The world has been through troubling times over the last two years. If the stress and strain of the pandemic weren't enough, we are now contending with runaway inflation and the real possibility of a third World War.
It feels that everything has accelerated and changed, making people feel uneasy and disoriented. Overnight, the world finds itself in a bold, new digital age. Tech skills are in high demand and other sectors have fallen out of favor.
There’s been a collective change in mindset. People no longer want just a job. They desire an opportunity that offers meaning and purpose. Management must be empathetic, pay their employees well and offer growth within the organization. If this doesn’t happen, data shows that people will quit. Four million Americans have left their jobs on a regular monthly basis.
The change has confused many workers. Many people are unsure of what they should do next in their careers. To help figure out what options and directions are available, how to achieve career goals or rise within their current company, people are turning toward career coaches.
Nick Goldberg, the CEO and founder of London-based Ezra, is on a mission to democratize leadership coaching. Historically, executive coaching was reserved for the rarefied C-suite executives. Goldberg holds the belief that everyone could benefit from the help of an experienced coach. To level the playing field, he founded EZRA, a virtual coaching app that offers help to people at all levels—and not just the elites.
Coaching, Goldberg says, should be as easy as a video call. There shouldn’t be long commutes into a big city, then sitting in a sterile, mahogany wood-paneled office with long, bleached wood conference tables. Instead, simply open an app, find a coach, choose a time to chat and you’re good to go.
The app-based coaching solution can be scaled across an entire organization. It's a business-to-business model. Companies offer the services to their employees to help them improve and grow. EZRA enables members to provide access to selecting a coach and scheduling live video-coaching sessions. The person can discuss their goals, plans and challenges with an accredited coach. It's positive for both the worker and employer, as their goals are all aligned.
EZRA, part of the Lee Hecht Harrison family and parent company Adecco, leverages its 50 years of global leadership in 66 countries, to offer the best-in-class coaching and talent development to help build better careers, leaders and businesses.
There is no one cookie-cutter solution. An EZRA coach looks at the entirety of the person. EZRA coaches embrace the chaotic, multifaceted, unpredictable nature of adult development, meeting each coachee wherever they are in their learning journey.
Goldberg’s philosophy is to be performance-focused. His goal is to support people to achieve more, better, faster. One of the purposes of a coach is to help you see the world differently. They’ll help you reframe challenges, break through roadblocks and become the best version of yourself.
The service is different from counseling or therapy. EZRA coaches adopt the principle of helping a person develop their own answers to problems with the guidance and advice from a coach. An EZRA coach will use a broad range of approaches and techniques to encourage you to become a more effective version of yourself and reach new heights.
The company requires all of its coaches to have hundreds of hours of coaching experience. They are all highly trained and have designations, such as Associate Certified Coach and International Coaching Federation. It's not an easy role. The coach needs to possess the wherewithal to place their coachee in the spotlight and switch off any judgments.
It doesn’t matter that much about a coach’s work experience. It could actually be problematic if a coach has a background similar to the client. If they know your industry and job designation well, it may be challenging to hold off from becoming a teacher or be in boss mode.
The key is that a coach helps you unlock your inner capabilities, develop your awareness of self and understands how to self-diagnose and self-solve the situations you meet in life. They are there to support you to become a more active learner, to deepen your complexity of thought.
A coaching conversation may be initiated because someone is preparing for a new role, wants to drive change, become a better manager, learn to interact with people more effectively and work toward realizing their full potential within the organization.
The sessions are relatively short, lasting about 45 to 60 minutes long via video or in-person. Face-to-face sessions are more typically 60 to 90 minutes in duration. Sessions are made about twice a month online. Face to face is primarily monthly. The video sessions are unlimited and you can have as many as you desire.
EZRA has successfully worked with Fortune 500 companies, such as Coca-Cola, Sony, AstraZeneca and Spotify.
A global bank issued a challenge to EZRA to help develop more coach-like behaviors within its leadership teams to drive accountability and creativity. EZRA, along with the firm, launched a three-month program with around 900 participants across China, Hong Kong, Singapore, the U.K., the United States and Australia. Participants received unlimited coaching and practiced their own coaching skills with 20-minute conversations with their direct reports. The reports then gave feedback on how well their managers adopted coach-like behaviors.
In the two regions EZRA ran the pilots, the client undertook 360-degree surveys before and after the program and tracked KPI data. Participants felt 40% more confident in coaching their team. Line managers saw an 80% increase in coaching skills amongst the participants.