The need for coaching and training interventions within organisations is now widely accepted and acknowledged, with 75% of organisations currently offering coaching and mentoring, according to a 2014 survey report by CIPD*.
The impact of implementing a coaching programme is certainly significant and measurable, however there are a few common mistakes that organisations tend to make when applying a coaching programme. To ensure practices are embedded in the culture of the organisation and there is long term sustainability, consider the points below when implementing a coaching programme.
What follows is an extract from Dr Mariam Sha’s book, The Engaged Workforce: 6 practical steps to creating a coaching culture): –
Ignoring the bigger picture, the larger map
Employees do not work in isolation, behaviour is impacted by groups and peers. In an organisation, cultural norms prevail that can either enable or prevent an employee from implementing change in a positive way. When offering coaching to an employee, an organisation should adopt a holistic approach. Employees being coached cannot change their behaviour if the system does not allow and welcome the change.
Set clear measurable objectives/goals – measure return on investment
Neglecting to set individual, team and organisational goals prior to commencing with a coaching programme leaves little room for measuring improvements and achieving outcomes. Track progress on the achievement of individual, team and organisational objectives. Encourage feedback on the programme and make the necessary changes to ensure that the strategic goals are met.
Participation is voluntary
Not every manager has the competencies or perhaps even the desire to be a coach. When deciding to implement coaching, an organisation needs to account for those managers who may lack the will or ability to coach their employees. Start with those managers that are committed to changing their style of management to a coaching style. Their success will encourage other managers to do so.
Skills and competencies
Workplace coaches should be carefully selected. The sponsor or HR need to be clear and in agreement on the specific competencies and behaviours of a coach, taking into consideration how these will be acquired and applied to ensure success.
Continuation of coaching after training
Training may be a step towards accreditation for a workplace coach. It’s vital that organisations provide ongoing supervision and monitoring for sustainability.
Coaches don’t have the answers
The explanations and expectations of coaching should be discussed upfront with all stakeholders. Everyone needs to understand that the coach should not be providing answers and solutions. The coach has the techniques and skills to listen, probe and question. If or when a coach responds to pressure from the coachee or the organisation to achieve ‘quick’ results, the outcome is likely to be superficial rather than a sustained behavioural change.
Coach and psychologist
Whether or not a coach is qualified in the discipline, psycho-therapy should not be brought into a coaching session. A coach can state and acknowledge the need for a psychologist where necessary, stepping away from the relationship. Note that people being coached may have major interpersonal difficulties, and, as such, it is essential that a coach determines at the outset why such a relationship would not reap the expected results.
Make time for coaching
Often managers raise time constraints as obstacles coaching their staff. Coaching is a style of management, it’s not an add-on requiring additional time. Create coachable moments: apply the coaching methodology during one-on-one meetings, performance appraisals or discussions on key issues. This serves to encourage individuals to think of solutions rather than the manager always providing solutions. Individuals are more likely to implement solutions they had thought of than those they have been instructed to carry out.
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