How well do you think you perform at work?
Does management give you sufficient training or do they offer a mentoring program?
Workplace coaching has becoming immensely popular in recent years and it is seen as a new way to improve an employee’s performance while enhancing the company as a whole.
So, what is coaching in the workplace, is it actually useful and how can your business implement this into their strategic plan?
What Is Workplace Coaching?
The ethos of workplace coaching is providing the knowledge, tools and development opportunities so that employee’s thrive in their role. It differs from mentoring in that coaching tends to have more of a focus on the employee figuring things out for themselves.
Why is this important? Well the old proverb “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” rings true here. Coaching draws on the experiences and opinions of either external or internal coaches so that an employee can come up with their own solutions.
Rather than being told how to do something coaching is more about equipping someone with the skills to find out answers for themselves. While in many cases it can be deemed a corrective tool – addressing specific issues at work – it is fast becoming the norm to use on a longer term basis.
Can Coaching In The Workplace Be Useful?
In a word, yes.
Coaching is seen as a valuable way in which managers or coaches can help employees realise their potential. Rather than leaving them on their own or, on the opposite end of the scale, micromanaging, coaching provides the necessary environment for people to learn and develop.
It has been shown to boost productivity, increase employee retention, aligning personal growth with the aims of the company and also making the business more attractive to potential employees. Building up this kind of relationship in the workplace can also be an effective way of reducing stress.
How Can You Implement Coaching?
Coaching can be used in two ways.
On the one hand you can implement it to address a specific short term problem that an employee is having or it can be more widely used to allow people to grow in their roles and beyond over a longer period of time.
Creating a coaching culture doesn’t happen overnight. At the beginning it might be useful – if resources allow – to bring in external coaches to equip management with these skills and to help coach individual employees with the long term view of having managers coaching staff on a regular basis. In many cases external coaches can be the most effective as they aren’t bogged down in ‘office politics’ and can offer fresh perspectives on specific issues.
Workplace Coaching And Your Business
For owners that want employees who can realise their potential and develop the ability to figure out problems on their own then coaching is a valuable strategy to adopt.
It provides support for staff but doesn’t simply give them the answers rather it offers the experience and resources so that they can make their own decisions and find their own solutions.
While workplace coaching itself won’t produce an efficient and productive workforce it is an important strategy in employee and organisational development and one that should be seriously considered by most businesses.