Employers invest thousands of dollars annually to acquire new employees. According to Sharlyn Lauby at Business Management Daily, “They pour time and resources into recruiting, interviewing, hiring, onboarding, and training a new employee. So if a new employee—or a long-tenured one, for that matter—makes a mistake, it’s often best to consider coaching…instead of immediately thinking about discipline and possible termination.” Lauby suggests comparing the relative costs of replacing an employee with salvaging an already-established relationship.
When employees are not strong contributors–that is, their managers and coworkers recognize them as low performers—what happens? Either nothing or, often, the manager considers a disciplinary approach or even the possibility of termination. Is punishment the goal or is the purpose to change the employee’s behavior? This is where coaching enters the picture. Coaching should not be confused with mentoring or counseling. But what is it exactly?
According to the International Coaching Federation (ICF), coaching is a process that inspires workers to maximize their personal and professional potentials. It is a series of discussions to help draw out the potential of people relevant to their goals and the expectations that their companies have set for them.
Bob Huebner, a CCWA coach and consultant, tells us, “The coach, through questions, helps individuals explore their goals, the obstacles and challenges they face, ways to overcome those challenges, and the next steps to advance their progress toward achievement. The best coaches ask the best questions.”
In Kathy Gurchiek’s article, Should Your Organization Use Internal Coaches?, Amy Lui Abel, Ph.D., who is managing director of human capital at The Conference Board, writes that coaching is now more targeted and often complements other leadership development programs. Organizations are now expanding their coaching cultures by:
- Embedding coaching into talent and performance management processes
- Developing leaders and managers at all levels to be coaches
- Training senior leaders to lead coaching efforts within the company
Gurchiek’s article also describes Google’s “…plethora of internal coaches, including those who help new employees navigate the company culture and those who work with people managers to develop their teams. It also has an executive development team that focuses on leadership coaching.”
She discusses the launching of Career Guru at Google that has broadened into Guru-plus with 350 internal coaches in 60 offices around the world. “Google Hangouts” makes the virtual coaching possible. Coaches support many topics, such as sales or delivering presentations. A sales employee who is preparing for a big sales demonstration in the U.K. may receive coaching from one of the sales gurus working in the U.S. Someone working on delivering a presentation for TED Talks might be virtually coached by a TED Talks guru in another geographical location.
Do the managers in your organization encounter any of the following coaching challenges?
- New employees confronting learning curves?
- Seasoned staff members tackling unfamiliar tasks?
- Difficult employees creating workplace problems?
If your answer to any of these questions is “yes,” CCWA can help your managers learn specific coaching skills and techniques to handle these situations effectively. Managers who provide regular coaching increase overall engagement among their employees. If your organization is interested in learning more about making coaching an organizational priority, CCWA coaches are trained to work with leaders to inspire them to their personal and professional potential, thus increasing productivity and effectiveness.
“Coaching is a lot about asking questions that help individuals discover how their values may be driving their behavior in a particular situation and then helping them find solutions to challenges. Coaching is not telling people what to do and barking orders. It’s a skill”
— Amy Lui Abel
CCWA partners with hundreds of employers each year to offer a wide range of professional development services to engage your team. We tailor our programs to meet organizational needs. If you’re interested in learning more about any of CCWA’s client services, please contact: