Proactive vs. Reactive: How to “Election-Proof ” Your Business

Every presidential election promises to deliver positive reforms that alter the business climate. We expect a much-needed shift will occur (regardless of whom occupies the White House,) which we hope will spur the economic growth that will improve our lives. In any case, no one can guarantee how the 2016 presidential election will affect the economy short or long term and companies need to brace themselves and prepare for the inevitable change.How is your organization set to ride the tide and respond to potential changes? How much difference would it make to proactively plan now to ensure that your company will prevail regardless of forecasted changes certain to affect the post-election economy, rather than be in reactive mode come January? What will it take to give your company that razor-sharp leading edge, regardless of specific details of these changes? Savvy business strategy manages the inevitable change by coaching managers and teams enabling them to run at peak performance levels when things shift. The process of regularly reviewing and renewing the productivity of the organization and the individuals that comprise it is the task of management in any company. This is something that should normally be done in the fourth quarter annually – reviewing budgets and the productivity of your teams to achieve greater efficiencies in the coming year. The best way to increase productivity is to coach your managers and teams to think and manage people and projects proactively. Coaching is an important tool used to develop skills in many areas, particularly with regard to traversing and communicating change. Every business owner in the U.S. can attest to the inherent stress that economic uncertainty brings. But it’s not just companies that are feeling the effect of change; individuals are concerned for their jobs and their own wellbeing along with that of their families. Changes to mandatory healthcare could wreak havoc on businesses and employee families alike. "Layoffs" and "budget cuts" have become bywords in the workplace. Management and employees’ ability to cope with and manage the increased pressure this uncertainty creates is key. The additional stress is unsettling, interferes with productivity and can impact employees’ physical and emotional health. Empowering your employees now will help them to stabilize this emotional rollercoaster and feel more in control of their own lives. Teamwork will help create an atmosphere of taking responsibility by shoring up for the changes, rather than feeling like a sitting duck waiting for waves of change to wash over them. Knowing they are being proactive rather than reactive and not disenfranchised will go a long way to ensure that employee morale is minimally affected and stress levels are kept at bay. Studies show that positive initiatives implemented in organizations often lead to employees experiencing feelings of greater empowerment and control over their lives. 1Scott Seibert, a professor of management and organizations at the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business, found that based on more than 140 studies conducted over the past two decades, when employees feel empowered the organization’s overall productivity increases exponentially. Siebert found that this not only significantly reduces stress levels, it decreases employee turnover rates and help individuals focus on the job and perform better. Conversely, those that feel they have less control over their livelihood and their lives feel less satisfied, possibly somewhat depressed and suffer lower productivity and poorer outcomes. This is one reason why Coaching has never been more necessary than now. The first step in proactively managing change is to ensure that your company culture is inclusive, especially at this challenging time. Sharing information that affects employees openly with them to the reduce stress and uncertainty they are likely feeling about their jobs and futures is essential to open the channels of communication going both directions. Individual and team resilience and performance will be crucial to your organization’s success moving forward, as change becomes the norm. Change management requires a large measure of self-control and self-confidence by understanding and practicing emotional intelligence. (Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize the impact of one’s emotions, thereby allowing individuals opportunity to adapt and manage their environment and circumstances in positive and constructive ways.)

Is now is the right time to invest in your people? The common response to that question is: “We already have training programs that address change management.”

However, training is not synonymous with coaching. Training, by its nature, is limited to providing information, increasing knowledge and in some cases, teaching or improving a skill. There is no guarantee as to if or how it may actually be implemented in the workplace. Because training is limited in its scope and delivery – concerns exist if it is actually implemented. It’s in the doing that change occurs – and the opportunities for change are limited without the support of coaching. As a result, coaching is often required to fully implement the ROI of the training. Coaching develops leaders, innovative, critical thinkers. What Coaching Does Coaching: • Can help your company flourish despite uncertain economic times. Coaching is a very powerful tool in the face of uncertainty—organizations of all types and sizes have experienced the value professional coaching brings including: increased business performance, improved product quality, higher employee retention and morale, greater employee commitment, leadership development, conflict reduction, team building skills and more. • Focuses on company-wide communication skills to ease and improve management relationships with employees. • Can restore confidence in organizations hit hard by the recession. Organizations that have experienced workforce reductions through downsizing, restructuring, or a merger place extremely high expectations on the remaining workforce. Restoring self-confidence to face the impending challenges is critical to meet organizational demands. 2An International Coach Federation (ICF) global coaching client study shows that 80 percent of those being coached saw an improvement in their self-confidence. • Helps individuals and companies to adapt to and manage the resulting challenges and opportunities that will affect them and the organization as a whole. • Enhances employee development and achievement by remediating or removing roadblocks to improved performance. • Leverages the strengths and abilities of individuals to optimal performance. • Fosters more positive attitudes in employees because they are receiving personalized support. • Allows energy to be expended looking forward, rather than in the rearview mirror. • Brings out the best in people for greater creativity. • Helps projects and people to move forward faster.

Behind Every Good Result Is a Great Insight. Organizations with strong coaching cultures report higher employee engagement and revenue above their industry peer group. And that inevitably augments the organization’s bottom line, no matter how uncertain the business climate may be going forward. 1Scott Seibert, Empowerment Study: http:/



2The2012 ICF Global Coaching Client Study found that coaching offers a significant return on investment (ROI) for companies with 86 percent of companies making back at least their investment. Of those, 28 percent saw an ROI of 10 to 49 times the investment and 19 percent saw an ROI of 50 times their investment. This ICF Global Coaching Client Study found that 99 percent of coaching clients surveyed were “somewhat” or “very satisfied” with their overall coaching experience. And 96 percent of them would repeat the process. 3Building a Coaching Culture with Managers and Leaders (2016) is the third study in International Coach Federation (ICF) and Human Capital Institute’s (HCI) research series on coaching in organizations. It examines the ways in which companies and leaders establish and support a coaching culture and concluded that: Organizations with strong coaching cultures report higher employee engagement (62 percent of employees rated as highly engaged compared to 50 percent of other responding organizations). They also report recent revenue above their industry peer group (51 percent of organizations, compared to 38 percent of organizations without strong coaching cultures). Behind Every Good Result Is a Great Insight. Managing4ResultsTM created by Susan Curtin MS, CEAP, BCC, MCEC and President of Insights4ResultsTM draws upon Susan’s 30- plus years of developing leadership, talent and succession programs. Managing4ResultsTM coaching program is offered to companies and consultants who wish to be certified to use it with their clients. Call Susan Curtin at 619-980-1458 or email to schedule a convenient time to discuss in greater detail how Managing4ResultsTM can help grow your business.