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Employee Coaching: When to Step In and When Not To

Aug 17, 2007
There are a number of reasons responsible for employing effective business coaching within an organization. People often tend to get confused between employee coaching and training. Employee training is imparting the necessary knowledge and skills required for doing the job. Unlike employee training, coaching is a continuous process, which helps the employees to overcome the challenges faced by them at work.

People learn from their experiences and mistakes. Training and advising are helpful, but it is always better to allow people to learn from their own experiences.

Before coaching employees, it is essential to provide them with the necessary training required for the completion of the task. Also it is very important to establish what is expected from them, in terms of their performance and productivity.

It is not advisable to start coaching employees until their training is complete, since it is a waste of time and resources. For coaching to be effective, it is sensible to first train employees in the area of work.

It is useless to coach an individual who has no idea of what is expected from him. An employee should be aware of the expectations and objectives of the organization. Without proper training, they are unlikely to deliver the expected performance and thus it would be pointless to coach them. Employee coaching is designed to cross performance barriers.

Time is very essential while coaching employees. You need to devote time and be patient, to help the employees to identify the possible solutions, during coaching. You should not attempt to complete the coaching in a hurry, as it will not yield the desired results and the purpose will not be served. You will simply end up giving the employees instructions of what to do, rather than offering them the right solutions to the issues they are facing. It is very crucial for you to allot the necessary time to implement the coaching successfully.

To start coaching employees, while you are going through emotional turmoil and stress is a bad idea. If you are frustrated or irritated with some development, you will not be able to display the essential traits of an efficient coach. You could end up sending out negative vibes to the employees that will hinder the coaching and make it ineffective. You should let the employees deal with the situations and avoid interfering every time there is a difficulty.

Employee coaching helps the staff to identify obstacles and implement solutions. Coaching does not mean giving instructions and advice to employees. On the contrary it involves helping them to identify the right behavior pattern.

Monitoring the employee performance on a regular basis helps a manager to implement coaching at the right time. Coaching should be attempted in the case of an employee becoming a potential threat, either to himself or those around him. In such a case, you cannot sit back and simply monitor his behavior. You need to act immediately and provide effective coaching. Offer suitable options and alternatives to come up with a practical solution. Explain and give reasons as to why you think his behavior is not appropriate.

You should not allow illegal or unethical practices at the work place, irrespective of whether they are intentional or by mistake. Provide them with suitable solutions and discuss with them how their illegal or unethical behavior is affecting the organization.

Another situation that requires not only monitoring, but effective coaching as well is when the employees do not work as a team. If due to the practice and behavior of one member, the team spirit is affected, you need to step in and provide appropriate coaching.

When the employees have time and again tried to solve a problem but have been unsuccessful, you need to intervene and take charge of things. You need to coach them and enable them to find the correct choice.

If the employee conduct and performance is expected to have a negative impact on the company financial assets, it is your responsibility to coach them. Timely coaching can ensure the protection of the financial and human resources of the company.

You need to carefully assess when coaching is required and when you simply monitor employee behavior. You have to be patient and allow them to learn and grow from their mistakes. However, if they have a negative effect on their fellow employees or the organization, you need to take matters into your hands.
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