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Coaching and mentoring are functions in the human resource that deals with improving an individual, a team and the general organization. Executive coaching and mentoring involves the strategic level of an organization’s management going through a self-improving process to impact themselves, their teams and organizations. The chief executive officer is expected to set a pace in the organization for his junior employees and other managers. According to CIMA (2002), organizations can easily incorporate coaching and mentoring programs in their organizations or hire professional coaches to mentor their executives. This can also be the case at Skoda Auto Company. Other than aspects directly affecting the organization, other elements of the Executives’ lives are looked at. These include their life relationships, purpose and vision, faith and fortitude and career development. Personal life also has influence on how individuals carry on their tasks at work.
A mentor and coach need to create an environment that allows for open discussions with the mentee. This develops trusts and gives way for committed participation. The mentee’s individuality should be respected and follow up activities employed after listening and interaction sessions. Feedback or response should be based on constructive reasons and should be appropriate. As a trainer for CEOs, influencing them to become mentors and coaches is part of the training procedures. There is need for the CEO of Skoda Auto company to mentor and coach his junior staff. This paper provides a report that justifies introduction of a coaching and training program at Skoda as its Chief executive officer demands (Cook et al, 2004).
(I)Organization resources, procedures and parties involved
The mentoring and coaching procedures will require that some resources are used from within the organization. The main resources that will be required from the organization include time and human resource. Mentoring identifies potential and cultivates it to achieve objectives set by a learner. The learner will therefore dedicate time and personal commitment in order to be absorbed in the process. This makes the learner aware of themselves and activities around them. Coaching will also require time by the organization, however, shorter than mentoring. The leaner sets goals but leaves to a coach setting of sub-goals and skills. In this case, the management should be ready to receive feedback that the coach gives through observation. CEO will be therefore required to apportion his time for other office duties and at the same time observe how his leaners are faring on (Minter and Thomas, 2000).
The process will include setting of objectives and expected outcome from the process. Objectives can be promoting the mentoring and coaching practices to be an essential part of Skoda Auto Company in building the ability of staff and develop teaching and learning within the organization. These objectives are not only set by the chief executive officer, but will also involve other management level staff. Coaching and mentoring is meant to help managers or executives build teams among other objectives. This effort will therefore involve the executives and their staff at all levels in order to form that team.
The program will be relevant to the general organization but can also be of special assistance to specific people within the organization. One of them is those people among Skoda Auto company staff who need to advance their skills and abilities. Coaching improves individual performance and develops some skills which individuals did not have before. This is achieved through a planned procedure involving personal discussions and targets the learners’ objectives over a short period of time. Mentoring or coaching is suitable for employees who come back to work after taking break from work. It enables the employees catch up with any changes that occurred in the organization in their absence. The program will not only help junior staff, but the coach or mentor too who is the company’s CEO especially where both parties are working through challenging matters. The aspect of performance improvement in coaching and mentoring can be illustrated as shown below:
Application of the program
The program will also entail various procedures for it to work. The first procedure includes creating a mentality of coaching and mentoring among the team. Before implementing the program, the team needs to be mentally prepared for the coaching and mentoring procedures. It will also work if a larger percentage of the team accepts it. Some individuals are likely to misinterpret the system and look at it as a way to compromise the management instead of a technique that improves people’s potential. Communication to the team need to be emphasized by providing adequate information on time when the programs will be used, what it will and will not solve and a flexible scheduled that will be easily reviewed.
A mentoring procedure can then be set up considering aspects of the mentoring and coaching procedures and how it is connected to organization strategies and purpose. Skoda Auto Company CEO needs to be compatible with the leaners (staff) in order to avoid issues such as misunderstanding on the basis of character conflicts. Since the staff will be involved, there has to be a schedule for participation so as all employees are not mentored at the same time and normal work routine is left undone. Another aspect that will need clarity is persons who will carry out the tasks of employees at the time when they are being mentored and coached.
Finally, there is need for a mentoring and coaching brief after all parties agree on setting up a mentoring program and commencing it. The stakeholders of the company, especially management need to agree on what areas do they find it relevant for mentoring and coaching. Objectives then need to be drawn afterwards and expected outcomes should be realistic. A feedback procedure should be provided to communicate outcome of the coaching and mentoring program so as to measure whether objectives and goals have been attained (Megginson, and Clutterbuck, 2005).
Aspects to be considered while coming up with the mentoring and coaching program include the current working situations of specific learners, their view of themselves while carrying out specific roles and their goals in that role. The current work of mentor or coach is also supposed to be considered and the person responsible for running the mentoring and coaching program. Another element of consideration is relationship existing between the two parties, mentor and leaners and aspects of accountability. Since mentoring and coaching involves a team, the interests of the team should be noted in terms of its dynamics, any possible changes and relationships within the team. The general organization should also be remembered since the whole purpose of the program is to improve performance and skills in the organization. They should establish compatibility of organizational structure, culture, stakeholders and coaching and mentoring program goals.
This model involves discussion structure for those leaners who are experienced and is less directive. The first stage involves establishment of goals by the coach/mentor and leaner so as to know what they want to accomplish. The mentor and coach together with trainer should set aside almost half of the meeting for reality stage. The coach needs to apply appropriate listening skills and for questioning too so as to state and illustrate matters that are to be addressed. After identifying matters to be addressed, the next questions asked by the coach will aim at helping the leaner identify any possible options. Wrap up stage involves establishing actions, also referred to as the confirmation stage for ability and spirit to act. The parties in this case agree on activities that the leaner will be involved in during the time which they have not met.
An example of a coaching program standard targets and evaluation can be illustrated as below:
|James Weiss||Coaching program|
|Objective/Goal||To work as an incorporated team player|
|Evaluation||Standard targets met amount to 80%. Observed very good progress in sharing workload and undertaking responsibility. A number of good ideas were put forward. Although there is communication of ideas within the team, it is not as effective as possible.|
|Further recommendation||It will be appropriate to take charge of the project of a team which will demand ongoing sessions of briefing with the team so as to attain success in the project.|
(II)Costs and benefits of coaching and mentoring program
The coaching and mentoring program will provide a basis for improving leadership skills, performance and relationships at individual basis, among team members and in the general organization. Mentoring and coaching links the organization to a good form of management. It will equip Skoda Auto’s managers with good skills and willingness to listen to both employees and other stakeholders. It will also improve the way management thinks by making them lateral thinkers, which is appropriate for problem solving. Enthusiasm and creation of time are among the management qualities that coaching and mentoring instills in managers to increase their involvement in experiences brought about by new work. The management and administrative school of thought encourage managers to be mentors and coaches of their staff so as to motivate them to participate in a common process of leaning. However, managers should learn to balance between active coaching and their personal agendas so as to avoid possible conflict (Ehrich and Hansford, 1999).
Mentoring provides safety in the organization. First, the CEO finds some one he can confide in as his mentor. Employees will also be safe confiding with their CEO their fears, personal frustrations and doubts through sharing. The program will enable employees view the senior as a friend without being worried about their working relationships, job security and career. In case of a professional mentor to train the CEO, the executive will not be worried about his own image or that of the organization as a result of sharing his personal fears and those at work. The free interactions improve self- awareness of individuals within the mentoring and coaching team and people are also able to interact with others whose personalities are different from theirs.
The program will ensure that an environment is created where discussions are openly carried out and support offered for mentees. Mentoring is not an issue of giving advice and walking away, but developing a strong and lasting professional relationship with an organization. Mentoring improves communication at all organization levels including vertical and horizontal communication. This in turn boosts the commitment of teams and individuals towards the organization and their participation in attaining organizational goals and profitability. Participants will develop more interest to acquire knowledge and skills that will result to increased productivity in the organization through quality delivery of services. Since the program opens up opportunities for the employees, they will be positive at work knowing that the organization and management understand their interests. Positive working translates to organization productivity (Thomas and Saslow, 2007).
Self-awareness through the mentoring and coaching program will give workers and the CEO of Skoda Auto Company confidence to handle challenges. This also includes people who are loud and exasperating. It will enable them to believe in themselves and their capabilities which translate to appropriate behaviors and attitudes, within and out of the organization. This in turn saves time for conflict resolution and ethical briefings thus more time in the organization will be dedicated to production. When personal performance is improved, it reflects in the general performance of the organization. The problem of employee resigning will be reduced and more will be retained due to a favorable work space that is a positive organizational culture (Brandham, 2005).
There are also costs that the company is likely to incur as a result of implementing the coaching and mentoring program. One of them is damaging management and leadership styles of the respective manager who is to mentor their employees. A good management style is susceptible to damage if not separated from management. According to Spencer-Arnell (2005), a distinction is preferably necessary so as to separate the mentoring or coaching responsibilities from management responsibilities. For instance, in case of a team, the manager might fail to divide his time among all members in the team and end up coaching or mentoring one member more than others. This is likely to compromise his qualities as a good manager.
Hiring an external coach will involve a number of costs in terms of fees that they are paid to train, coach and mentor. Either external or internal, coaching charges are incurred by the organization. If the organization opted for internal mentor and coach, it will also incur training costs and continuous fixed costs. Because of the costs on fee, the organization expenses are therefore increased than normal expenses before implementation of the coaching and mentoring scheme. Accounts and finances will have to be adjusted to accommodate the changes. The aspect of time is also an issue in this case since most time is lost that is chargeable due to coaching and mentoring of individuals. A longer time is also used in application of coaching as a learning technique which is a double way process.
The company should consider incorporating a coaching and mentoring program in its organizational structure. This is to help the CEO and other company employees to improve their skills and create self-awareness s other than building a spirit of the team among them. Although there are also costs involved in the program, the benefits of having a coaching and mentoring program outweigh its costs. Therefore benefits accrued will be more than costs incurred and that will translate into a profitability of the business.
(III) Organization culture and knowledge management system of couching and mentoring
Coaching and mentoring program is likely to cause changes in the organization culture of Skoda Auto Company. The company initially did not have mentoring and coaching functions among the responsibilities of a Chief Executive Officer. This culture will be changed in case the scheme is introduced in the organization. The CEO will have to perform his managerial duties and also act as a mentor and a coach to his junior staff. Communication culture will also be changed. Mentoring and coaching program aims at encouraging communication among team members and with the coach or mentor. Communication culture is therefore enhanced and people are able to interact with each other. Communication between team members and the manager will also be enhanced at professional and personal level as the members will feel safe sharing their fears, doubts and frustrations with the CEO without fear of losing their jobs or affecting the professionalism that existed before (McManus, 2006).
Another organizational culture that is likely to be incorporated in Skoda Auto Company is interaction culture in teams at professional and personal levels. This is then provided by the mentoring and coaching program by encouraging interactions within teams and with their leaders. Interaction enables sharing of information.
The knowledge management system is well handled in case a mentoring and coaching program is incorporated within the organizational system. Introduction of a system to transfer and reuse knowledge is important in cutting organizational costs. Work redundancy and uncertainty will also be avoided by the company. Companies require knowledge systems that will provide their staff with valid and approved knowledge especially in cases where the matters being faced by employees is new and less familiar to them. Implementation of such knowledge systems require presence of mentors and people that staff and management can trust. A mentoring and coaching program provides such expertise to solve knowledge management problems especially were the mentor is an externally hired professional. An internal mentor with mentoring skills and knowledge will be appropriate to help in managing the knowledge problem (Howard et al, 2005).
(IV) Benchmarks for success of coaching and mentoring scheme
A feedback mechanism will be provided to ensure that results are measured to determine if success has been attained through coaching and mentoring. Questionnaires will be formulated which will be presented to staff and clients of Skoda Auto company so as to determine whether the mentoring and coaching program has had any impact on the CEO and the staff themselves. Other than administering questionnaires to get feedback from the stakeholders, open discussions and interviews can also be conducted with the individuals to get their response of the current condition in the company in terms of service delivery and management participation. A positive response will reflect improvement in business performance and will therefore be encouraged. However, negative responses might communicate failures at some points which will be identified and corrective measures taken.
The success of coaching and mentoring program can also be measured through returns on investment (ROI) technique. Jones (2007) states that measuring the success of the program involves measurement of value by linking coaching and mentoring to business goals that are meant to be attained. Value in this case involves value attainment and senior management expectations. In other words, success of the program is measurable with CEO expectations of the outcome. The expectations are then compared to coaching and mentoring program outcome. If met, then it is encouraged. If expectations are not met, then there is need to determine factors that led to unattainability such as unrealistic expectations or failure of the system to deliver.
Increased return on investment is a decisive element measuring success of the mentoring and coaching program. Partnership coaching is another indicator of success in the coaching and mentoring program. According to CIPD website (2008), practicing coaching in partnerships indicate that the company has closed the gap between its business values and mentoring and coaching practices. It is also indicators of success in inter business communication and communication with leaders which is a component of the mentoring and coaching program.
The success of mentoring and coaching program can also be reflected in the ability of the chief executive officer. If the program is successful, it will be indicated by a value-added ability of the CEO to mentor, coach and develop other staff of Skoda Auto Company. If more than sixty five percent of the team participants indicate that the CEO has a notable impact on their potentials, those will be considered as success occasioned by the mentoring and coaching program (Jones, 2007).
Coaching and mentoring procedures mean more than just getting into the organization, offering advice and leaving or going on with other work routine. It involves developing a relationship with the people being mentored or coached. Organization resources such as the human resource and time are utilized so as achieve the objectives of the program. However, company’s business routine need to continue as usual and therefore reallocation of resources and adjustments need to be done by the human resource and finance or accounts department. In the case of Skoda Company, it has been established that implementation of the program will be appropriate since benefits derived are far much more than costs incurred. This proves the viability of the program. Mentoring and coaching is also responsible for transforming an organizational culture and help improve knowledge management in the organization. In addition, there is need for procedures necessary for measuring the success of a mentoring and coaching program.
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CIPD: The HR and development website. (2008). Provides advice, guidance and tools on coaching and mentoring: home page; learning and development section; coaching and mentoring. Retrieved from: www.cipd.co.uk