Public Sector Coaching in a Post COVID-19 World

Public sector coaching career coaching post covid19

Workers in the public sector are being pushed and challenged in a way that typically only occurs once in a generation. It’s no coincidence that we hear the language of war used to describe the efforts of public sector workers against COVID-19. Everyone is facing such incredible uncertainty, not only in fear for their own health and the health of loved ones, but of what’s to follow. Once some semblance of “normality” has resumed, it’s likely to look a lot different than it did just 4 months ago.

But there is a light. Crises force us to reevaluate ourselves and our position within the workforce and within society, after which we can transition and transform. As dark as everything seems right now, the fallout actually presents public sector workers with an incredible opportunity to not just heal, but to grow.

The role of public sector coaching

For those unfamiliar with coaching, here’s a breakdown of what coaching is and what it isn’t.

  • COACHING ISN’T THERAPY. I have a strong duty of care towards my clients to ensure their optimal wellbeing. Some public sector workers will no doubt have experienced emotional trauma as a result of the crisis. Coaching does not offer emotional support. My clients come to me when they are ready to take positive action. There are, however, a few similarities to therapy. My coaching sessions offer my clients a dedicated time and a safe space to talk over their thoughts and feelings so that they can learn more about themselves. During sessions, we work together to reassess your way of thinking about yourself and positively affect your behaviour as a result.If you feel emotionally stable and are not concerned about your mental health, coaching could be a great option for you.
  • COACHING ISN’T MENTORING. Generally speaking, mentors offer their own experience and expertise so that you can apply it to your situation, whereas coaching makes no presumptions about you or your situation. Coaching acknowledges that each individual has their own motivations, their own set of requirements, and their own idea of success. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.
  • COACHING IS ABOUT THE INDIVIDUAL. Roles in the public sector very diverse, the challenges faced by each individual in those roles diversifies the work of a public sector coach even further. Each person has their own goals and their own idea of accomplishment. As a coach, I work with my clients to assess what they want to achieve and what is standing in their way. I collaborate with clients to find solutions that are achievable and sustainable for them.
  • COACHING IS ABOUT TAKING AFFIRMATIVE ACTION. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many public sector workers feel overburdened and overwhelmed with work, and unprecedented challenges. Once pseudonormality resumes, the same workers are likely to feel lost and lacking direction, a stressor in itself. Other public sector workers have the polar opposite problem of feeling somewhat redundant during the lockdown, and they too will be in need of guidance. Public sector coaching helps people reconnect with their work, imbue it with purpose and gives workers something to strive towards. This will be particularly important in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The benefits of public sector coaching

Many public sector workers in the UK start their careers with a strong sense of purpose. They are passionate and determined to make a difference through their work.

Over time, it’s easy for public sector staff to lose sight of why they chose their line of work. Bureaucracy, stressful working conditions, and pay freezes lead to complete disillusionment that harms the workers themselves and the efficiency of the system.

The COVID-19 pandemic will continue to have its own consequences on the workforce. Once the applause has died down, will there be sustained support for those who were on the front line? Will the current demands have a long term toll on staff who already felt overworked beyond their pay grade before all this started?

Once we’re on safer ground, there will need to be an obvious and concerted effort to check in with staff throughout the public sector. By offering public sector coaching, workers will feel that their needs are acknowledged. In a completely new post-pandemic climate, workers will need time to regroup, process what they’ve learned and experienced, and move forward to apply themselves in a way that can really aid the public sector and consequently society at large.

If you’re interested in public sector coaching or would like to know more about how I operate, please get in touch and I’ll happily talk it through with you.

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