If you’ve been following the reality TV programme A Life Coach Less Ordinary on UKTV Style, you will understand that presenters Nik and Eva Speakman help individuals overcome the fears that control their lives. In much the same vein, an increasing number of employers are now turning to life coaches to help staff cope with the pressures of both life and work.
What comes next?
Jeremy Clare, director of “Whatever Next…?”, which provides life coaching for both individuals and businesses, believes organisations turn to life coaches to act as an impartial go-between when staff become disengaged. Clare believes that it’s difficult to separate work issues from our personal lives because they so often go hand in hand.
“A life coach can work with an individual to find out exactly why it is they want to leave,” he says. “Through skilful questioning, the employee can often see how a mutually beneficial resolution or adjustment might enable them to stay.”
And while some employers may express cynicism around the life coaching phenomenon – almost anyone can say they are a life coach as the industry is not regulated – Clare argues that retaining someone by investing an interest in their work and personal issues could potentially save thousands of pounds in recruitment, induction and additional training costs.
Helen Marriott, founder of next month’s One Life Live event, an exhibition on work-life balance, sees life coaching as just one aspect of a wider trend towards organisations taking a greater interest in work-life balance. However, identifying when someone needs to redress that balance is not always easy. “They know their work life is getting them down, but are not sure how to begin addressing the issues,” she says.
Can’t get no satisfaction
Prior to the event, One Life Live has carried out a survey of 1,000 people, with depressing results. It found that 86% of respondents were dissatisfied with their lives, with 83% stating that their career was the primary cause of their dissatisfaction, and 87% wanting to achieve a better work-life balance.
According to fitness life coach Rebecca Weissbort, life coaching can help individuals set their own goals and then steer them towards reaching them.
“Employers are recognising that many people in stressful positions need to have a sounding board,” she says. “For some people, coaching can be a life saver where profound changes can be made very quickly, resulting in employees becoming more productive, grounded and happier in their career.”
Benefits of a life coach
1 They are non-threatening.
2 They help employees tackle various issues including lack of recognition, change, mergers and acquisitions and poor management.
3 They can assist in the removal of people from the working environment in a palatable way if an employee is not happy in their current situation, or help to retain an employee.
Source: Sarah Rowley, the Listening Coach
Reader offer: One Life Live
One Life Live (2-4 March, Olympia, London) provides employers and employees with options for achieving a better work-life balance. To get two tickets for the price of one, call 0870 272 0001 or visit the website and quote HR01.