Coaching, whether aimed at executive level or for staff, is increasingly being recognised as being important in terms of employee development. It is recognised by senior management in many organisations that their company will flourish if they offer some form of coaching and mentoring to their staff.
The benefits of coaching and mentoring are extremely valuable to an organisation during times of change, when employees may need to overcome difficulties, grasp new opportunities or inspire others.
Coaching and mentoring is about learning and development. If staff in an organisation can learn and develop, then it is more likely to thrive and succeed.
People who are coached or mentored often develop counseling and coaching skills themselves, which are transferable to their personal lives. They usually find that their confidence and motivation increases, which can help to improve their performance in the workplace.
Almost all organisations could benefit from having a coaching and mentoring scheme. It can lead to improved performance, productivity and motivation.
Coaching can have a major effect on the success of the business strategy. If coaches work with the business by identifying the current and future skills and experience required to successfully meet their strategic objectives, they can ensure that what they do is vertically and horizontally integrated with the overall business and learning and development plan. By doing this, the business will have a clear insight as to the added value Learning and Development and coaching can bring. Also, by ensuring there is clear added value, coaches are more likely to have the buy-in and commitment of the business and its employees.
To ensure that the programs add real value, organisations must ensure that they align, engage and measure the results. They must also consult with their stakeholders, Learning and Development department, managers, employees and customers etc. to ensure that the programme will meet their needs and expectations, and also to ensure their buy-in and commitment.
Coaching programs should concentrate on areas that will make a critical difference to the achievement of the business strategy (consult with stakeholders). It must be organised in a way that makes it achievable. Therefore, it should be carried out by highly trained and ethical managers with a good knowledge of the business.
The key areas to consider when designing a coaching programme include:
o Business priorities
o Organisation culture
o Coaching purpose
o Learning and development climate
o Perception of coaching
o Available resources
o Degree of sponsorship
By having an aligned and supported coaching programme, the employer can retain valued employees, develop leaders, promote creativity, deepen employee engagement, improve performance and obtain a competitive advantage.
Isobel Allen writes many articles on training and development for business on behalf of True Progress