Thursday, May 21, 2009

Explain the process of performance coaching and the phases involved in it.

Explain the process of performance coaching and the phases involved in it. Discuss how performance coaching is carried out in your organisation or an organisation you are familiar with and its impact on employee development. Describe the organisation you are referring to.

Performance Counselling refers to the help provided by a manager to his subordinates in objectively analyzing their performance. It essentially focuses on the analysis of performance and identification of training and developing needs for bringing about further improvement. It attempts to help the employee in:
• Understanding himself – his strengths and weaknesses.
• Improving his professional and interpersonal competence by given him feedback about his behaviour.
• Setting goals and formulating action plans for further improvement.
• Generating alternatives for dealing with various problems.
• By providing a supportive and empathetic atmosphere in which the employee feels encouraged to discuss his aspirations, tensions, conflicts, concerns and problems.
• A climate of trust, confidence and openness is essential for effective counselling. Counselling cannot be effective if the subordinate does not trust his boss.
• It is necessary that the subordinate should feel free to participate, without inhibition of fear, in the process of review and feedback. Counselling is a dialogue between the boss and the subordinate. It is not a one-way process of communication to the employee what he should do or not do.
• The main purpose of counselling is employee development.
Performance Counselling does not serve its purpose if the discussion is allowed to digress into other areas like increments, salaries, rewards etc.
The counselling process has the following three phases:
RAPPORT BUILDING: In the rapport building phase, a good counselor attempts to establish a climate of acceptance, warmth support, openness and mutuality. This phase involves generating confidence in the employee to open up and frankly share his perceptions, problems, concerns, feelings etc. The subordinate must be made to feel that he is wanted and that his superior is genuinely interested in his development.
EXPLORATION : Besides listening to the employee and establishing a climate of openness, the counselor should attempt to help the employee understand and appreciate his strengths and weaknesses. He should also understand his own situation, problems and needs. Counselling skill lies in making the employee discover these on his own. Then only will he be motivated to take remedial measures enthusiastically.
Questions may be asked which help the employee focus on his problem. For example, if an employee feels that his problem is that other do no not co-operate with him, the counselor may ask questions to narrow down the problem to the employee’s relationship with a few individuals. Then the superior may ask questions to help the employee understand what he does (or says) to his colleagues that is making it difficult for him to win their co-operations. Problem identification is a critical step in planning for improvement.
Diagnosis of the problem should follow exploration. The effort of this period should be to generate several alternative causes of a problem. To help the employee make a correct diagnosis of the problem, open-ended questions may be asked. For e.g., in the case of an employee, having interpersonal problem in relating to colleagues, the superior may ask- “Why do you think people may be put off when you talk to them?” “Can you recall instances when you got full co-operation?” and “What do you attribute it to?”
ACTION PLANNING: Counselling interviews should end with specific plans of action for the development of the employee. The main contribution of the superior to this phase is in helping the employee think of alternative ways of dealing with a problem. For example, in case of an employee whose relationships with colleagues is poor; the superior may suggest “What three things can you do in the coming week to improve your relationship with X?” After helping the employee brainstorm, the superior may also add some more alternatives to the solutions already generated. The primary responsibility for generating alternative solutions must, however, rest with the employee himself. After alternative solutions to existing performance problem have been identified, the superior should help the employee assess the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Finally the superior may render some assistance in helping the employee implement the agreed upon action plan. Often good counselling sessions fail to produce effective results due to lack of follow-up. Finally the superior may render some assistance in helping the employee implement the agreed upon action plan. Often-good counselling session fail to produce effective results due to lack of follow up.

The organisation we are to is Heights Organisation which performs their coaching in this manner:
• It should always give feed back in a description and non-evaluating. Rather than putting the employee in a defensive position by telling him “ You are coming late convinces me that you are not serious about your work”. A manager may say , “ I notice that you have been regularly coming late and I am deeply the concerned about this .” In the initial stages of counselling interview, it helps to describe the problem to the subordinate rather than moralize about it.
• It should be focused on the behaviour of the person and not on the person himself. It is necessary to distinguish between the individual and his behaviour in conveying negative feedback. It should be clear to the employee that what is being rejected or criticized is some specific behaviour of his.
• Feedback should be data-based and not impressionistic. When conveying feedback, it is generally desirable to back it up with few examples of actual events. Care must be exercised not to overdo this as it may be misinterpreted by the subordinate that the superior is systematically building up a well documented case against him.
• It should be suggestive and not prescriptive. To keep the subordinate in a receptive frame of mind, it is better to suggest possibilities rather than impose solutions.
• Feedback should be timely. Ideally it should be given at the first opportunity when the employee is in a receptive mood.
• Feedback should be continuous. It should become a regular practice so that the subordinate develops an ability to accept and act upon feedback. It makes for more openness in the boss-subordinate relationship.
• Feedback must be checked and verified. This will ensure that the subordinate has not misinterpreted the feedback he received from his superior.
• Feedback should reinforce positive behaviour. The superior should acknowledge any improvement he perceives in the subordinate’s behaviour so that old behaviour patterns are replaced and reinforced by new ones.

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