Over the course of a person’s life, one accumulates a great deal of knowledge and expertise in a particular field. Coaching is the art of passing that knowledge and expertise on to less knowledgeable or experienced colleagues in a structured and meaningful way. This may take the form of one to one coaching, where you will have one learner and will concentrate exclusively on their needs or it may take the form of a training session for several learners.
Preparing for on the job coaching
A coach requires a good attitude along with commitment to help someone achieve their goals and there are several steps that need to be taken, including necessary preparation before the coaching can take place. Without this groundwork prior to the coaching session, time is wasted and time can be costly.
On the job coaching is a style of teaching whereby a person with the right level of skill, knowledge and experience helps another person attain the same skill, knowledge and competence in the workplace.
Most times when we think of the word ‘coach’ we think of sports coaching, where the coach is the person who helps the individual or team prepare and develop skills to win a game. Coaching in the workplace is similar, we can offer advice on techniques based on our own experiences or we can help improve skills they already have. If they require more formal assistance then this would become training.
Identify need for coaching
Before any training can take place, the need for this training first needs to be properly identified and a structure established. Factors that could influence the decision on whether coaching should take place could include:
A request for coaching from the colleague to be coached – If you have accumulated an extensive knowledge and expertise in a given task or role within your organization, you may be approached by a colleague and asked for assistance. If time permits you can then coach them in the specific skills or knowledge they have approached you about. This is an informal coaching arrangement designed to assist a colleague in becoming better in their role.
Your own observation and workplace experience – as a workplace supervisor you would have a duty to ensure that any staff under your supervision is able to complete tasks assigned to them effectively and efficiently. Doing a job properly not only affects a person’s self esteem, health and safety, it also affects the organisation’s productivity – if the job is done correctly there will be less errors, time wastage and costs. It is therefore up to a supervisor to coach (or arrange for coaching) of any staff member who is not functioning to the best of their abilities. This, then, becomes a formal coaching arrangement, as it is done with both the good of the colleague and the organization in mind.
Direction from management – coaching sessions can also be a matter of organizational policy. Staff routinely undergo annual appraisals and as part of such an appraisal it may become apparent that additional training for the staff member in question is needed. This may be due to:
the staff member not being able to complete their assigned tasks to the organizations satisfaction or standards
succession planning for the staff member whereby they are being groomed for greater responsibility within the organization and require further training to undertake new and more complex tasks.
the introduction of new policies, procedures or equipment necessitating coaching of the staff involved with these issues.
This, too, would be a formal coaching session..… continued in learner guide….