Coaching is a process that involves training, tutoring, and giving instruction. It should not be considered to be a form of criticism when its possibility arises in the workplace. It is an opportunity for growth and development. Additionally, it is intended to stimulate individual responsibility and to lead to the recognition of the need for accountability. Another purpose for performance coaching is that it should contribute to effective supervisory and employee relationships.
One important result of performance coaching is to help the employee to identify strengths and weaknesses, areas of superior performance, and areas in which performance needs further expansion and development. Further, performance coaching can assist the employee in planning for and the development of new knowledge and skills applicable in the workplace. As sponsored by the employer, the employer also provides information and feedback to the performance coach who works directly with the employee. In light of the insight and feedback provided by the employer, the performance coach works with the employee to develop skills identified by the employer as useful and positive. Accordingly, the performance coach works with the employee to develop plans focusing on new training, the study by the employee, differing forms of job enrichment, and the orientation of work details and procedures.
There are a number of different aspects of the performance coaching process:
1. A primary objective is to build trust between the performance coach and the employee. Coaching cannot be fully successful without the element of trust. But, trust must also be present in the employer-employee relationship, as well. All parties must be committed to the objective of the benefit of all participants. A key to maintaining the strong trust relationships is the development and reliance on honest and meaningful feedback.
2. The employer, employee, and the performance coach must provide open and honest information regarding the tasks, the performance, the processes, and the final objective of the performance coaching activities. They must define the issues which are the focus of the coaching. There needs to be information flows from the employer to the performance coach to the employee and back through the chain. The concern in the transfer of information and defining the issues is not on who is right or wrong, but on collecting information that is provided and utilized in a non-judgmental way.
3. The purpose of the overall enterprise is coaching for success. This process may begin with gaining the employee’s compliance in the program and its parts, but it also entails commitment on the part of the employee to faithfully and honestly pursue the program. It is also necessary for the employer to recognize that such commitment is necessary on the part of the employer. For the employee, the performance coaching program requires that the employee identify general and specific expectations, goals, and objectives for the program. Thus, though the employee’s close identification with these elements of the program, participation, and commitment is strengthened. For the employee, the coaching process should be one of self-discovery.
4. It will be necessary for the employee to work with the performance coach in association with the employer on a plan of action. Created by all participants, the plan of action should, therefore, have the full interest and participation of all participants. Important to a meaningful plan is realistic goals and objectives for performance that are also simple, capable of measurement, and attainable for the employee.
Therefore, Performance Coaching represents a strong and effective approach to develop and improve one’s performance in a variety of settings in the work environment.