1.0 IntroductionCoaching has a proven impact in the current dynamic world of business. Add coaching to a training program and people will learn more; six times more than other cases. Add coaching to an initiative and people will concentrate more on the initiative (Chidiac 2006). Researchers term it as the midwife for change; as it anticipates change, knows when it arrives and prepares for it. Coaching is defined as a goal-focused, practical form of personal one-to-one learning process for both organizational authorities (top management) and other employees. The aim of the process is to improve performance, to develop or improve executive behavior, enhance career and prevent derailment.
Coaching is a comprehensive process comprising of five main steps that need to be incorporated in order to effectively achieve the goals of the process; establishing relationships, assessment, development planning and goal setting, implementation and training. There are two main types of coaching approaches used across organizations. The first one is the external coaching and involves hiring external coaches to drive the process. To many, it seems logic as internal people may be too busy to contemplate taking extra time to carry other activities besides their normal tasks.
In addition, coaching is perceived as a long learning process that would require a lot of time to study and master therefore discourages many people form venturing into it. Nevertheless, there are many challenges and serious limitations in hiring external coaches. According to research nearly 100% of the large companies utilize external coaches. However, it has been noted that only 1% of these companies have access to formal, highly qualified and competent coaches. In addition, the cost of hiring external coaches is prohibitive in comparison to internal coaching.
Schlosser et al (2006) maintains that training an internal coach is worthwhile as he would in turn train other employees in the organization at very low wages or even none as compared to external coaches who train individual employees in the organization at high costs. Therefore, the cost of internal coaching can be brought to the realm of existing training and development budgets. Another limitation to usage of external coaches is the complexity in logistics in terms of managing the wide-scale initiative.
The process of hiring coaches is similar to the process of staffing. The process basically contains many details especially with regard to scheduling, managing contracts, reporting and payment. Outsourcing for coaches is indeed a risky proposition. This is because the whole process of coaching is eternalized, the coaches do not spend considerable time in the organization thus might not understand the organization’s landscape and do not consider the company’s interests at heart. The second form of coaching is internal coaching. Although not widely used, it has been considered superlative over external coaching.
Frisch (2005) asserts that empowering managers and leaders with coaching skills and making them deliver them to employees through formal coaching, is the most effective way of ensuring development of the organization. Even if this is done a few hours a week it produces broad systemic impacts across the organization. Generally, there are many benefits of teaching leaders to coach employees rather than transferring the coaching process to outsiders. Organizations that have come to the lime light are now incorporating coaching into their training and development strategies.