May 16, 2020

5 coaching tips for lean excellence and continuous improvement

Coaching
lean manufacturing
talent management
Glen White
5 min
It doesn’t matter if you’re leading a country, a company, a department, a team, a church, or even a family, leadership has NOTHING to do with title or position.
Coaching means many things to many people. Many times a certain technique that is referred to as “coaching,” isnt really coaching at all; it...

Coaching means many things to many people. Many times a certain technique that is referred to as “coaching,” isn’t really coaching at all; it’s actually counseling or feedback. For example, you may have heard or had this happen to you – a manager will say, “Let me give you some coaching around ABC,” and they proceed to explain to an employee why the employee failed to accomplish a task. The manager then explains the way ABC needs to be done. More times than not, the recipient of this so-called “coaching” walks away disillusioned by what they think was a coaching experience and perhaps, deflated and unmotivated. As a result, coaching can get a bad rap and employees may begin to disengage. So what does a real coaching conversation look like? Well, something like this: “So, how do you think your presentation on ABC went?” The employee is given time to reflect, respond and be an active participant in the conversation. The manager continues to ask thoughtful questions such as: “What would you have done differently?,” ”What actions will you take?,” or “How can I support you?” Do you notice the difference? This is a coaching conversation—the employee is empowered to act while being supported by their manager. The employee gains confidence knowing that they own the outcome while feeling acknowledged and supported by their manager. 

Now more than ever, there is a great opportunity to bring coaching into organizations. According to Gallup’s study on the global workplace, only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work or are psychologically committed to their jobs and likely to be making positive contributions to their organizations. Therefore, 63% are "not engaged."  If this is the case, then why not integrate coaching into your talent management strategy, not only to increase employee engagement, but to achieve other talent development goals such as developing certain competencies like problem-solving, strategic thinking or filling your talent pipeline with ready-now talent for upward or lateral assignments? 

In order to integrate coaching into your talent management strategy, the following five steps should be taken: 

1. Educate Your Leaders: Start at the top and educate your executives on the differences and benefits of coaching versus counseling. Interview them on their perspectives on coaching and assess their willingness to participate and support a coaching initiative. Explain the benefits of coaching and ask them where they see applications for coaching inside their organizations. 

2. Identify Coaches, Participants and Executive Sponsors: Look for individuals and managers that can become trained to be internal coaches inside your company. These individuals may be inside your talent management and organizational development areas or could exist inside the business itself. Consider having talent management or Human Resources executives trained and credentialed by the International Coach Federation as professional coaches. As a result, they will be in an excellent position to coach executives in the company. Alternatively, you may choose to utilize external coaches. If so, you can submit a request via the International Coach Federation Coach Referral Service website or ask colleagues for recommendations. 

Simultaneously, you will want to identify candidates to participate in the coaching program. Therefore, review your succession planning and consider top talent managers, directors and executives. Participants should be excited to be part of the program and willing to make a commitment. Just as important as identifying the coaches and participants is to make certain that you have executive sponsorship. Determine which executives would like to sponsor the program and be a participant. Request that they support you in your coach and participant identification, marketing efforts, during participant enrollment and throughout the program’s life cycle. 

3. Manage Expectations: Be sure to clearly set expectations with your internal coaches, individuals being coached, the executive sponsors and, of course, your managers and colleagues. It is best to run the initial program as a pilot and build upon its success. Make certain everyone is clear on the goals of the program, time commitment and their roles and responsibilities. 

4. Train: Enroll your internal coach candidates in a coach-training program that is designed to train individuals that work inside companies as a coach. If you choose to enroll internal employees to become coaches, ensure they’re being coached by a coach with experience coaching internal coaches. In addition, be sure to train the individuals who are to be coached on the role and responsibilities of the participant. While training your coaches, be sure to establish a clear and consistent process for enrolling clients, coaching time and exiting clients. The key here is to ensure that everyone participating has a similar experience. 

5. Measure Success: Prior to starting the program, determine how you will measure its success. It may be done simply by using a Net–Promoter score or setting up a simple impact study. It doesn’t have to be a rigorous measurement such as ROI. If your program is embraced and utilized (coaching clients show up and participate in the coaching), then that’s a great sign. Interviewing them or surveying them on the benefits they received is also an excellent idea. In addition, be sure to ask the managers of the program’s participants about the changes they may have noticed in their employee’s behaviors after being coached. 

In a time where we’re surrounded by change and have so many demands on our personal and professional lives, the need for coaching is at an all time high. Coaching is a model for engagement, empowerment and accountability. It teaches those being coached to be responsible and to “own” their results. By engaging in coaching, you’re making a decision to replace mediocrity with high-performance. So let’s ask ourselves, who and what company doesn’t want full engagement and high-performance?  

Renée Robertson is a two-time International Coach Federation Prism Award Winner for Internal Coaching, in addition to being the CEO of Trilogy Development. She shares her insights and first-hand experience in her new book, The Coaching Solution: How to Drive Talent Development, Organizational Change and Business Results. To learn more, visit [email protected]&SDG;<90:.&RE=MC&RI=4602199&Preview=False&Distributi; target="_blank">www.trilogydevelopment.com.

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Jun 16, 2021

Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line

Fluentai
BSH
AI
Technology
2 min
Fluent.ai and BSH announce plans to bring speech-to-intent AI to the assembly line that will increase factory efficiency and improve worker ergonomics

Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines. 

 

According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.

 

What Sets Fluent.ai Apart? 

After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.  

 

  • Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions. 
  • Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately. 
  • Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations. 

 

How Voice Automation Works

Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production. 

 

‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’. 

 

Future Global Adoption 

In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier. 

 

Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’. 

 

 

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