In the current competitive business environment, companies are keen on delivering superior products to their customers as a way of expanding and protecting their market share. According to Baykal (2020), the ability of a company to achieve success in the market throughthe delivery of quality products depends on the competency of the workforce. The top management unit is responsible for developing policies meant to guide the operations of the entity. Once these policies are developed, employees are expected to implement them in practical settings. Creating an effective workforce starts with identifying and recruiting highly talented individuals who are committed to delivering results. Once they are hired, the management has the responsibility of taking them through some form of training so that they could understand what is expected of them (Bali, 2018). Coaching is important to both experienced and inexperienced employees because of the changing trends in the market and practices in the workplace. The last step is to ensure that these talented workers are retained by embracing various practices that would limit high rates of employee turnover. In this paper, the researcher seeks to discuss the importance of coaching in boosting a firm’s overall performance and potential implications in providing feedback.
Performance management has become one of the most important aspects of human resource management in modern society. Companies are under pressure to ensure that they cut costs of operations while at the same time increasing their productivity. Achieving such a goal requires a high level of performance among the workforce. According to Bar-Eli (2017), many firms are currently using various strategies to achieve improved productivity. One of the best ways of improving the competence of employees is through coaching.
Growing Relevance of Coaching in the Current Business Environment
Performance management is one of the major concerns of human resource management in the current competitive business environment. It has become evident that the overall performance of an organization is influenced by the output of individual employees. As such, firms are putting in place various measures meant to enhance the performance of their workers. Some of the most common strategies that organizations use to imprthe ove productivity of their employees include offering attractive remuneration, promoting an innovative workplace environment, rewarding top performers, and coaching employees among other strategies. The approach that a firm uses to manage workers’ performance depends on various factors (Bali, 2018). In some cases, it may be appropriate for a company to use two or more of these approaches simultaneously.
Coaching has become one of the most preferred ways of enhancing the performance of employees in the workplace. It is often based on the premise that one can only deliver effective outcomonef they have the right knowledge of doing something (Bar-Eli, 2017). Even if one is promised rewards, they cannot perform effectively if they lack relevant skills. Coaching focuses on equipping the human resources with practical knowledge needed to perform effectively at work. It identifies the weaknesses of workers and develops ways of overcoming them. As such, it has emerged as the single most important toprotoh of enhancing the performance of individuals.
Importance of Coaching in Boosting Employees’ Performance
Creating a coaching culture is critical to any organization that is keen on increasing its performance in the market. Coaching is crucial when it comes to boosting the productivity of a workforce. The primary importance of this practice is that it enables employees to introduce new skills. According to Gerhardt (2019), students who graduate from colleges have little practical skills for what is expected of them at work. Coaching has been used to impart knowledge so that these workers could understand the nature of the workplace environment, how to relate with their colleagues, and what they need to avoid. The process helps in empowering the newly recruited workforce, which in turn improves the overall performance of the organization.
Emerging technologies are redefining how various activities are conducted in the workplace environment. It means that some of the popular practices that employees use may become obsolete and undesirable when new trends are introduced. Such disruptive changes may make even the most experienced workers unproductive if they cannot understand how they need to operate under the new system (Bali, 2018). Coaching provides a perfect opportunity for such individuals to gain new skills necessary for them in the workplace. They can learn about new technology and how it should be implemented in their respective places of work. It explains why human resource experts often emphasize the need to ensure that there is a regular coaching program in both large and small organizations to equip workers with knowledge about changes in current practices.
Innovativeness is currently one of the most important factors that define the productivity of employees. According to Baykal (2020), coaching nurtures a culture of creativity among the workers. One of the ways of improving the overall performance of a company is to promote innovativeness. Coaching imparts skills and competencies in employees in a way that promotes innovation in the w orkplace.canble to understand that they can take different approaches to handle their assignment in a way that improves their performance. Bar-Eli (2017) advises that when people are effectively trained to try new methods of undertaking their tasks, the management should create an enabling environment for innovation. Workers should not be punished if they make mistakes trying a new method of handling their assignments. Instead, the management should create a platform where such ideas are tested first before the workforce could be allowed to put them to practice to help avoid costly mistakes.
Coaching has also been used as a tool for building personal awareness among employees. Steelman and Williams (2020) believe that workers with personal awareness often perform better than their colleagues who lack such understanding. It starts by understanding personal strengths and weaknesses. During coaching sessions, the workforce will be helped in understanding specific areas of their personality or skills that need adjustments. The process enables them to work with their colleagues and experts to address these weaknesses. At the same time, the process helps them to identify specific traits and skills effective in handling various tasks. Using their skills, they can be given the right support to overcome their weaknesses. Such practices help in improving the overall performance of these employees.
Coaching increases the level of engagement among workers. Teamwork is critical not only in improving skills of the members but also in promoting unity. Coaching offers a platform where individuals can engage with one another (Scisco et al., 2017). Through such engagement programs, divisions and disagreements among different stakeholders can be addressed. An effective communication framework will be created that will allow employees to share their concerns among themselves and with their superiors. They will have the opportunity to identify issues that affect them and their colleagues, limiting their overall performance. The management should then use the information to develop appropriate change mechanisms. The goal is to ensure that workers have a perfect environment to deliver their services without feeling oppressed or ignored by the relevant authorities. When people feel valued and respected, they tend to deliver better performance.
Coaching helps employees to understand how they can set personal goals and develop means of achieving them. The overall success of a company starts with an impressive performance of an individual worker. As such, many organizations have embraced the concept of performance contracts to track every worker’s performance. Through coaching, employees can be assisted to set personal goals that should be realized within a given period. According to Scisco et al. (2017), goals should be realistically set based on the capabilities of each person. As they continue to gain more knowledge, experience, and new skills, these goals can be adjusted appropriately. Coaching also helps in breaking long-term goals into specific tasks that should be accomplished within a given period. Successful completion of a given task within the set period may be an indication that the individual is making good progress towards achieving the overall goals (Margol, 2017). Such practices tend to motivate workers and improve their overall performance.
Regular coaching has also been associated with employees’ satisfaction. Successful corporations have learned how to use various ways to ensure that their workforce remains motivated as a way of improving their overall performance. One of the ways of ensuring that works are satisfied, as Steelman and Williams (2020) observe, is to enhance their level of satisfaction. This goal could be achieved through various ways within an organization, one of which is coaching. Through such training programs, employees gain new skills that make them perform better. Success in what they do at work improves their level of satisfaction. There is also the need to set expectations right among workers. Mulligan and Taylor (2019) believe that sometimes individuals get dissatisfied with their work because of unrealistic expectations. They end up comparing themselves with their colleagues in other firms who have leverage over them because of the high salaries they get, better tools at their disposal, higher experience, or any other factor that make them superior. Through coaching, employees are trained to set goals based on their capabilities and pursue them within a given period before they can set higher goals (Bali, 2018). Achieving small targets gives a person the motivation to set and achieve greater goals.
Coaching also helps workers to become self-reliant. Through training, the workforce not only learns how to work as a team but also gets an opportunity to learn how to be successful as individuals. Learning self-reliant skills is critical for people in achieving specific goals as specified in their performance contracts. They get to understand how to make decisions based on facts, stick to those decisions, and make necessary changes if necessary to enhance their performance (Margol, 2017). Self-reliant skills eliminate cases where employees have to consult their superiors whenever they need to take a given action. Even though making consultations isarencouraged, workers are also expected to be independent-minded enough to make their own decisions based on the set principles and organizational culture. It also helps in reducing time wastage that is often associated with the constant seeking of clarification from the management (Noer, 2017). In such an environment, people tend to be more responsible because they know they have to account for their actions. They know that they cannot blame anyone in case they make a decision that may have a counterproductive outcome. The managers will have ample time to focus on policy issues instead of constantly guiding their subordinates on their daily tasks.
Coaching is one of the most effective ways of training employees to become managers in their workplace. Baykal (2020) explains that under natural circumstances, organizations often promote their workers to positions of management based on their experience, commitment, knowledge, and other desirable attributes. Chief executive officers often start at junior positions before climbing the career ladder to the top. The process of climbing the career ladder requires regular learning of new skills. They need to know what is expected of them in the workplace as managers. Coaching offers a perfect platform for learning leadership skills. They get to learn how to make important decisions as expected of managers. They also learn how to work with superiors and subordinates with the aim of achieving organizational goals (Bali, 2018). They get to gain practical knowledge that is expected of a leader and how to identify mistakes and wrong decisions. When one is exposed to regular training, they get to sharpen their skills and become successful managers.
Effective Ways of Coaching Employees
Coaching involves making financial investment and it also consumes time that would otherwise be used to complete specific projects. As such, the management needs to ensure that coaching is done in an appropriate way to achieve the desired goals. The program should start by assessing the current weaknesses of the employees. Baykal (2020) explains that the coaching team should understand the current capabilities of workers and areas that need to be addressed. The assessment is essential because it enables the trainers to understand what should be covered in such programs. In some cases, the need for training may emerge from the fact that a new practice in the industry has emerged and employees are yet to understand what is expected of them under the new system. Training may also be necessary when a new team of workers has just been recruited.
When the need has been articulated, the trainers should then set clear goals that should be realized within a given period. The focus should be to address specific weaknesses identified in the workforce. When setting these goals, Gerhardt (2019) advises that it is necessary to involve the trainees and the management. Employees should know what the coaching program seeks to achieve and how they can help in the realization of such goals. The management will also need to know what the program will address to enable them to determine if there is value for money. Informing stakeholders of the goals that should be achieved also eliminates complaints and misunderstandings during the process of the implementation of the training program.
When goals are set and communicated to the relevant stakeholders, the last process is to implement them as per the plan. In most the cases, coaching would take place within the company in the respective workplaces of the employees. Careful planning is required to ensure that a coaching process does not interfere with the normal operations of the firm. The trainers will need to demonstrate to the workers how they can use new skills to undertake their normal duties (Margol, 2017). Sometimes it may involve the use of a new technology that enhances the performance of the workforce. A coach will need to demonstrate to the employee how it should be used in a practical setting. Coaching may also be conducted in the form of seminars, especially when it is not possible to conduct it in the workstations. Each session of the seminar should focus on introducing specific knowledge that workers need to improve their performance.
Potential Implications in Providing Feedback
Effective and regular feedback is critical in ensuring that coaching goals are achieved within the set time and with the assigned resources. Managers expect to get feedback from trainees about policies that they make and issues that should be addressed to improve their workplace environment. Employees also expect feedback from the managers explaining whether policy implementation is done as per their expectations and if it may be necessary to make some adjustments to improve the overall performance. Steelman and Williams (2020) explain that trainees themselves need to give feedback to their colleagues about actions and decisions made that may have implications of fore firm’s overall performance. There could be positive or negative feedback depending on various factors within an organization.
Positive feedback occurs when everything goes as per the plan and expectations of the stakeholders. It may be in the form of praise and encouragement that one should maintain that trend. Positive feedback has a huge implication on the performance of employees. They are reminded that the management is monitoring their work and is pleased with the progress made. Gerhardt (2019) argues that positive feedback often motivates workers to deliver even greater performance. It creates a level of confidence needed to embrace creativity and innovativeness. However, Steelman and Williams (2020) warn that the management should be keen to provide a positive feedback only when it is justified. Individuals receiving training must understand that their performance defines the kind of feedback that they get. In some cases, such feedbacks may be accompanied by some form of reward to encourage specific practices.
Negative feedback may be justified based on what the management is responding to within the organization. Negative feedback may be provided when it is apparent that employees failed to understand how a given policy should be implemented. It may also be necessary when there is a consistent but unjustified drop in the performance of workers within a company. Bar-Eli (2017) explains that negative feedback does not necessarily involve reprimanding trainees or using threats to promote change. Instead, the management can closely involve them in popolicy-makingrocesses and focus on understanding the source of misunderstanding or the problem. It starts by explaining to the employees that they failed to meet specific expectations. The management will then focus on finding possible reasons why the problem occurred and how it should be addressed. Hancott (2017) warns against blame games when providing a gative feedback. The goal should not be to reprimand or punish those who are not performing as per the expectations. Instead, it should focus on finding the primary source of the problem and addressing it effectively.
The management should be keen to avoid the negative implication of a feedback. According to Mulligan and Taylor (2019), both positive and negative feedback are all meant to ensure that the overall implication is positive. The feedback is meant to address potential weaknesses and to encourage both the trainer and trainee to register improved performance. Positive feedback is meant to remind the coach and employees involved that they are making a good progress. Such a feedback is made when the management is satisfied that its workers are gaining relevant knowledge that will make them more efficient than they were before (Mulligan & Taylor, 2019). It is important to note that sometimes a positive feedback may have unintended negative implications. For instance, the coaching team may interpret such praises as a sign that they have already achieved the intended goal even before the completion of the program. As such, Gerhardt (2019) advises that when providing such feedback, the management should articulate what has been achieved and what still needs the attention of the team. They will be motivated to pursue program goals more directly to ensure that they register similar levels of success.
The management should take care when providing negative feedback to avoid unintended implications. Steelman and Williams (2020) warn that sometimes a negative feedback may have a negative implication on the outcome of the coaching program. Both the trainer and the trainer may become discouraged, especially when the feedback is made in a negative way. The management should avoid unnecessary destructive criticism. Instead, the negative feedback should identify specific issues in the program that are not yielding the expected outcome. An effective negative feedback should also propose possible ways that the team can address these weaknesses. When a negative feedback is provided in a positive way and with the aim of supporting those who are involved, it will motivate the desired change and enhance the performance of the team (Scisco et al., 2017). The coach and workers will understand specific areas that they need to adjust to meet expectations of the management.
Defining Platform for Feedback
Feedback is crucial in ensuring that coaching programs achieve the set goals of improving the performance of the employees. Creating a platform where feedback can be provided is crucial. The communication platform selected should be simple but effective in sharing information at the right time and in the right way. Mulligan and Taylor (2019) believe that one of the platforms that a firm can use is social media. Facebook and WhatsApp have emerged as communication tools that can be used for official communication. Unlike traditional methods such as letters and memos, instant feedback can be provided on these platforms. They facilitate interactive communication. They are appropriate when it is necessary to have a regular and interactive communication between the management and the coach, the management and the workers, trainer and the trainee, and amongst employees. For instance, it may be in the interest of the management to understand how workers are mastering new concepts (Steelman & Williams, 2020). Instead of engaging trainees, the management can communicate regularly with the trainer to understand possible successes and weaknesses in the program. Employees can also share the progress they are making amongst themselves and suggest ways in which various issues can be addressed.
Sometimes it may be necessary to use traditional platforms of providing feedback to make it official and impactful. A survey may be used to determine the view of the trainees about the outcome of the program. An online survey may be conducted among the recipients of the training program to help determine their view. Mulligan and Taylor (2019) believe that it is important for workers to feel that the training program is having the right impact on their practical skills. A report is another approach that can be used to provide a feedback. The coach is expected to provide a detailed report of the program, explaining what was to be achieved and the milestones made in the process (Gerhardt, 2019). In cases some goals have not been realized, the coach should explain in detail what is yet to be completed, reasons why they were not completed, and what can be done. The management will use the information to determine what needs to be done in future programs.
Face-to-face interviews may also be used as a platform for providing a feedback for a coaching program. The management of the affected company should create a program where the coach is expected to have a physical meeting with the relevant head of department (Margol, 2017). During such meetings, the coach can provide information about the progress of the program. The manager can also make observations about the successes of the program and areas of concern. Face-to-face discussion helps in eliminating mistrust between the management and the coaching team. Sometimes the management may feel that the investment is not worth the value that is delivered. In such discussions, each of the parties will have the opportunity to communicate their fears and concerns and receive an immediate response. The management gets an opportunity to put the coaching team to task on issues that were promised but are yet to be delivered (Steelman & Williams, 2020). Such regular meetings eliminate disagreements that may arise when the program has just been completed.
Assessing the Outcome of a Coaching Program
The primary goal of coaching is to ensure that they register improved performance by gaining new skills. As Noer (2017) observes, to determine the effectiveness of a caching program, it would be necessary to assess the capacity of workers before and after the program. The management is expected to assess the performance of its employees just before the onset of the program to make sure that the identified weaknesses affect their ability to deliver the desired output. The company can then develop a unit that will conduct a regular review of the performance of workers when the coaching program is in progress. The goal of this assessment unit will be to determine if indeed the workforce is registering progress as per the goals of the program. A regular feedback will enable the management to identify potential weaknesses in the training program. When weaknesses are identified, immediate communication should be made to the trainers, identifying issues that need to be addressed. The coaching team will need to adjust accordingly to ensure that they are in line with the expectations of the management.
The assessment of the outcome of a coaching program can also be conducted by the employees during and after the training. The process is meant to equip them with new skills that will enable them to undertake their responsibilities with ease and greater success. They have the capacity to determine if they have gained new that makes it easy for them to undertake various tasks (Gerhardt, 2019). Using a questionnaire, the management should interview workers to determine their views about the outcome of the coaching program. Detailed information should be collected to determine why they feel the program was a success or otherwise. They should also provide suggestions about how such similar programs should be carried out in the future to ensure there is a greater success. The assessment of the outcome of a coaching program is crucial because it provides information on how the company can achieve the best outcome from such activities. Coaching should be done regularly because of the various factors discussed in the section above. Each time a new coaching program is initiated, it should be done in a more effective way than the previous one. Such a progress can only be realized if regular assessments are conducted and improvement suggestions provided at the end of each program.
Managing human resources in modern society requires an understanding of specific factors that promote the output of the workforce. In the above discussion, it is evident that coaching is one of the best ways of managing the performance of employees. When an individual is newly recruited, they should be taken through a rigorous training process to ensure that they understand what is expected of them. Experienced workers also need regular training to help them understand new practices in the workplace based on emerging technologies. Coaching promotes creativity and innovativeness in the firm. Both large corporations and small organizations are encouraged to invest in regular coaching of their workforce. The management should also have a platform that facilitates regular feedback as a way of enhancing employees’ performance. It may also necessary to adjust the training approach to meet emerging trends in the industry based on the feedback.
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