ABOUT THE PROJECT
I am delighted to briefly tell you about a recently completed project to support Euler Hermes managers with extensive use of executive coaching.
The objective of this several months’ long program was to provide dedicated support to a group of first-line managers during the pandemic. These managers were dealing on a daily basis with many new team challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The greatest project challenges were:
- The enormous scale of participants’ challenges – whether business, team or private, related to overwork, work-life balance, or difficult family relationships.
- Multiple functional areas. The participants managed such areas as sales, customer service, risk management, policy management, loss adjustment, legal department, analysis department and debt collection.
- Supporting each participantin expanding situational awareness and developing individual leadership solutions during a relatively short period of time and a small number of individual sessions.
AN UNUSUAL EXECUTIVE COACHING FORMULA
Responding to the above challenges, together with Euler Hermes we developed an unusual formula for the project. It consisted of executive coaching sessions with 30 first-line managers of teams of 5 to 20 people.
Project innovation consisted in the use of strategic support such as executive coaching in working with managers at the manager of others level. This broader than usual use of executive coaching enabled participants to deal more strategically with the many volatile, complex, and nonobvious situations they experience on a daily basis during the pandemic.
Such situations cause first-line managers to regularly face unusual decisions that senior managers normally make. On top of that, there are a number of new challenges that a company does not usually experience, such as the team response required during a pandemic crisis.
Some of the most common issues discussed during the program included:
- Remote team management. Issues related to managing remote teams, a healthy balance between control and trust, or effective facilitation of virtual team meetings,
- Inspiring leadership based on trust, supporting, developing and empowering employees, and delegating,
- Nonfinancial team motivation taking into account the individual values of employees, deepening relationships and bonds in teams, feedback, appreciation, strengthening, stimulating creativity from below, etc.
- Team conversation techniques. Effective facilitation of remote group meetings, talking about difficult emotions of team members related to the pandemic,
- Change management and transformational topics related to managing teams during change, creative approaches to difficult, complex and crisis situations,
- Work-life balance. Stress relief, recovery and separation of work and private life despite their coexistence in the same home space.
WHAT DID EXECUTIVE COACHING BRING TO THE PARTICIPANTS?
The program was a great success. The time of its implementation (the pandemic autumn of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021) was a moment of solstice and “material fatigue” in which many managers needed real support.
Feedback from participants and organizational observations showed that as a result of its implementation, Euler Hermes managers:
- Began to better understand their employees’ motivations, challenges and perspectives,
- Became more aware of their own and their team’s natural resources and limitations,
- Started to manage tasks better, improving effectiveness, reducing stress and freeing up time for strategic actions,
- Developed and implemented individual techniques for remote conversations with their employees and teams,
- Developed and implemented individual solutions to conflict situations,
- Learned to approach organizational changes more strategically and consciously,
- Gained a great deal of new inspiration to effectively and healthily act in harmony with themselves.
Feedback from participants shows that the program had real value for them. Below are some examples of feedback Euler Hermes HR department received from their managers:
“I just finished my last session with Maciej. These sessions were a BRILLIANT !!!”
“I am fresh from my second session with Maciej and I must say that these talks/workshop brought so much and were the best that could have been organized for us in this area – fantastic. Absolutely the right subject and person to deliver the sessions.”
“This program is one of the best initiatives so far, this guy is great! Thanks!”
BENEFITS TO THE COMPANY
Thanks to the implemented program, Euler Hermes provided real, dedicated support to its 30 managers affecting the work and lives of another 200 employees reporting to them.
In addition to the positive impact of the project on so many people, the company gained something else. It enabled its managers to change their perception of the COVID-19 pandemic from a threat to an opportunity to develop a new strategic approach and leadership skills and improve relational closeness with their teams.
Many thanks to all the participants and to the entire Euler Hermes HR team for the great collaboration during this project!
And how does YOUR company support managers during an unexpected crisis?