Coaching and mentoring employees is an investment in both an employee’s enrichment and for the organization. An employee will have the tools to do her job efficiently and with confidence. She is more likely to remain with the company, reducing turnover and costs. Setting up a formal coaching and mentoring program, complete with workflows to document the process, is necessary to standardize the program’s goals and criteria for participation.
Coaching vs. Mentoring
Coaching and mentoring, while both aimed at improving employee performance and knowledge, do have a few differences. Coaching is often focused on performance with a set agenda for teaching specifically to the employee’s job. Coaching may be one-to-one or offered to an entire team. Mentoring is typically a one-to-one program with an established, experienced mentor working closely with a new or junior employee to share his knowledge, perceptions, and relationships. Mentoring often does not involve a set agenda and is designed to show the employee the ropes.
The general process of coaching and mentoring includes several specific components. First, establish criteria for who should participate in the program. You may decide that all new hires and employees with performance issues should participate. You also must select the coaches and mentors. Next, it’s important to establish the program’s goals and a time frame for completion of the program. Last, there must be a formal process to end the coaching or mentoring program. Decide at what point goals are met and the program is no longer necessary for the employee.
Part of the coaching and mentoring process can include job-shadowing. This is a useful approach to train the employee. In job-shadowing, the employee is assigned to a mentor and follows her mentor around for a given period. The employee meets with her mentor frequently, attends meetings and observes the mentor in her daily activities. The mentor may give the subject of mentoring assignments and have her assist with tasks as appropriate. The bond between mentor and the employee being mentored allows the employee to rely on her mentor for advice.
One to One Coaching
One-to-one coaching is another process that helps employees further their knowledge and improve their skills. If an employee is on a corrective action plan, he may need one-to-one coaching. This approach may include role-playing activities, testing and reviewing answers, meetings to encourage the employee to perform and homework in which answers are reviewed. The manager provides the individualized coaching to her employee. You may set up a timeline with preset intervals to review progress.