Workplace coaching and training are seen as necessary, but this hasn’t always been the case. Charles Qabazard, a certified mediator, personal and executive coach, and a Sales and Marketing instructor at Ashton College
, has witnessed a decisive change over the last decade.
“When I just got into the field in the early 2000s, I often had to explain to my clients what I did and how it worked”, he shared. “It used to be that every time I’d say coaching, I’d get a response: ‘What? We don’t have a sports team!’ But times have changed: more professionals and organizations know about coaching and are seeking access to it.”
So what are the benefits of workplace coaching, and as a Human Resources
professional, what is the best way to introduce it into your organization?
Benefits of Coaching in the Workplace
Coaching can facilitate productivity, goal-setting and leadership among high-potential performers in the organization. It can be individual (working with a leader one-on-one) or group-based (such as corporate training
or an intensive training course for the leaders of the organization).
Coaching can be used to help individuals overcome problems at work (be it behavioral, performance or stress). Remember, you don’t have to wait for problems to occur before implementing coaching initiatives. In fact, training should start from the first day the employee enters the workplace as part of orientation. This could be the time to show them what the organization stands for and go through some of the key activities that the employee is expected to perform, or key information they need to have access to.
Training and coaching can drive personal or organizational performance, allowing the improvement of group performance and helping to create a positive and motivated work culture.
6 Coaching Techniques
Qabazard identified 6 key techniques to use in your organization’s training and mentorship programs.
One Last Note
- Listening: The key to successful coaching and mentoring is the ability to listen to the person. What problem or question do they have? What did they need help with and how could you help them succeed? If you listen with a desire to help, the person will be more likely to trust you and open up.
- Asking questions: Use questions as a means to open discussion of potential solutions, rather than simply telling people what to do. Qabazard explains, “I’m a solutionist: I try to find solutions for people. I don’t just dictate what is best for them though. Instead, I try to help them find their own answers by truly listening to what they say and asking them questions they haven’t thought of.”
- Focusing on solution: People who are going through stress or problems at work are often focused on such questions as “why me” or “why is this happening”. Instead, try guiding them towards what needs to be done to resolve the problem. If they don’t have enough time, how could they delegate tasks or re-prioritize to gain the results they want? What could they do differently in the future? Seeking solutions can help them build resilience and focus more on what they can control, versus what has already happened and cannot be changed.
- Identifying goals: Coaching helps an individual clarify and solidify their goals: what are they trying to achieve for the organization and for themselves, and what tasks and activities will get them where they want to be. When people have their goals in mind, they are more likely to stay focused and motivated.
- Being aware of culture: In a globalized world where workplace diversity is the norm, it is important to be aware of different dynamics within an organization. As an HR professional, it is important to remember the differences diversity bring, and remind employees as well! After all, what seems like a lack of motivation could be a different way of expressing enthusiasm, and what looks like a conflict could be a cultural misunderstanding.
- Following up: Always follow up after the training session to see if the desired results were achieved. This way, if the individual still has questions or concerns, you will be able to identify and address them right away.
Training can have incredible benefits for both individuals and groups in an organization if it is implemented well. This is why it is important to continuously improve and refine coaching activities. After an orientation, one-on-one, or a group check-up – ask yourself what went well, what could be improved, what should be changed. A well-established support system for your organization and its employees will facilitate a pleasant work environment, and increase workers’ motivation and productivity.
About the author
Alex Nikotina is a Digital Brand Experience Assistant at Ashton College in Vancouver, an accredited private-post secondary school offering fast and flexible education options to those wanting to upgrade their skills or change careers.
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