Workplace coaching – a new trend in workplace training
When you hear the word ‘coaching’ what springs to mind? For me it would be some sort of sports training, preparing a player or team to perform to the best of their abilities. I wouldn’t instantly think of it being used in other workplaces, but increasingly it is being adopted as the next big thing in training across a wide range of industries. From sales to engineering, many companies are realising the potential benefits of this approach in providing workforce development.
Wikipedia defines coaching as ‘a form of development in which a person called a coach supports a learner or client in achieving a specific personal or professional goal by providing training and guidance.’  This may sound rather like mentoring, but the main difference lies in having very focused and specific objectives rather than more general goals and overall development targets. Coaching is a means to assisting employees, or ‘coachees’, to improve in a particular skill or activity that they will perform regularly.
There are many benefits to coaching – ultimately, it is flexible and can be adapted to suit the needs of individual employees. Line managers should provide coaching for all of their staff regularly, as they are best placed to know their strengths and areas for development in their work-related tasks, as well as the particular skill sets required. This in turn is a more cost-effective way for companies to maintain high working standards and continuing professional development which is tailored to the needs of both the coachee and business.
So what are the responsibilities of a coach? Basically, the aim is to encourage your workforce to solve their own work-related issues by helping them develop a ‘toolkit’ specific to their needs which will benefit the company as a whole, whether this is through learning a new skill or improving an existing one. The most effective coaching requires collaboration between coach and coachee, with mutual recognition and respect for existing skills and knowledge. The effective coach will:
- Help the coachee to remain focused on their own clearly defined goal, without assigning blame for any problems or issues.
- Encourage the coachee to look at their goal from a different perspective, without spoon-feeding them ways to achieve success.
- Provide constructive feedback by being an active listener who uses appropriate questioning.
In many ways coaching is about the coachee taking ownership of their professional development. This means that they have their own set of responsibilities:
- Identifying any problems or issues in the first place, so that they can generate ideas and possibilities to resolve them.
- Create an action plan of steps they need to take in order to ensure that their goals are achieved.
- Self-monitoring their progress and reporting this back to their coach.
There are a number of methods that can be used to approach and deliver coaching:
- The GROW model is an acronym of Goal, Reality, Obstacles and Way Forward. A Goal is what the coachee wants to achieve, taking account of the Reality of issues and challenges to be faced. Obstacles should be identified that may impact on progress, with counter-actions identified to overcome them. The Way Forward are the actions the coachee needs to take to reach their goal.
- The TGROW model adds the word Topic and is most relevant to management coaching. It implies a deeper knowledge of the context in which both coach and coachee are working to ensure progress.
- The OSKAR model is an acronym for Outcome, Scaling, Know-how and Resources, Affirm and Action and R This approach requires the coach to direct questioning to solutions rather than being problem focused. The Outcome is the value-added result the coachee hopes to achieve, whilst Scaling reflects on the effectiveness of the current situation. Know-how and Resources reviews the factors already in play that can support goal achievement. Affirm and Action encourages self-belief and strengthens the relationship with the coach, with the whole process being Reviewed. This is a largely positive model which aims at identifying solutions rather than finding fault with the coachee.
With over 25 years’ experience of transcription provision and accessibility promotion, Connect launched their Virtual Reality training platform, Immersion Studio. From mentor to coach training, we can deliver high quality live-role play simulations across all sectors without the client needing any specialist equipment or expertise. To find out more about how Connect Training can help you and your workforce, visit our website www.connecttotraining.co.uk or contact us on 01270 449165 or at email@example.com today.