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Generations X, Y and Z, coaching and Shared Services
Coaching is a form of leadership that is more focused on unique personality traits more than any other form – therefore, it is important for the coach to know the coachee. This can get difficult as there can be as much as three different generations in a workplace, all with different goals and ways of looking at things. What makes it different to work with people from various generations? We asked our speaker Imre Zsoldos, the Finance and Accounting Director at Roche, Hungary.
If there's one quality Generation X is lacking and could learn from Generation Y,/Z (and vice versa), what would it be?
In today’s fast-paced world Generation X could work more effectively by applying a coaching methodology and involving others from all levels of an organization instead of wanting to be the sole problem solvers. They should know that this way of working will not have a negative impact on their reputation.
For Generation Y/Z it would be beneficial to be a bit more patient and take more time to understand the roles and responsibilities at the workplace which would enable a more stable mid/long term career path.
What are the different coaching approaches towards these generational groups?
There is no one specific coaching style towards each generation as it is very much dependent on the coach and coachee. I had both great and bad examples by using, for example, challenging coaching styles with colleagues of the very same age. One appreciated the method as a great way for moving him out of his comfort zone and he consequently made changes in his behavior – which was his goal. I also had a situation where I had to change this style quickly as the approach was becoming a source of frustration that started to make the person withdraw.
Tools used during the coaching session could be different though. Generation X really appreciates the use of books, photos, cards and cubes. Meanwhile, Generation Y truly enjoys and benefits from online tools and online gamification.
I also experienced that Generation Y/Z requires more positive feedback as part of the coaching session as the every day “hunting” for Likes is not only part of their private life but their working life as well.
What are the main benefits of building a coaching culture within an organization?
In my view, an organization should not only have a coaching culture, but it should also be one of its leadership styles. This enables the people's strenghts to be identified, which you can consciously build on and use for developing the most effective operating model. Coaching drives proactivity, efficiency and high motivation in the organization for all generations.
Can you tell us more about the Business Coaching School model developed at Roche?
We at Roche Budapest Shared Services truly believe in our employee and do our best to discover and develop their potential. More than 90% of our leaders started as individual contributors at our company. We believe that promoting our employees by providing internal or international opportunities is just one element of our culture; giving personalized training sessions is just as important. The Budapest Shared Service Leadership Team has developed and runs a leadership development program called Business Coaching School which introduces the coaching culture to its 60+ leaders. The program has three pillars: Elementum focuses on understanding Mentoring and Coaching methodologies, motivation and career management. Second, the advanced pillar is called Progressio which supports the leader in having better self-reflection, building his/her coaching style and managing effective leadership communication across different generations and personalities. The final pillar is the Magistrum, which teaches the leaders about competencies endorsed by international coaching associations.
This program, which won the Roche Global Finance “Beyond Award” in 2015 and National Mentor Oscar in 2016, is sponsored by senior leaders from different divisions, which makes the program special and the development of our people enjoyable.
Is it already implemented and if so, what were the lessons learned?
In the 3rd year we offered the role of running a certain part of the training to one of the managers, and it has become very successful. I learned that involving colleagues from all levels of the organization in the design of the training is very motivational and inspirational for both the trainers and participants of the training.
What has been the best advice or motivation anyone has given to you?
During my probation period in 2010, the head of Shared Services asked me in the elevator “what makes an operational manager the best one?” I was a bit anxious and quickly started to list things like, the one who has capabilities to deliver the highest customer satisfaction or the highest engagement. The elevator stopped on the 5th floor where she worked and she said: “This might make you a good manager, but not the best one.” I was quite embarrassed and felt I had to follow up for the right answer. So I went down to her desk and asked what could have been the right answer. She said: “The best managers are unnecessary as their team can perform all of the activities without them.” That was the point when I realized that my mission is to develop an organization and its people.
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