This week the BBC reported on recent research findings that were published in the Lancet. These stated that having a highly demanding job, but little control over it, could be a deadly combination. This combination which has been defined ‘job strain’ has been shown to cause a 23% increase in the risk of a heart attack.
Such compelling evidence about the state of workers health made me reconsider the place of coaching at work. One of the core attributes of coaching is the shift of ownership from the coach (or Manager) to the coachee (or team member). The coachee is encouraged to take ownership of the problems at hand and the solutions to those problems, giving them control over how and when they address the demands of their job. I already believed in coaching as an incredibly powerful management and team building tool but given this new research I also feel it has a part to play in addressing the issue of job strain and in improving employee health.
If you feel under pressure and that there’s little you can do about it maybe your HR department could work with you and your manager to introduce coaching into the culture in your team?