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Business Coach Employees

“if you want to build your business and at the same time have a rewarding personal life, you must call a coach.”

-Denver Post (Dunn)

In today’s business world big companies like Chrysler and Herman Miller use coaching as a means to get the culture of the organization to perform at a high level and help increase change and learning throughout its employees. Also, companies like IBM and Microsoft send thousand of their management team to trainings to help them become better coaches.

Coaching is a worldwide practice that can be seen in London, Paris and Tokyo. A lot of organizations across the world are sending their management team (CEO, upper and middle management) to help influence this unused potential to help increase performance and results within the organization. (The Buisness Case for Coaching)

In the world of business, one must be able to get their employees or organization to reach and/or achieve a certain goal for that company to succeed. Managers play a big role in this process of motivation. When trying to get your employees or organization to reach new heights or perform at a certain level, manager must be able to provide good means of communication.

An effective interpersonal form of communication that many leaders and managers can use is providing good coaching and feedback to their employees. This form of performance evaluation helps supervisors reinforce an employee’s positive behaviors and also helps correct negative behaviors.

According to the book, Performance Management, written by Herman and Aguinis, coaching became a big interest to many companies during the mid 1990’s. It was noted in the texts the first scholarly article published on coaching came about in 1955. Between 1955 and December of 2007, there were 393 articles published on this topic. Also, noted in the texts in1996 alone, there were 318 articles published on this subject. However, since the rise of this new form of management there has been many different views and understanding on this topic as well. (pg.208, Aguinis &Herman)

According to the article, Benefits of Coaching in The Workplace, there are seven different types of organizational coaching methods which are; cultural changes, directors and boards, management/leadership, skills, performance, development, and executive agenda.

By using one of these methods of coaching, one can see the progress or recognize the future skill developments that an employee or the company might pose. When focusing on the employees, any manager or coach needs to know that the ability or skill level of their employees are beneficial to the company and team. (The Buisness Case for Coaching)

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When a company notices that they need to start implementing more coaching and feedback techniques, there are numerous trainings and programs that are available to the company. There are many factors that companies need to consider when selecting a training or business school that they want to implement to their management team.

The factors that companies look for when selecting a good training or business school are: location, cost, value, the time factor, and the level at which the course is offered. In addition many companies check to see who the course facilitators are. This is a big factor when selecting a program that you want your business team to implement within the company. (1to1 Coaching School)

By focusing on the facilitator, you want to make sure that you learn about their teaching techniques. Also, you want to learn about their business expertise to make sure that they have or are currently working in fields related to your company. For instance, you do not want to go to a facilitator who is teaching a method of coaching to different employees not related to your field of work. Finally, by knowing the qualities of the facilitator you will better understand the agenda and the goal of the training. This will help you find what program best fits for your employees and the company. (1to1 Coaching School)

Like mentioned above there are many types of programs related to the coaching and giving feedback to employees. There has not yet been one organization that has been given accreditation for being the number one institute in coaching and feedback techniques.

However, the majority of coaching associations are privately funded organizations. Which these thoughts in mind many companies try to make sure they are providing their management with the best training and opportunity to help get the best out each one of their employees.

In the book, Supervision Concepts and Practices of Management, written by Leonard and Hilgert, they define coaching as “The frequent activity of the supervisor to give employees information, instruction, and suggestion relating to their job assignments and performance.” (pg.392, Leonard & Hilgert)By coaching, managers need to know that there are a number of certain strategies that are a key part of the communication chain within the work environment.

Some things management focus on is that they should not personalize or take any situation of behavior that resulted in a negative outcome without focusing on the facts. (Colorado Department of Human Resource)When coaching you never know what you will face so always have to be opened minded about any situation that comes your way. This will help employees feel comfortable to come to you about certain situations in which they might have done something wrong or experienced something that might not have supposed to happen within the organization.

Second, management needs to be considerate and respectful to all individuals in which they work with. As a manager, if you want results your employees have to respect you. On the flip side, you as a manger have to respect you employees as well. As in any organization sports or business related, your employees will not perform for you if they don’t respect you. (Colorado Department of Human Resource)

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Third, managers should join alliances within the work place, but not segregating between “in” and “out” groups. By having good relationships with everyone, coaching can help reduce stress, enhance trust, and help employees with their job duties. Management needs to remember that the quality of your actions and behaviors affects your company and the quality of your coaching can improve your employees, which in turn, affects the organization as a whole. (Colorado Department of Human Resource)

A good example of showing respect to your employee’s can be seen in the article from the Harvard Business Review. This article talked about a study on how coaching effected the profit gain that the department store called Sears experience by implementing coaching techniques. During the coaching study a model was developed that reported that there was a 5-unit increase in employee’s attitude.

With the increase in employees attitude came an increase in of 1.3 unite increase in customer’s positive attitudes and reactions. With the positive impression from the customers came a 0.5% increase in revenue. (Leadership Advantage Newsletter) This article showed how employees respected the manger and listen to their coaching suggestions, which resulted in the employees gining confidence and the company gaining profit.

In management or leadership roles, good coaching shows that one of your main focuses is on the improvement of the company and the staff. By coaching, you help guide your employees through change and help them look at the agency goals and mold them to make good decisions on their own. As a manager or leader in your organization, actions can speak louder than words. So, to be an example you must lead by example. This can be seen by the way management handles certain situations. Employees notice and feed off management’s behaviors.

When coaching management has to remember that numerous situations will arise. When these situations come about management needs to remember to focus on the facts. This will help with blaming and receiving defensive reactions from your employees. With this corporation is encouraged. When negative attitudes or behaviors arise management should try to avoid using “you” statements or judgments (see chart 1). These types of statements tend to produce negative or defensive reactions. Employees may feel that they are getting blamed, judged or feel that people assume that they did something that they may not have done. (Colorado Department of Human Resource)

When coaching, the way you say something is six times as important as what you say. This is all affected by non-verbal communication such as body language, facial expressions, and gestures. In the report by the human resource department in the state of Colorado, that communication is made up of three parts, which are non-verbal (55%), tone of voice (38%), and actual words (7%). This is something else that management should remember when communication with their employees. (Colorado Department of Human Resource)

When asking your employees to perform a certain task management should not give orders, but make requests. Something management should remember is when you tell someone to do something they will usually reacts in one of three different ways; reluctant, with resentment, and/or with resistance. When coaching one must remember that an employee will only do something voluntarily when they actually want to do it. That is why it is very important to use request and recommendations. (Colorado Department of Human Resource)

In addition to the ways you coach your employees also involves being considerate and respectful. Employees are said to work best in situation were they feel that they are making contributions and are involved in the company. With this, confidence is built, which in turn produces higher quality of work. So when management shows or does not show confident in their employees, this can affect their performance. (Colorado Department of Human Resource)

When coaching, management or leaders are trying to improve or produce on results. According to the Hay Group, which is a major human resource company, in today’s business world between 25 to 40 percent of all fortune 500 companies have implemented some form of coaching.( Leadership Advantage Newsletter) There are many types of results that management is trying to improve on or encourage when coaching.

When trying to improve on poor quality, management looks at the certain patterns within the employee’s behavior. When management personnel notices that an employee is having problem or senses that the employee performance is down, good coaching will help instill in the employee what is expected for their position and what obstacles that may be holding them back. (Colorado Department of Human Resource)

When coaching for results with an employee who has average performance, management needs to touch on the specific areas that will help the employee get over the hump and improve their performance. This can be done by providing the employee with regular motivation and praise. This will help keep the employee on track and make sure that they do not slip into poor performance habits. Other ways to help employees who fall under this category is by providing them with certain resource like a mentor within the organization or training in the certain areas that they need to improve in. (Colorado Department of Human Resource)

Another method of coaching for results is by coaching employees who need encouragement to exceed past their performance standards. These types of employees tend to be above the average work performance and they may be lacking in some area of their field. When coaching these types of employees, management also wants to keep praising the employee to help keep them on track.

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In addition, the management team should provide the employee with training on the certain aspect that the employee may be struggling in. Like in the other methods providing a mentor is a great way to help the employee boost confidence and learn how to improve on certain tasks. If possible in some certain situations allow the employee to participate in special projects. This will help expand the employee’s talents. Also, this is a good way to show the employee that they are a key part of the process within the organization. (Colorado Department of Human Resource)

A good example of this is when I first started off at the company I work for now. I came into this company straight out of college. Many of my co-workers have been in this field for ten to fifteen years. The company had rotated me throughout every department to help me get a good feel of the organization and to see where I would fit best. Before I reached the last unite of the department I was told that have done an excellent job in the other two units.

The last unit was the investigations unit. This unit was more written intensive then the other units within the agency. I started off very well but struggled with the writing the reports. The type of writing style was not difficult it was just a new style that I had not experienced in the past.

However, management explained to me that many officers struggled with this when they entered into this system as well. Since the management team noticed that I was on a good performance track they paired me up with senior officer who help me improve in this area.

Finally, when coaching for results management needs to assist the employee in improving new skills. Like the other methods training is a huge part in this developmental process. By providing training, management is allowing the employees to seek knowledge and expertise on the issue that is affecting them or to help expand their knowledge on a certain issue. Also, with coaching for results management must be able to provide good feedback to their employees, which will reinforce learning. (Colorado Department of Human Resource)

To be effective in reaching results as a manager, a manager must be able to build on the employees strengths and develop their skills. To do this a coach must provide feedback. This helps with increase confidence, provides encouragement, and teaches the employee how to examine their own performance. However, not every situation will end up liked planned and this is were good management and coaching come into play by providing good feedback.

According the book, Performance Management, by Herman and Agunis, feedback is defined as “information about positive and negative aspects of job performance and lets employees know how well they are doing with respect to meeting the established standards.” (pg.219, Herman & Agunis) Herman and Agunis also give a good example on how feedback works within an organization.

The model they talk about is called the 2+2 performance appraisal model. This system is used by many school organizations when other teachers or peer teacher observe each other in the class room setting. After being observed teachers are then given some feed back and suggestion on the performance in which they observed. (pg.219, Herman & Agunis)

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However, feedback is more than just on general performance. Feedback should not be looked at as the communication of performance. There are other purposes of providing feedback for such reasons as building confidence, developing competence, and enhancing involvement. (pg.219, Herman & Agunis)

When giving feedback the purpose of the management team is not to criticize but to reemphasize what goals or standards need to be met. Depending on the situation and the feedback that needs to be given, management needs to remember to help improve employee confidence not lower it. As noted above in this paper employee satisfaction plays a big role in employee’s performance. So management needs to let their employee’s know that the management team cares about them and that they are not just trying to come down on them but improve to improve on the performance. (pg.219, Herman & Agunis)

Also, when giving feedback management needs to develop competence within their employees. By communicating clearly on what they are doing right helps employees become more competent and improve on their performance. However, we all know that we do not just give feedback when an employee has done something right.

When certain situations arise and management notices that a procedure was done wrong. By giving good feedback you are developing competence by providing the employee with good information how to correct the mistakes that were made. This helps lower the chance that this problem will happen again. (pg.219, Herman & Agunis)

Last, when giving feedback you want to try to enhance the involvement of communication. When employees receive feedback regularly and in a timely manner, either negative or positive, it enhances their perception on their role within the unit or the organization. In turn, this makes the employee feel more involved and important which, will help boost confidence and performance (pg.219, Herman & Agunis)

Like in any situation, by providing feedback does not mean that desired results will happen. A good example of this can be seen in the study that looked at 131 case studies, which examined the effects of feed back. The study found that out of the 131 case studies, 38% found that feedback had a negative effect on performance. As note, not all feedback models work well, but it is said that the positives outweigh the negative. (pg.219, Herman & Agunis)

Just imagining for a second what would happen if a company did not provide feedback. First, management would be depriving the employees a chance to learn from his or her mistakes or accomplishment. Second, organizations would be hindering their employees a chance to improve their performance which would allow the employee to continue bad performance qualities, which in turn effect the organization.

Finally, by not providing feedback employees might perceive that their performance is good and continue to perform below the standards. So during performance reviews employees are going to be frustrated and upset by their performance review due to the lack of communication and feedback. (pg.219, Herman & Agunis)

In conclusion the way you approach certain employees and behaviors will affect you as a manger. The main source of achievement as a manager is to get the best out of each one of your employees. Like mentioned above, this can be increased by using good coaching and feedback techniques. However, not all methods are the same and not all managers are the same, but how you adapt to your work environment and the way you communicate to your staff will help you and your organization reach new heights.

Work Cited

Aguinis, Herman. Performance Management. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall Higher Education, 2008.

"Coaching and Feedback." Colorado Department of Human Resource. 12 July 2008 <http://www.colorado.gov/dpa/dhr/oversight/docs/coachingfeddback.pdf>.

"Coaching Report #11." Benefits of Coaching in the workplace. 2005. 24 July 2008 <http://www.coaches-learning-center.com/executive_coaching_benefits_11.htm>.

Dunn, Pamela. "Ouotes about Coaching." 2003. 24 July 2008 <http://www.pameladunn.com/quotesandstats.html>.

Leonard, Edwin C., and Raymond L. Hilgert. Supervision : Concepts and Practices of Management. Mason: Cengage South-Western, 2006.

Lesslter, David. "The Buisness Case for Coaching." Leadership Advantage Newsletter. Vol. IV. 2004. 1.

"Selecting a Business Coaching Course." 1to1 Coaching School. 2007. 14 July 2008 <http://www.1to1coachingschool.com/slecting_a_coaching_coourse.htm>.

 

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