The Forgotten Partner of Training: Coaching
“Does your organization provide training to its employees?” The usual astounding reply will be, “Yes, it does.” Pose the question, “Do the employees receive coaching?” and replies will vary.
It is not surprising to note that organizations tend to overlook the need for coaching, as compared to training. In many instances, managers are confident training is the solution to all shortcomings experienced within the department.
The above assumption is not completely true. Managers fail to realize there are 2 questions in the mind of every employee returning from any training workshop:
1. What Next?
The first question addresses the transfer of learning from the training room to the work environment. The participants have acquired new or updated knowledge and skills. What next? How can the knowledge and skills be applied to the specific job functions/objectives of the department?
How are employees expected to put the knowledge and skills into practice?
The second question, “Why?” addresses the need for coaching. How can a manager or supervisor reinforce the knowledge and skills so that it will be “internalized” in each and every employee? Why should employees adopt and practice what they have learnt? And most importantly, why will it work?
It is time organizations realize that it is inadequate for employees to simply understand the learning outcomes of any training workshop. Employees must apply the knowledge well, and constantly. Organizations have to start realizing that coaching is an essential element in the training process.