Research Paper By Kristyn M. Lang
(Career and Life Coach, UNITED STATES)
Employees are central to a company’s infrastructure making employee development a crucial aspect in any company. When employees are provided with development programs to improve their skills, company success will improve as a result. This paper explores the various steps in the employee development process. The process starts with a performance appraisal, which helps to identify areas in which the employee’s skills are lacking. From here, training programs and goal setting can be used to help strengthen the identified skills. While both training and goal setting are important, this paper discusses how these strategies of employee development can be strengthened when paired with coaching. Coaching is defined, and its history, origin, techniques, and required skills are discussed. Case study examples are provided to show the proven positive effects coaching can have on a company and its employees.
Human resource management is defined as the process of acquiring, training, appraising, and compensating employees, along with attending to their labor relations, health and safety, and fairness concerns (Dessler, 2015). Based on this definition, it is clear that the employee is the center of focus for Human Resource professionals. Human Resources is run largely on the concept that employees are the most important capital and investment of a company. Due to this belief, employee performance and development is something that many companies find interesting and important. Productivity is able to be increased by investing time and money in employee development. This improvement in performance benefits the company in many ways.
Recent human resource trends have highlighted employee engagement as a critical element for achieving company goals and positive outcomes. Data supporting the relationship between employee engagement, career development, and critical business metrics is plentiful. As such, savvy organizations are creating a robust workforce by engaging employees through career development opportunities and onsite leadership training. (Zimenoff, 2015)
Just as employee development can play a positive role in employee and company success, the lack of effective development techniques can have a negative effect. Employees have reported that some of the top reasons they have left companies is because they were not experiencing growth and challenge in their positions. They were unable to see the potential to move up within the company. Employees need a good relationship with their managers, and adequate recognition for their hard work, accomplishments, and achievements in order to stay connected. Therefore, development programs are crucial and central to a company’s success (Zimenoff, 2015).
Throughout this paper the author will be researching and discussing development techniques and strategies. The research questions that the author will be answering are: What are the important forms of employee development? What is goal setting and how does it relate to the employee development process? What is coaching and how does it relate to goal setting? What are the different ways in which coaching can be used in an organization?
An important aspect of employee development is employee evaluations and performance appraisals. “Performance appraisal means evaluating an employee’s current and/or past performance relative to his or her performance standards” (Dessler, 2015). Performance appraisals require setting certain performance standards that the employee must meet. During an appraisal, it is assumed that an employee will receive the proper training, feedback, and incentives required to eliminate any problems in performance and push them towards success (Dessler, 2015).
Performance appraisals play many roles within a company. First off, the appraisal helps the employer develop and decide on base pay, promotions, and retention. Although these aspects of the appraisal are necessary and play an important role in the company, they are not the most central part of the appraisal. The most important part of the appraisal is that it is part of the employee’s performance management and development process. Performance management is the “continuous process of identifying, measuring, and developing the performance of individuals and teams and aligning their performance with the organizations goals” (Dessler, 2015).
According to one study conducted by Taylor, Tracy, Renard, Harrison, and Carroll (1995) performance appraisals will lead to employee motivation towards further performance development and improvement.
Traditionally, performance appraisals are conducted by the immediate supervisor. The immediate supervisor is in the best position to evaluate the employee’s performance since they are the most knowledgeable about the job and how the employee operates on a day to day basis. The Human Resources department will play an advisory role in the process. They are responsible for providing the supervisor with the proper evaluation tools, and training on how the evaluation process should be conducted (Dessler, 2015).
The supervisor will conduct the main appraisal but it is smart to not rely on this appraisal alone. The company should use other resources in order to get an adequate picture of the employee. There may be cases where the appraisal will be negatively affected due to the supervisor’s opposition to the employee. An additional resource that can be of use is peer appraisals. In peer appraisals, three peers are selected to evaluate the employee during the same time frame as their supervisor. All four of these appraisals will be used when making employment decisions (Dessler, 2015).
While appraisals are important in making employment decisions, it is necessary to remember that they are also a huge part of employee development. It is through these appraisals that weaknesses are identified and certain training and development plans are created in order to strengthen the employee and their positive effect on the company.
A development technique that can arise based on performance appraisals is training. Once a performance appraisal is conducted, training can be used to improve areas in which the employee is struggling or lacking skills.
Training refers to a planned effort by a company to facilitate learning of job related competencies, knowledge, skills, and behaviors by employees. The goal of training is for the employee to master the knowledge, skills, and behaviors emphasized in training and apply them to their day-to-day activities. (Noe, 2013)
There are many methods of training that can be used in an organization.
One method of training that can be used is presentation methods. Presentation methods refer to training in which the employee is a passive participant, and recipient of information such as facts, figures, processes, and problem solving methods. A presentation method that is often used is a lecture. A lecture is a training situation in which the trainer will communicate information to the trainee through words. Lectures are popular because they are one of the least expensive and least time consuming ways to express a large amount of information to a large audience. Another presentation method that is used is the audiovisual technique. This popular technique uses overhead projections, videos, and slides to portray information such as communication skills, interview skills, customer-service skills, and “how to” procedures (Noe, 2013).
The second method of training that can be used is the hands on method. The hands-on method requires the employee to be actively involved in the training. “These methods are ideal for developing specific skills, understanding how skills and behaviors can be transferred to the job, experiencing all aspects of completing a task, or dealing with interpersonal issues that arise on the job” (Noe, 2013). One example of hands-on training is on the job training. This technique involves new or inexperienced employees learning in the work setting, during work hours, from experienced employees and managers. The behaviors and actions are watched and imitated in order to have the best accuracy. One type of on the job training is self directed learning. In self directed learning, the employee takes responsibility for all aspects of their training. They decide when the training will take place, who will be involved, and how long it will last. In addition to on the job training, other types of hands-on training methods include apprenticeships, simulations, case studies, business games, behavior modeling, and role plays (Noe, 2013).
According to a study conducted in Malaysia, effective training was proven to contribute positively to employee performance. In order for the training to be effective, the training methods needed to be tested rigorously to make sure that the training would lead to transfer of training (bin Atan et al., 2015). Transfer of training refers to the ability of, and the degree to which the employee was able to apply their training to their actual job function (Noe, 2013). Training is only considered effective and a positive impact on employee performance if transfer of training is able to be achieved. Without appropriate transfer of training, it is as if the training never happened.
Training is not the only development technique that arises from performance appraisals. A large part of employee development is goal setting. The term “goal” can be described as the purpose toward which an endeavor is directed, an objective, or an outcome. However, these definitions do not give an accurate picture of its meaning when it comes to goal setting for employee performance and development. A more accurate definition in this context is that goals are “defined as playing a key role in transitions from an existing state to a desired state or outcome” (Grant, 2012).
There are many types of goals for employees to set in the work place. Distal goals are defined as long term goals where as proximal goals are defined as short term goals. In the goal setting process, proximal goals are more strongly used and can offer better results. However, the best results are achieved when both types of goals are used together. Outcome goals are goals that are straightforward and pertain to a specific desired outcome.
This is a useful approach to goal setting, because for individuals who are committed and have the necessary ability and knowledge, outcome goals that are difficult and are specifically and explicitly defined, allow performance to be precisely regulated, and thus often lead to high performance. (Grant, 2012)
Avoidance goals are characterized by goals that focus on moving away from an undesirable situation. However, this is not always the most useful because they are less specific. A good contrast to avoidance goals is approach goals which deal more with movement towards a specific outcome. Self- concordant goals are extremely important goals in goal setting. These goals are in alignment with the employee’s core personal values. Due to this alignment, the employee is more likely to be engaged in the goal setting process and will give greater effort (Grant, 2012).
While it is important to keep all of these types of goals in mind, the most crucial goals in the goal setting process are performance and learning goals.
Performance goals focus on task execution and are typically expressed as being competitive in terms of performing very well on a specific task, receiving positive evaluations from others about one’s performance, or outperforming others. Learning goals focus on the employee’s attention on the learning associated with task mastery, rather than on the performance on the task itself. One benefit of setting learning goals is that they tend to be associated with higher levels of intrinsic motivation which in turn is associated with performance. (Grant, 2012).
According to John M Ivanchevich (1977), a number of different research studies suggest that employee participation in decisions, such as goal setting tasks, can motivate better job performance. Ivanchevich (1977) conducted his own research studies on goal setting and found that, in alliance with other research conducted in the field, groups of employees who used goal setting performed better than groups that did not use goal setting.
The goal setting process involves determining a set of achievements for the employee based on areas of weakness or improvement that were discovered during the performance appraisal. There are four guidelines that should always be followed when setting performance goals. The first guideline that should be adhered to is the manager being responsible for assigning specific goals to the employee. Specific means a goal that is clear and concise as opposed to abstract or involving too many parts. Second, every goal that is set should be measurable. “Put goals in quantitative terms and include target dates or deadlines. If measurable results will not be available, then ‘satisfactory completion’- such as ‘satisfactorily attended workshop’- is the next best thing (Dessler, 2015). By making the goals measurable, employees are more motivated because they have a clear idea of how they will be evaluated and what is expected of them. The third criteria that should be met is to set challenging but doable goals. In other words, the goal should be demanding but should also be something the employee can realistically accomplish and complete. The last part of creating effective goals is to encourage participation. The employee should be involved in the goal setting process, and the development of goals, rather than being assigned goals. This leads to the successful development of more challenging goals which the employee is more motivated and likely to complete and achieve. (Dessler, 2015).
Goal setting with a partner is more effective than goal setting independently. Research conducted by Gregory (2011) supports that when someone is regulating themselves with goal setting, there are certain failures that can take place. According to this research, some failures are
failing to start a task in appropriate time-frame, giving up on a task too soon, and persisting at a task for too long are common self-regulatory failures. Research suggests that people often perform better when provided with self-regulatory help. (Gregory et al., 2011)
An example of self regulatory help that can be provided to an employee for goal setting is coaching. In order for an employee to be able to effectively complete and accomplish their goals, they must be coached through the process. According to the International Coach Federation, coaching is defined as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional goals. However, there are other definitions that help to give a clearer picture of coaching and the coaching process. One of these definitions is that coaching is “an active process whereby your goal is to move people from where they are to where they want or need to be. Through coaching, you can help your teammates increase their competence and improve their performance” (McNally, 2013). Coaching in the workplace is the process of helping employees set goals based on their performance appraisals, and then guiding them and supporting them as they take actions to achieve those goals.
Coaching became popular in the 1980’s. Due to new technologies, many jobs had become obsolete. This resulted in a higher need for career development assistance. However, there was a shortage in career counselors who, up until this time, had handled career development. This led to the growth and emergence of the career coach (Knowdell, 2009). Coaching is an in depth process that involves more than just setting goals with clients and employees. It requires many skills on the coach’s part as well. One of the first skills that a coach must have is the ability to establish a trusting relationship with a client. During coaching sessions, many personal details are discussed. The employee must feel as though they can trust the coach in order to be able to completely and effectively discuss the desired goals. Coaches also need to have the ability to be active listeners. This means they are able to not just hear what the client is saying, but are able to interpret the deeper meaning. They need to be able to ask powerful questions in order to generate deeper dialogue and evaluations. In certain situations, coaches must be able to provide feedback that will guide the employee to better achieve their goals. It is the coach’s objective to move their client from the ordinary to the extraordinary (McNally, 2013023). According to research conducted by Grant (2012), competent career coaches work efficiently with their clients by using these techniques and helping to facilitate goal alignment. These coaches can help their client achieve behavioral change which enhances their workplace performance and professional working lives. This employee success will then lead to the success of the company (Grant, 2012).
It is important to understand coaching models in order to fully understand coaching and the coaching process. A coaching model is a metaphor or analogy used to help visualize the coaching process. This model helps to see an unseen process.
Models are not supposed to be prescriptive or rigid. Some people have models that are very much the way they coach and they work very specifically to that model. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. In coaching, the conversation is always about the client. (International Coach Academy, 2015)
There are different models of coaching that can be used when coaching in a professional setting.
Considered the original coaching model, the GROW model was developed in the UK and used in the 1980’s and 1990’s. GROW stands for Goal, Reality, Options, and Will. Using the GROW model the coaching sessions starts with discussing and identifying the desired goals to be achieved by the end of the session. Then, the client is to become fully aware of their current reality and their starting point towards achieving their goals. Once the client is fully aware of their current reality, they are able to explore the various options that are available to them around achieving their goals. The coach will help the client discuss as many options as possible, as well as how to go about completing these tasks in order to achieve their goals. Once the client has this knowledge, they must then possess the will to be able to accomplish the tasks. The coach will work with the client to identify and commit to these tasks.
A popular coaching model that is used a lot today in the business setting is the transformational coaching model. The transformational coaching model is the highest level of coaching used in a succession of four coaching levels. The first level is skills coaching, which focuses on getting the client to improve certain skills that are necessary to their job, such as sales skills. The second level is performance coaching. This builds upon skills coaching by getting the clients to utilize the skills in order to improve their performance. The third level is development coaching which focuses on developing the employee. This will assist them in improving their performance for the future, rather than the here and now. The fourth level, transformational coaching, focuses on getting people to view themselves in a different light in order to create long lasting character changes that will permanently improve performance.
There are three main phases to the transformational coaching model. The first phase is to transform who people are. This step is “empowering the client to create a shift in their perceptions about themselves to help them learn, grow and produce results they truly desire” (International Coach Academy, 2015). For example, an employee in the sales department can be promoted to a position that requires them to make sales pitches in front of larger audiences that they are used to. This employee may hold the belief that they are not good at giving presentations. The first step of transformational coaching is to have the employee understand that they are not bad at giving presentations, but rather that they do not have all the knowledge needed to succeed at them. This change in thought gets the employee to see that presentations are something that they can succeed at if they try, as opposed to thinking that it is something that they will never be good at. The second phase is coaching people to learn to do new things. This enables the client to change and reshape their thinking and behavioral patterns to move beyond where they are getting stuck. For example, this phase allows the client to identify certain training they may attain so that they are more comfortable with giving presentations. The third phase in this coaching model is coaching for incremental improvement. This teaches the client to continuously improve their current practices so that they are always getting better at what they are already doing. For example, this will teach the employee to always look for ways to improve presentation skills instead of getting comfortable and getting stuck in a rut. The important thing to remember about transformational coaching is that the point is not to focus on just one aspect with an employee. Transformational coaching is not only meant to change the employee’s opinion of themselves, but to alter their way of thinking so they can apply this technique in the future (International Coach Academy, 2015).
Due to the level of skill and knowledge needed for coaching, there are certain criteria required to be considered a professional coach. A professional coach is someone who has a credential from the International Coach Federation. There is no government mandated credentialing for coaches at this present time. Therefore this credentialing is not a requirement to be a professional coach. However, many involved in the coaching community realize and understand the talent and skill that it takes to become a coach, and will only trust and work with coaches who have been credentialed. Although there are many private credentialing bodies, the International Coach Federation is the most recognized and respected of them all. The International Coach Federation outlines a list of eleven core competencies that set the standard for the skills that a professional coach should have. These eleven core competencies are; meeting ethical guidelines and professional standards, establishing the coaching agreement, establishing trust and intimacy with the client, having coaching presence, active listening, powerful questioning, direct communication, creating awareness, designing actions, planning and goal setting, and managing progress and accountability. In order to get a credential through the International Coach Federation, there is certain training and education that the coach must receive. A coach must receive a certificate from a training program with classes that are either offered as self study, online, or in person. There are many training programs that a coach can choose from but they must be approved by the International Coach Federation in order to qualify for credentialing (International Coach Federation, 2015).
A school that offers training and a certificate in coaching aligned with the International Coach Federation criteria is the International Coach Academy. The International Coach Academy offers a web and phone based learning system that allows coaches to work towards a coaching certificate from all different countries. The curriculum at the International Coach Academy is based on a variety of modules that outline the essentials of coaching. The sections of modules are Foundation Coach, Coaching Presence, Coach Skills, Power Tools, and Frameworks and Models. Each of these sections has a variety of reading material that must be studied by the students. Once the modules are studied, the students must call in to live interactive phone classes where they are able to discuss the modules in further detail with fellow students and certified coach teachers. In addition to the module classes, students must also participate in interactive coaching classes where they are required to coach other students while being observed by a certified coach. During this workshop, the certified coach will provide constructive feedback on the coaching, and guide students so that their individual coaching style is in line with the guidelines of the International Coach Federation. Not only must the students complete these classes, but they must also conduct a certain amount of coaching sessions on their own with other students, take a written test, and hand in assignments. One of these assignments is the creation of their own coaching model in order to receive a certification and graduate from the program (International Coach Academy, 2015).
Once training is complete and a coach has received a coaching certificate, there are a few more steps that must be taken to receive a coaching credential through the International Coach Federation. The coach is required to take a written test known as the Coach Knowledge Assessment (CKA), and submit a log of practice coaching hours. The number of coaching hours required depends on the level of credentialing the coach is applying for. There are three credentialing levels available through the International Coach Academy. The three levels are Associate Certified Coach (ACC), Professional Certified Coach (PCC), and Master Certified Coach (MCC). Coaches have the ability to move up in credentialing levels as they gain more coaching experience (International Coach Federation, 2015).
There are many ways in which coaching can be used in an organization to promote employee growth and development. The different ways include professional coaches, coaching by the Human Resources department, supervisor coaching, and peer coaching. Each of these approaches functions slightly differently and can be beneficial to an organization.
The first way in which coaching can be implemented in a company is through utilizing an outsourced professional coach. Within this option itself, there are many variations that a company can choose. The first is that the outsourced coach can work with all the employees individually. In this situation the coach sits down with the company to see what their ultimate goals are and what the desired goals are for each employee who will be involved in the coaching process. The coach will then meet with each employee individually on a weekly basis for a set period of time, usually twelve weeks, to discuss their performance goals and how these goals are progressing. During these sessions, the coach and the employee will discuss obstacles that stand in the way of the employee completing their goals, and possible ways in which the employee can overcome these obstacles. At the end of the twelve week period, the employee will be evaluated again to see how well they have been able to accomplish and complete their goals. This process can be conducted continuously or until the employee has achieved all their set goals. However, to have a professional coach come on site to continuously coach all the employees can be very costly for some companies. Therefore, a more economical choice is to have a professionally trained coach come on site and train and certify the Human Resource representatives of the company on coaching and coaching techniques. In this situation, the coach will give training classes on coaching to all the Human Resource professionals in a group setting. Then, the coach can work with the Human Resource professionals one on one in an individual setting to mentor and coach them on how to be effective coaches to the employees in the company when it comes to goal setting, and employee performance and development. If this is the path the company chooses, the coach will only be on site for a few months in order to coach the human resource staff. Then, the human resource staff will take over the coaching process.
Another way in which coaching can be utilized in a company is that the Human Resources Professionals are certified and credentialed professional coaches. This can be effective for a company because they save a lot of money by not having to bring in an outside coach. In a smaller company, it can be possible for the human resource professionals to conduct all the coaching sessions with employees themselves. As with an outside coach, this can be beneficial because they are not the direct supervisor. Since the employee is not working with the human resource professional every day, they may feel more comfortable divulging information and problems that may be adding to their performance problems, whether they are personal or professional. The employee can feel more secure opening up because they understand that the role of the human resource professional is to help and assist them. They will not fear saying the wrong thing to their supervisor who they want to impress.
Although employees may feel more comfortable talking to an outside coach or a human resource professional, it is still important to get the manager or direct supervisor involved in the coaching process. The manager is beneficial to the process because they have exposure to the employee on a more constant basis. They have a better understanding of the work conducted, and where improvements need to be made to the employee’s performance. Also, since the manager is the one who is conducting the performance appraisals, it is important to have them involved in the coaching process. This is so that they can help guide the employee where they would like to see them go with their abilities. In larger companies with many employees, it is impossible for the human resource department to be able to meet and coach all the employees in need. This is another reason why managers may get involved. The human resource professionals will take on the role of training the managers on how to be effective coaches and how to effectively communicate with their staff. If the manager can master the coaching technique, they may be able to establish a more trusting and comfortable working relationship with their employees. When they establish and maintain these relationships through coaching, the working relationship will be much stronger and productive.
One additional coaching relationship that can be helpful is a peer coaching relationship. Peer coaching means that someone who the employee works with, either directly or indirectly, will assist with and be part of the coaching process. Peer coaching can be beneficial because there is less intimidation on the part of the employee. They are speaking with someone who is considered an equal to them and who is able to see firsthand where their performance is lacking, and assist in ways to improve this performance. The peer coach is just another way to support and guide the employee, and make them realize that they are not alone in their career journey.
All of these coaching techniques are helpful, and each provides their own positive influence. Because of this, no one approach is better than the other. It is most productive to utilize all approaches throughout an employee’s career in order to achieve the most well rounded and effective results.
A case study is a detailed investigation into a problem or circumstance in one or more real life settings over a period of time. Data is often collected using a combination of methods and can be used for both hypothesis testing and theory building. “The strength of this research method is its ability to discover a wide variety of social, cultural, and political factors potentially related to the phenomenon of interest that may not be known in advance (Bhattacherjee, 2012). There are many case studies that support the positive effects of coaching on employee performance and development, and company success.
The first case study that shows this success revolves around a large multinational construction company based in the United States, referred to as XYZ. The seven focal points of the research were to measure the level of employee enjoyment, learning, and personal growth, measure the level of holistic growth both socially and professionally, measure the effectiveness on employee productivity, measure the degree of satisfaction with the coaching program, determining whether or not employees felt the program should continue, determining if the program increased loyalty to the company, and determining if the existence of the program effected the perception of the company. Participants of the coaching program included permanent employees from all levels and locations of the company who had been employed for at least two years. Data was collected by distributing a survey to all coaching program participants and non participants that included questions based on the seven objectives. The surveys collected from non participants all portrayed that the coaching program made them perceive XYZ as a people oriented company that valued its personnel. Employees who had participated in the program reported that over all, the program has strengthened their team building and communication within the organization. They were encouraged to take a more active approach to problem solving, and felt that the coaching provided them with the tools they needed for personal assessment, leading to enhanced growth and development. This has increased their ability to focus on goals, motivation and efficiency, and time management. 93.5% of the participants responded that their participation has increased their desire to remain employed by XYZ. The case study concludes that the XYZ coaching program is a success because it has produced more satisfied and productive employees. The employees have a better understanding of the corporate values and have developed deep loyalty to their organization because they view XYZ as an organization that truly values its employees (McGuffin et al., 2010).
Another case study that reflects the results of coaching is one that was conducted in Spain. The exact goal of this research was to analyze the effects of coaching on both employee development and organizational performance. For this case study, a specific coaching structure was used on all the organizations being studied. This structure contained specific key characteristics which were deemed to be the most effective way in which coaching could be implemented. The first step in this structure is the preparation of the coaching process. In this step, both the coach and the company need to come together to establish clear guidelines as to what will be accomplished in a coaching session in alignment with the company goals. While these guidelines can be tweaked for each individual participant, the foundation of company goals needs to be present. The second step is process implementation, which involves conducting the actual coaching process. The two participants involved in this process are the coach and the coachee. According to step two of the coaching process in this case study, it is important for both the coach and the coachee to be fully present and dedicated to the coaching process. They need to be able to work well with each other, and must be able to be open to the contributions of the other. This effective relationship is part of the social exchange theory.
This theory states that the exchange of resources is a fundamental form of interactions between the coach and the coachee in the coaching process because they expect the benefits they receive from this process to exceed the cost. The social exchange theory can help managers in evaluating employee performance because it allows the coach to diagnose performance problems and make the decisions necessary to solve these problems (Núñez-Cacho et al., 2015).
With this proposed coaching structure established, the companies to be involved in the study were identified. This study was very specific in that it wanted to test the actual statistical success of the above described coaching structure and social exchange theory. The researchers sent 2,303 questionnaires to human resource departments of various Spanish firms with the above model. The final sampling consisted of 498 companies. The results of the surveys showed that if the coaching process is conducted with the proposed structure, that both the coach and the coachee demonstrate improved individual performance. The results also showed that the individual benefits from the coaching process will transfer into benefits for the organization. Organizational performance, sales, and productivity experienced a growth. From this case study, it was concluded that the coaching process can indeed improve both individual and company performance (Núñez-Cacho et al., 2015).
Another case study that reflects the effects of coaching is a case study that was centered on studying the exact effects of coaching on the performance appraisal process in American companies. The aim of the case study was to explore whether the use of coaching by managers in the appraisal conversations can add value for the employees and enable improved performance at work. This case study involves research collected from various organizations (Taylor et al., 1995).
There were four stages to the data collection process. In stage one, employees who were employed in a variety of public and private sector organizations and had experience with appraisals and/or coaching were asked to complete questionnaires. Stage two of this process involved line managers who are trained coaches or who have had experience being coached. These employees were interviewed using a semi structured approach. The third stage involved human resource professionals who have experience in coaching and performance management. These employees were at times involved in designing performance management systems, indicating that they understand some of the issues faced by managers who use coaching and performance management. These employees were also administered semi structured interview questions. The fourth stage in this process was directed at collecting data regarding the behaviors of managers acting as coaches. A sample of line managers from stage two of this process, were administered questionnaires to complete the fourth stage (Taylor et al., 1995).
The questionnaires that were administered and the interviews conducted with the participants included five topics for analysis. These topics include the employee’s experience with the appraisal process, the industrial sector they work in, their gender, the value of the appraisal process in terms of performance, motivation, commitment to change, relationship building, and value adding, and the participant’s view on the value of coaching approach to performance appraisal conversations. From the data analyzed, this case study was able to make a few conclusions. The biggest conclusion that came from this study is that a manager acting as coach to employees is a successful practice (Taylor et al., 1995).
Employee engagement and development are important for continued employee and company success. The first part of the employee development process involves performance appraisals. It is through these appraisals that weaknesses in performance are identified. Some important and effective techniques in developing and strengthening these performance weaknesses are training and goal setting. Through these techniques the employee is able to set an action plan on what needs to be done to improve performance, and take the necessary steps to do so. However, this is not the end of the development process. In order to keep employees accountable and engaged in their own development process, they must be provided with coaching. This coaching will provide the individual attention needed to help employees achieve their goals. Employees who receive coaching are more successful at improving their performance than employees who do not. This increased individual performance leads to company morale, and will lead to continued and improved success on the company as a whole.
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