The objectives of performance coaching
Coaching aims at developing employees in an organization, by the following.
1) Helping them to realise their potential as managers.
2) Helping them to understand themselves – their strengths and weaknesses
3) Providing them opportunity to acquire more insight into their behaviour and analyse the dynamics of such behaviour.
4) Helping them to have a better understanding of the environment.
5) Increasing their personal and interpersonal effectiveness by giving them feedback about their behaviour and assisting them in analysing their inter-personal competence.
6) Encouraging them to set goals for further improvement.
7) Encouraging them to generate alternatives for dealing with various problems.
8) Providing them empathic atmosphere for sharing and discussing tensions, conflicts, concerns and problems.
9) Helping them to develop various action plans for further improvement.
10) Helping them to review in a non-threatening way their progress in achieving various objectives.
11) Strengthening the dyadic relationship between the employee and his boss.
a) Individual-level Review
The purpose of performance review is to help the employee grow and develop. Others can help him as quite often he may not be aware of his own strengths, just as he may be blind to his weaknesses. Those who continuously interact with the person can act as mirrors. However, such a feedback should be specific and purposeful. It serves three main purposes:
(1) general improvement of the person,
(2) improvement of his performance in specific tasks, and
(3) identification and development of his potential for higher level responsibilities.
1. General Improvement :
Feedback for the general improvement of an employee is a continuous process. It occurs either inside or outside the organisation through colleagues, friends, subordinates, family members, etc. Within the organisation, people who work closely can be instrumental in helping the employee continuously assess the impact he is making on people and the environment. Such an assessment would help him to understand his own characteristics and develop as a mature person.
No formal system can help in such a continuous interpersonal feedback. However, it can be facilitated through an open climate, a climate of psychological security, and positive attitudes towards one another in the organisation.
2. Improved Performance:
While the senior officer help their subordinates to perform gains. Usually, managers guide their subordinates more in relation to specific, immediate task-related problems rather than on other aspects of behaviour. For example, whenever a subordinate faces a problem, his officer may give a solution for that particular problem. Merely providing the solution to a problem does not amount to giving feedback. This will not necessarily help the employee to develop the ability to solve future problems by himself This ability to solve problems by himself can be developed through continuous education.
The formal appraisal system is another mechanism of giving feedback discussion. In such a formal system, the tasks are set much in advance. The qualities on which the individual is going to be rated are also identified in advance. At the end of a specified period of time, both the individual and his senior officer sit together for performance review. Feedback is a critical factor in such a review. In the performance review, the individual points out his own accomplishments in relation to the objectives decided upon. He may also identify the factors that have helped him in achieving whatever he could achieve, and the factors that prevented him from doing better. The individual may also highlight the qualities he has shown in that particular period. After he presents his own assessment, his senior officer tries to help him analyse his own performance in greater depth. He might add a number of other factors which have helped him to achieve whatever he has achieved, and a number of other factors that prevented him from doing better. The senior officer may also focus on the strengths and weaknesses of the appraises. He might also point out the consistencies or inconsistencies of behaviour he observed in the employee. Both the manager and his employee jointly identify the developmental needs and ways of meeting the needs.
3. Potential Development of the Employee:
Employees develop their potential if they are aware of the opportunities in the organisation and also of the mechanisms for developing this potential. Some organisations use mechanisms to appraise the potential of an employee. Usually, data are collected about all the employees whose potential is being assessed. It may be useful to give feedback to the employee on such data. Feedback on potential assessment would help the employee to understand his strengths and weaknesses, and help him to modify his career plans accordingly. If the employee has no opportunity to explore the feedback further, it is likely to demoralise him. Since emotions are involved here, it should be handled delicately. Such review should better be done either by one whom the employee trusts, or by an outside expert who has used objective measures of assessing the potential, or by a group of people from the top management who have a broader perspective and who can coach the
employee. The officers one or two levels above the employee can give such feedback, either formally or informally, after a system of potential appraisal has been introduced in the organisation. In such a review with the employee, they would have with them the employee’s ratings and other data on his potential. The following points may be kept in mind in the potential appraisal review of the employees.
a) The employee should be given the source of feedback;
b) The employee should be told the limits of the feedback;
c) The employee should be helped to view alternative career opportunities;
d) Before giving such feedback, it should be ensured that the employee believes that there are opportunities to develop his potential and that human behaviour is dynamic and changeable; and
e) While giving the feedback, the relationship of the employee with others who work with him should also be kept in mind.
b) Feedback to Groups or Teams
Feedback needs to be given to a group of people who constitute a small unit or a department within a large organisation. It may help the group to grow and develop as such. Feedback to groups is generally useful in terms of the process mechanisms operating in the group, like decision-making styles, collaborative orientation of the group with other groups, delegation, supervisory styles, morale, etc Feedbacks can be given either by the organisational leader or through an external agent using the research and surveys. Mechanisms of giving group feedback using survey research are described in the section on research and organisation development.