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Background: The dissertation focuses on the problem of the impact of performance coaching on the improvement of the individual performance. In actuality, coaching is widely-used in many organizations and it brings positive effects to the organizational performance. The current study focuses on the impact of coaching on the individual performance of employees.
Methodology: The literature review reveals the fact that researchers tend to admit the positive impact of coaching on the individual performance. The current study uses interviews, questionnaires and case study to reveal the positive impact of coaching on the individual performance. Interviews and questionnaires were conducted among managers, employees, coaches, and experts. The case study involved the Standard Bank of South Africa, the bank operating in South Africa, which used coaching to improve the individual performance of its employees and to maintain its competitive position in the market through the improvement of the quality and effectiveness of work of its employees after coaching.
Findings and results: The study has revealed the fact that coaching can have a positive impact on the individual performance as well as on the organizational performance. However, the impact of coaching on the individual performance depends on numerous factors, including the qualification and competence of coaches, the organizational culture and situation within the organization, and interpersonal relationships within the organization. The dissertation suggests recommendations on the development of competences of coaches to reach positive outcomes of coaching and to maximize the positive impact of coaching on the individual performance.
Today, performance coaching plays an increasingly important role in the contemporary business environment. In the past, companies did not need to train their employees as much as they have to do today because the development of technologies was consistently slower in the past than it is now. Therefore, the development and introduction of new technologies and the fast pace of the business development forces companies to train their employees and to focus on coaching as one of the strategic directions in their business development. To put it more precisely, modern companies have to develop their coaching strategies and practices to train and prepare their employees to the work in the rapidly changing business environment and to the work with new technologies that are currently implemented en masse. At the same time, modern companies develop coaching because they believe coaching is an effective tool to improve the individual performance of each employee, whereas the individual improvement of the performance of each employee within a company naturally leads to the overall improvement of the organizational performance on the condition of the effective organization of the work of employees and their close cooperation and work to meet strategic goals of the organization. To put it in simple words, modern companies attempt to improve their organizational performance through the improvement of the individual performance of their employees, which they reach through the use of coaching.
1.2 Creating context for coaching
In fact, coaching has always accompanied the development of the human society. Coaching comprised an integral part of the human society because individuals comprising the society had and still have to learn from others different social models of behaviour, social norms and standards. At the same time, it is worth mentioning the core function of coaching which is the training of individuals and sharing knowledge available to the society between members of the society. To put it more precisely, coaching implies sharing of the knowledge and social experience between the coach and the individual, who is trained by the coach. At any rate, this is the simplified definition of the main function of coaching. Naturally, in the contemporary world and in the contemporary business environment the role of coaching has started to change, expanding to different fields of training. In actuality, coaching implies the training of individuals to make them come prepared to work in the contemporary business environment effectively. They have to learn extensive experience acquired by coaches and other professionals and to learn how to use this experience in their professional life. In this regard, the role of coaching can hardly be underestimated but still performs its core historical function, the function of sharing knowledge and experience within the society.
In actuality, specialists (Welbourne & Andrews, 1996)) lay emphasis on the fact that coaching is particularly important for societies where wide cultural gaps exist. In this respect, it is possible to refer to the experience of South Africa and South African companies, or to put it more precisely, companies operating in South Africa, where wide cultural gaps exist in the society between white and black population of the country. The historical separation of these two racial groups has widen the gap between them but, today, in the time of globalization and close economic integration of countries, companies operating in South Africa need to close the gap and to train their employees to work effectively and to cooperate together, regardless of their differences. In such a way, South African companies and companies operating in this country can improve their organizational performance through training and through the use of coaching as a tool to improve the individual performance of each employee.
1.3 Problem statement
In such a context, the major problem that will be discussed in the course of the study arises. As the matter of fact, the problem is that many companies are aware of potential benefits of coaching but they are not always aware of the potential pitfalls that accompany coaching. What is more important, being aware of benefits of coaching many companies still fail to implement coaching effectively and use it as a tool to improve the individual performance of employees. In other words, many companies fail to implement coaching properly that naturally undermines the overall effectiveness of coaching. At this point, it is worth mentioning the fact that many specialists (Neal & Tromley, 1995) warn that coaching is quite expensive tool that may need substantial financial resources but the feedback from coaching, the return from such investments depend on the extent to which coaching is effective. This is exactly where the problem of many companies arise, especially if they operate in the diverse environment such as the one of South Africa. In such environment, companies need to develop effective coaching strategies that can be applicable to all employees and to all units within the organization. Coaching should help employees to feel being a part of the organization and being a contributor to the overall success of the organization. At the same time, coaching should motivate employees to learn and to get training. Moreover, employees should be willing and able to apply their knowledge and skills they have acquired in the course of training in their regular, routine work. In such a situation, poor or ineffective coaching can have no positive effect on the individual performance, whereas the effective coaching can maximize the effectiveness of the individual performance of employees even if organizations do not use other motivators, such as financial motivators, but coaching.