweden. He is a member of Talent Management and Automotive & Mobility Global Practice Teams. Mikko works and is a certified leadership coach (ACC) and has worked as coach and mentor in many organizations. Before starting in AIMS International Sweden he worked close to 20 years in large corporates as a HR leader with a focus on talent management practices.

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Välkommen Jonas Carpvik!

Vi har den stora glädjen att meddela att vi har inlett ett samarbete med Jonas Carpvik och hans konsultbolag Carpvik Consulting! Vi hälsar i och med detta Jonas varmt välkommen till vårt Sverige-team. Jonas kommer hos oss att verka som Associated Senior Consultant inom Board Services och Executive Search. Med sin gedigna erfarenhet från uppdrag som VD, styrelseordförande och styrelsemedlem får kunder i Jonas en konsult, som stödjer deras verksamheter i samverkansfältet mellan ägare, styrelse och ledningsgrupp. Han kommer att arbeta med internationella och nationella uppdrag med Jönköping som bas.

Bakgrundsmässigt har Jonas lång erfarenhet från automotive men också från andra branscher. Han har mycket god kännedom om ägarledda företag och har i dagsläget konsultverksamhet med fokus på ledarutveckling, coachning och affärsutveckling. Han är certifierad ledarskapscoach.

Tillsammans med Jonas kan vi hitta rätt ledare och nyckelpersoner till kunduppdrag och stötta dem att växa som människor och i sina ledarroller.

Titti Hammarling, Managing Partner i AIMS International Sweden:

Med Jonas Carpvik som Associated Senior Consultant i vårt team stärker vi vårt kunderbjudande i uppdrag riktade mot styrelser och ledningar. Då han också är en synnerligen klok person som har fokus på både affär, resultat och på hållbart ledarskap så ser vi mycket fram emot en gemensam framtida utveckling.

Du får kontakt med Jonas Carpvik på +46 766-77 77 77 och jonas@aimsinternational.se.

Vill du höra mer från oss på AIMS International Sweden så är du välkommen att kontakta Titti Hammarling på +46 70 521 46 81 och titti@aimsinternational.se.

Inom kort publicerar vi ett inlägg där du får möjlighet att lära känna Jonas Carpvik och hans sätt att arbeta närmare.

Jonas CarpvikJonas i sommarmöte med några av AIMS International Sweden-konsulterna. Hela teamet möter du på aimsinternational.com

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Boost – a short movie to support leadership sustainability in times of uncertainty

How can we support sustainability and wellbeing in times of uncertainty? That was the starting-point when we produced our latest short movie. We hope that the video can give some encouragement and inspiration to stay strong and mentally focused.

Regards from Börje, Göran, Mikko, Rickard and Titti

AIMS International Sweden

At our Youtube-channel you can also see our other videos

 

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I thought I was a perfect candidate

… but I was told I am overqualified – how to think?

Based on many coaching sessions with candidates I see some common questions coming up time after time. One of the hot topics in career coaching sessions for experienced and senior clients is how to think in a following situation:

You have applied for a position you really believe you are the perfect candidate for – you have all the formal functional requirements, you have had many years of experience of similar challenges and you have the needed leadership and management experience. Still, you were not even interviewed or, if you did, did not get an offer. The popular feedback from many recruiters is that you are overqualified. Or in other words, the employer does not believe this is the right level for you and you would probably get bored or demotivated because the job would not provide enough challenges.

How should I think?

First, you may choose to agree that you were overqualified. This means that you accept that you made a mistake, and the job would most likely have not been a right fit and you should never have applied. This means that you need to go back to your own expectations, requirements, competence, and experience and revise your job search strategy.

However, it is quite common that you disagree with the recruiter. When you have had very senior assignments in the past you might feel inspired when working more operationally or having a smaller team. You sincerely applied for the job with a true believe that the company and role description would exactly meet your expectations. You wanted to have this position, not a  at a higher level or providing more complexity, higher management level or huge salary increase. In my coaching sessions I see disappointment and even anger when you were disqualified as overqualified.

After receiving such feedback, I suggest you get over your disappointment and negative feelings and revise your job search strategy. Situations vary of course a lot but here are my top take-aways after many years of career coaching.

  • I believe the most critical item is to analyze what kind of jobs you want to apply to taking into consideration that you can sometimes be regarded as overqualified. This is needed to create clear limitations meaning which ones of your requirements are “must haves without compromise” and “nice to haves with some flexibility”.
  • You need to communicate why you want to have the particular position. Your CV and Cover letter need to be updated to reflect this. The best way is to express what is your personal desired potential of the role. As an example, if you have +20 years of experience on managing IT projects and the requirement is minimum 5 years, you already know that you risk being regarded as overqualified. My proposal would be that you clearly identify the arguments supporting your job application such as learning new products or working for a company within your specific interest area.
  • Having the feeling of being a perfect candidate might be both good and bad in the interview situation. You may sound very trustworthy and competent, but you might also risk for be perceived as arrogant with a “know-all” attitude. Therefore, you need to practice your interview skills and techniques.

To sum up, in practice, this means that you only apply for the positions you really want, feel motivated for and can be transparent both to yourself and the recruiter why you want to have the job. In interview situations you will need to demonstrate high motivation, collaboration skills, openness towards new learnings and cultural adaptiveness.

By following these steps, you work proactively against the argument of being overqualified and reduce the risk of losing an opportunity you really want.

When you work on your strategy, finetune your CV and cover letter and practice your interview skills you will increase your chances remarkably. A good career coach can help you with these areas and challenge your current way of thinking and support you to  perform better in your search for your next assignment.

We, at AIMS International Sweden, ensure major focus on supporting that our clients always find the best available candidate to each position. By doing this we continuously interview the candidates with various experience and secure that we understand both the employer and candidate expectations. We are always transparent when sharing the feedback to our candidates and very often provide individual career coaching as a part of our Candidate Management Process. Through our Talent Management Solutions, we put extra focus on coaching and supporting onboarding and making sure that our candidates will perform in their new assignments.

overqualified

Mikko Taipale                                                                                                  

Senior Consultant
Executive Search and Talent Management

You might be interested in these articles:
Your recruitment practice should strengthen your Employer Brand
Strategic talent management – not only for large corporates
Meet Šarūnas Dyburis

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