Sample research paper on Employee Coaching

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In both personal and professional coaching, there exist numerous definitions of coaching, owing to the divergent contexts under which the term is used. ICF defines employee or professional coaching as an ongoing professional relationship that helps people to produce extraordinary results in their lives, careers, businesses or organizations. From ICF’s definition, we can deduce that it is the coaching procedure that enables the clients being coached to increase their learning and raise the efficiency of their performance and standards of living (Maynard, 2006, pp.24-63).

Besides ICF, Kilburg defines coaching as an assisting relationship created to attain a mutually identified set of objectives. This shows that the coach-client relationship is an association founded more on reciprocity than for the primary intention of seeking or providing consultancy services. Both definitions lay emphasis on realizing individual and professional goals. This widens the context under which the definitions can be used. But Belf described the coaching procedure as structured and continuous, laying emphasis on action, performance improvements and individual learning and development (Maynard, 2006, pp.24-63).

Frisch became more specific by describing coaching as a one-on-one intervention engineered to enhance professional development within the confines of an organization. To him, coaching should be distinguished from other general consultative responsibilities offered by internal consultants and human resource experts, since it is focused at the personal level (Maynard, 2006, pp.24-63).

 The most famously cited definition of coaching is Kilberg’s. He describes employee or executive coaching as a helping relationship formed between a client who has managerial authority and responsibility in an organization, and a consultant who uses a wide variety of behavioral techniques and methods to help the client achieve mutually identified set of goals. The objective of meeting the set goals is to improve professional performance, bring personal satisfaction, and improve the effectiveness of the client’s organization within a formally defined coaching agreement (Maynard, 2006, pp.24-63).

It is worth noting that Kilberg meant contract when he was talking about a formal agreement. When an organization outsources employee coaching services, privacy can be assured. But if the coaching services are sourced from within the organization between an employee and an in-house coach, it is hard to safeguard confidentiality. When an in-house professional is overseeing the coaching process, the procedure is termed as internal coaching. Frisch describes internal coaching as a one-on-one development intervention supported by the organization and provided by a professional known by the clients. The professional must be trusted to shape and deliver a program that yield individual professional growth (Maynard, 2006, pp.24-63).

From Frisch’s conceptualization of internal coaching environment, achieving complete confidentiality is a tall order, given that most job related issues surrounding employee performance are not only talked about, but also examined, assessed and judged by workmates who may be biased, partisan and like gossiping with other colleagues (Maynard, 2006, pp.24-63). Most contemporary Human Resource scholars recommend Frisch’s arguments, stating that it is in the best interest of an organization and its employees that an outsider be sourced to offer the coaching services, since they are not directly linked to the operation of the organization. As such, they offer unbiased views on employee performance (Maynard, 2006, pp.24-63).

The most distinct definitions of coaching come from Laske and Hargrove. Laske’s description of coaching uses a unique terminology associated solely to the model it defines. He defines it as the multidirectional ability to observe executive organizational interaction in two related mental spaces called the Professional House and the Company House, for the purpose of bringing about not only adaptive but transformative change (Maynard, 2006, pp.24-63). Hargrove on the other hand, referring strictly to transformational coaching, defines it as a process that enables clients to broaden their vision.

Employee coaching models

In 1996, scholars witnessed the surfacing of a variety of employee coaching models used by organizations up to this day. This era is also regarded as tremendously academic in nature. The employee coaching models developed during this timeframe differ in theoretical use, approach, angle and situation (Maynard, 2006, pp.24-63). Most of the researches at that time used the team approach, in which external professionals were invited to coordinate the client’s target setting, while ensuring that the requirements and expectations of the organization were realized. Thereafter, various significant themes began to be prioritized, as they continued to focus on skill-based competencies which were considered vital to achieving convincing results.

Team Based Approach Models

Some of the first employee coaching methodologies brought forward was the systems-oriented, team-based approach. It is comprised of three unique stages. In the first stage, factual individual and professional information is collected concerning the client’s past records and a psychological testing undertaken (Maynard, 2006, pp.24-63).Extra facts about the client and the client’s responsibility in the context of the system or organization are also collected from comrades and important people in the client’s personal life. The second step lasts for nearly 4 days, and is in most cases known as insight session, since planning and consolidation of gathered facts are undertaken between the coach, the client and a professional team. At this point in time, performance targets are set and personal action strategies defined so as to meet the set targets. (Wageman and Hackman, 2001, pp.279-287).

Once the second phase is complete, the third phase sets in. In this phase, implementation and development of the personal strategies of the stages are undertaken. This may last for two years and beyond. During this period of time, coaching, support, counseling and response go on as the coached employee put efforts towards meeting the defined goals (Maynard, 2006, pp.24-63). Six-month status visits are also made by the team of consultants to evaluate the developments and support in redefinition of the targets if necessary (Wageman and Hackman, 2001, pp.279-287).

Another team based modeling methodology makes use of outsourced consultants, and was conceptualized by Saporito. It is comprised of four phases. The first stage starts with laying the foundation. This involves describing the context of the whole procedure by pointing out organizational necessities, action stages the client must go through to satisfactorily meet the organization’s expectations, along with the behavioral requirements needed towards achieving  that end (Wageman and Hackman, 2001, pp.279-287). The second phase is concerned with examination of the client’s capabilities and weaknesses with the use of a 360-degree feedback instrument (Maynard, 2006, pp.24-63).

The third stage of the model focuses on developmental planning, in which leadership skills are inculcated through a response system provided by both the consultant and the client’s manager. It is in this stage that the client acquires an in-depth insight of the developmental themes requiring redress. Finally, actualization of the development objectives is carried out in the fourth stage. This is done though constant coaching, assistance and feedback. In actuality, this is the phase which gives rise to growth and development of the employee’s career and skills.

Tobias developed another team based coaching approach made up of four steps. It uses managerial feedback and backing organized by an outsourced coach. This is a contextual and systems-based approach, whose first step begins with an initial appointment with the client, with the objective of identifying problems faced and engineer a preliminary plan of action to overcome the challenges. Discussions are always done at length on the boundaries of privacy and confidentiality with respect to the company and the employee’s bosses (Wageman and Hackman, 2001, pp.279-287).

The second stage is characterized by a series of psychological examinations and a 360-degree feedback to find out individual traits, behavioral capabilities and emotional maturity. It is vital at this point to focus on the client’s capabilities, not weaknesses. This has the benefit of lowering client opposition, thus giving room for the client to openly discuss the real weaknesses non-defensively. In the third stage, follow-up arrangements with both the client and the organization’s administration are conducted for the purpose of gathering feedback. The last stage is often a continuous coaching support, focused on finding out extra resources and solutions that will facilitate the client’s progress (Wageman and Hackman, 2001, pp.279-287).

Besides the already mentioned team-based coaching methodologies, Kilburg later added a multi-dimensional systems approach that has five major segments. In the first component, both the client and the coach design an intervention agreement, in which goals are defined and discussions surrounding confidentiality of the entire process carried out in order to arrive at an agreement. The client must also assure the coach of his commitment in terms of time and resources. Thereafter, a firm client-consultant relationship is formed, where transferences are spotted out and dealt with. The third step is a continued process of establishing and managing expectations of the entire coaching process (Wageman and Hackman, 2001, pp.279-287). In the fourth stage, a facilitation of cognitive and behavioral capabilities needed to fully understand the challenges that surface in the process of goal attainment, is undertaken. The ultimate segment of this model is the constant analysis and examination of client’s progress (Maynard, 2006, pp.24-63).

Leadership Development Models

Employee coaching is usually conducted with the purpose of developing leadership capabilities. Katz and Miller came up with a skill-based external coaching model solely relevant, for coaching leadership skills that will nurture a trend of transformation within an organization for the objective of inclusivity. The first segment of this model involves creating a solid relationship between the executives and the external team of consultants (Maynard, 2006, pp.24-63).

 Creating a good rapport founded on mutual trust leads to the formation of a safe environment under which learning can take place. Consultants are afterwards allowed to design the skills required for changing from an exclusive to an all-inclusive multidimensional company that is made up of a diversified workforce, capable of adopting a broad range of views. This process is undertaken with much focus on cooperation. Cooperation guides, assists and inspires administrators to share power, authority and responsibilities. During this stage, administrators are always provided with the chance to actualize the new skills with a consultant prior to applying them in the work setting (Maynard, 2006, pp.24-63).

Day suggests that leadership development models ought to differentiate leader development and leadership that arouses a mental picture of a conceptual setting. If leadership development models are to bear fruits, they must include progression of human potentials while leaving a monumental social implication. Leadership development primarily emphasizes on bringing transformations within an organization. Apart from executive coaching, areas such as networking, mentoring and role assignments are utilized in leadership development approaches. A company’s top brass may also require development learning, guidance and therapies to realize leadership competence (Maynard, 2006, pp.24-63).

Human Development Models

Laske developed a detailed coaching structure which embraces many organizational and personal improvement standards. In it, Laske identifies and defines two categories of coaching-first and second order coaching. In the first category, the consultant adopts a political or structural viewpoint to enhance their client’s development in an executive duty. In the second, the consultant must draft a more international angle for the purpose of inculcating leadership skills that need distinguishing multiple perspectives on organizational matters. The methodology has a life span development technique which makes use of cognitive, psychodynamic and behavioral theories (Maynard, 2006, pp.24-63).

Further, Quick and Macik-Frey provided a developmental coaching methodology that utilizes an interpersonal approach premised on the stages of promoting self awareness and introspection of in-depth interpersonal communication. The model is tiered into two. The external tier touches on issues surrounding organizational communication skills that are considered necessary for the executive role. The internal tier on the other hand is composed of generates interpersonal communication skills understood to be more intimate in form. These skills go a long way in improving an employee’s emotional intelligence. Coaching clients using this model yields therapeutic outcomes for both the person and the company. The top brass of the organization also benefits by obtaining a broad understanding and sense of individual integrity, which, in the process, has positive effects on the organization (Maynard, 2006, pp.24-63).

Integrative Model

Orenstein demonstrated an integrative model for executive coaching comprising of eight stages, founded on the premise that the unconscious has a vital influence on both individual and group behaviors. This model incorporates the personal and organizational needs, together with the dynamics that dictate the linking of both. Specific emphasis is also put on the consultant facilitating the ‘use of self’ for executive performance in a company. The eight phases of the model are consists of the initial contact, introductory meeting, common goal setting, approval of contract, formal evaluation, response, coaching and termination (Maynard, 2006, pp.24-63).

Compliance Model

One of the serious issues affecting the delivery of satisfactory coaching results is opposition. Kilberg, following the development of a systems approach to coaching, focused his attention on ways of addressing resistance. His case study shows a compliance model of coaching that handles matters of protocol and compliance by highlighting eight fundamental segments of a successful intervention (Maynard, 2006, pp.24-63).

The first two components are devoted to progressive development by both the consultant and client. The remaining components that Kilberg highlighted are: an understanding of the client’s challenges and matters; an organized client-coach rapport; worth of the coaching solutions and the right use of the coaching instruments; and adherence set of rules whereby long-run goals are strictly observed and analyzed and opposition to barriers handled accordingly. The seventh and eighth components recommend that the organizational contexts of both the client and the coached be carefully assessed for adequate time and resources so as to maximize the results (Maynard, 2006, pp.24-63).

Conclusion and Implications

            Having reviewed the entire coaching process, it is very important to mention the benefits it has on an organization and its employees. First, coaching plays a vital role in improving the employees’ wellbeing. Indeed, positive psychology coaching has a monumental impact on hope, resilience, self-effectiveness and work commitment (Hall, 2014, pp. 11-12). These impacts die out within the first three months, but remain more valuable than the workforce that has not undergone the coaching process in the long-run Diana Vieira, a pro-president of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, developed the Social Cognitive Coaching Model, which gives an explanation of the causes and implications of coaching self-efficacy, together with three experiential researches which back the approach (Hall, 2014, pp .11-12).

            Diana went on to define coaching self-efficacy as the confidence an individual has in having the ability to establish trustworthy relationships and communicate effectively in order to facilitate their personal and professional potential. She added that these psychological and prospective variables have the capability of projecting human behavior in various domains, and coaching psychology is one of those domains (Hall, 2014, pp .11-12). The four sources of self-efficacy highlighted by Diana are: successful self performance, verbal encouragement, observing others’ performance and psychological and emotional states. Her studies revealed that the four variables also apply to improve coaching skills self-efficacy among participants of coaching training courses (Hall, 2014, pp .11-12).

            Secondly, the expenditures incurred in the hiring and recruitment process are much higher than having employees undergo a coaching process. Like acquiring new customers, the costs associated with employing new workers are high. Employers pump and channel thousands, sometimes millions of dollars, towards recruiting new laborers (Lauby, 2013, pp.5-6). They also spend time and resources in activities revolving around recruiting, interrogating, interviewing, hiring, and orientation and training of recruits. Therefore, in the event that a long-serving employee makes a mistake, it is always in the best interest of the organization to explore other means such as coaching and mentoring, rather than showing him the door  (Lauby, 2013, pp.5-6).

            Finally, the career world in the present time is viewed more broadly than growth in position in companies. The picture of modern career is characterized by salary increment, change of working environment, improvements in level of responsibilities, competence and qualification. For these ideal situations to be realized, an organization must consider the idea of coaching its employees. Coaching therefore plays an integral role in improving an organization’s operational efficiency and service delivery (Meiliene, Neverauskas and Ciutiene, 2010, pp. 444-452).


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