As organizations adapt to remote and hybrid work arrangements, some have turned to surveillance software as a solution. However, this approach often backfires, causing resentment, breach of trust, and increased employee stress and anxiety. Recognizing the need for a different approach, companies like Time Etc, a virtual assistant platform, have sought input from their hires to understand their expectations from managers and implemented alternative strategies to foster engagement and happiness in the workplace.
According to a recent Gallup survey, workplace engagement is experiencing a significant decline, with only one-third of employees feeling engaged. Factors such as unclear expectations, limited growth opportunities, a lack of connection to the company’s purpose, and feeling undervalued contribute to this disengagement. This downward trend began in 2021, coinciding with the “great resignation” phenomenon, where employees started leaving their jobs in large numbers due to feeling unappreciated or lacking a sense of belonging. Disengaged employees are more likely to quit and tend to be less productive, leading to the emergence of “quiet quitters” who perform the bare minimum.
What caught the attention was the insightful list provided by their hires, which included key elements such as goal-setting, feedback, personal and professional development opportunities, and autonomy. Interestingly, these aspects seemed more aligned with the role of a coach rather than a traditional manager.
A Paradigm Shift of Time Etc: From Managers to Coaches
“Taking this feedback to heart, we made a bold decision at our company,” Time Etc claimed.” We replaced all our managers with coaches, adopting a ratio of one coach per six employees.”
The coaches’ primary responsibility is crystal clear: to empower the employees to reach their maximum productivity and achieve exceptional results. They provide personalized mentorship and feedback, guiding employees to identify their optimal working methods. Moreover, our coaches ensure that the necessary training and support are readily available for the professional growth of each individual.
While coaches still serve as the initial point of contact for challenges that may arise, their approach differs significantly from traditional managers. Rather than imposing directives from above, the firm aims to empower and support employees to navigate their own path toward success.
At Time Etc, they have integrated a profound culture of self-improvement into the very fabric of their organization. Recognizing the value of continuous learning, they provide their staff with a monthly allowance dedicated to Udemy courses or books, enabling them to explore various subjects and enhance their knowledge. In addition, their coaches play a crucial role in recommending relevant reading material from their extensive collection of self-growth books, fostering a personal and professional development mindset.
Fostering Employee Engagement and Productivity through Coaching
The firm regularly organizes workshops featuring esteemed external experts to complement the commitment to individual growth. These tailored classes cover various topics identified by the coaches as beneficial for all staff, ranging from mindfulness and well-being to confidence-building techniques. By offering these opportunities for knowledge-sharing and skill-building, they empower their employees to unlock their full potential.
By placing productivity at the core of its work philosophy, Time Etc has established a strong connection between its employees and the company’s mission. The overarching goal is to enable customers to achieve more, and by instilling this purpose in the workforce, a shared sense of purpose and motivation is fostered.
Furthermore, Time Etc recognizes the value of time as a resource and supports its staff in optimizing productivity. The company assists virtual assistants, allowing employees to delegate non-essential tasks or personal responsibilities. This enables them to focus their time and energy on high-value assignments that contribute to impactful outcomes.
The introduction of coaches at Time Etc has yielded remarkable results regarding employee engagement and productivity. Utilizing Gallup’s Q12 Survey, a widely recognized measure of employee engagement, the company consistently ranks in the top 1% of teams worldwide since implementing the coaching approach. This achievement demonstrates the effectiveness of the coaching model in creating a thriving and high-performing work environment.
Positive Outcomes: Enhanced Well-being, Reduced Turnover, and Increased Performance
The significance of trust and support in the workplace cannot be underestimated. A comprehensive survey conducted by Impulse, encompassing 50,000 employees, highlights that feeling trusted and supported substantially influences employee engagement. Time Etc has fostered an environment where employees feel valued, respected, and empowered.
The positive effects extend beyond employee engagement. There has been a reduction in sick leave taken by Time Etc staff, indicating enhanced well-being and satisfaction. Moreover, employee turnover rates have decreased, allowing the company to mitigate the impact of the “great resignation” phenomenon that emerged after the pandemic.
In addition to increased engagement and reduced turnover, Time Etc employees have shown improved performance in achieving their key goals, with up to 20% noted enhancements. This surge in productivity can be attributed to the personalized guidance and mentorship coaches provide. Empowering individuals to identify their strengths and offering the necessary support enables them to thrive and reach their full potential.