HomeAnalysisThe advantages of workplace coaching

The advantages of workplace coaching

IN today’s highly competitive corporate work environment, getting the most out of employees is crucial to a company’s effectiveness and long-term health. Yet getting good work out of employees is much more than pushing people to stay longer at the office.

People Management Issues with Robert Mandeya

Companies that excel create a partnership with their employees that instill loyalty, leadership, and a mutual striving for excellence. All this comes from management that knows how to coach their workforce in a positive and enlightened fashion. Follow these steps to create a coaching plan that will bring out the best in your employees.
What is workplace coaching?

Ron Cacioppe 2010 proffers three definitions of workplace coaching as:

The process of equipping people with the tools, knowledge, and opportunities they need to fully develop themselves to be effective in their commitment to themselves, the company, and their work.

A “designed alliance” focussed on developing an individual to become their “best self” and to contribute their “best fit” and talents.

An egoless process in which coachable moments are created to draw out distinctions and promote shifts in thinking and behaviour.”

Many organisations, researchers and leaders have identified coaching as a critical leadership and management competency.

In addition, employees are asking more and more for coaching. True coaching improves employee and organisational resilience and effectiveness in change.

We define workplace coaching as the skills, processes and knowledge through which people involve themselves in making the maximum impact and constantly renewing themselves and their organisations as they experience continuous change.

Coaching is not management skills re-packaged, although coaching draws on certain management skills and competencies. Coaching deals with employee growth, development, and achievement by removing roadblocks to performance and enhancing creativity. Management deals with supervision, evaluation and meeting objectives.

To illustrate on the importance of workplace coaching here is a story about the cost of education;

Watson placed great store by learning. However, he did not spread the word through issuing a decree or policy, or spending lots of money on consultants to tell him how to create a learning culture. He did it by personal example and story-telling. Here is one such story that has become a legend in IBM.

One day, Tom Watson called a senior executive who had just made a big mistake to his office. The cost of the mistake could be reckoned at US$10 000.

Watson and the executive discussed the case for some time until Watson finally got up to leave.
Looking apprehensive, the executive asked:
“So does that mean I’m fired, sir?”

“Fired?” Watson said with a genuine look of disbelief on his face. “Heck, no! How can I fire you when I’ve just spent US$10 000 educating you?”

See diagrammatic representation on the benefits of workplace coaching:

Coaching provides not only a context for feedback, but also a process to support changed behaviour. The best workplace coaches are those who understand and develop their own coaching style, rather than following a cookie cutter approach, who know how to “flex” their style to coach others, and who can use the coaching process and concepts effectively through understanding and skill development.

While some managers may “take to” coaching more naturally than others at first, we find that the managers, leaders and clients we work with all enjoy and become effective coaches once they are supported by a model in finding and using their own unique coaching strengths. Coaching truly provides a win-win for both coach and employee.

Mandeya is a an executive coach in human capital development and corporate education, a certified life coach in leadership and professional development at the Institute of Leadership Research and Development. You can contact him on lead.inst.dev@gmail.com, mandeyarobert@gmail.com.

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