The paper “ Employee Development through Coaching, Counseling, and Mentoring” is a perfect variant of literature review on human resources. The topic for week 5 was about coaching, counseling and mentoring. The topic started off with a self-assessment exercise that enabled me to understand my level of knowledge towards working and developing subordinates. The topic also commenced by underscoring the fact that coaching, counseling and mentoring subordinates are essential skills that every manager needs to possess, and frankly, I had no prior knowledge of such requirements before embarking on the learning event.
From the subject topic, I now understand the differences between coaching, counseling and mentoring. Most importantly, however, I know when to use each of the three approaches for purposes of improving the performance of the people that I may need to work within the future. The learning event, which was characterized by understanding how and when to use coaching, mentoring and counseling, was an eye-opener for me because from the exercise I learned that managerial roles have responsibilities that one needs to prepare well for. Apart from the requirement to deliver on organizational objectives, this learning exercise revealed that a manager needs to understand, identify with and support people working under him for purposes of creating a work environment in which every person gets the impression that their efforts are recognized and appreciated. Analyzing the concepts of coaching, counseling and mentoring now, I realize that being a manager is a challenging task that requires one to be tough and amiable at the same time – an oxymoron of some sort.
As indicated by the Success Institute (2012, para. 2), a manager needs to champion the cause of his/her team, be “ a shoulder to cry on, and even someone who disciplines the team when needed” .
Yet, and as indicated by Minter and Thomas (2000), the overriding responsibility of the manager is to enable employees to maximally contribute to their work. Through mentoring, managers are able to groom capable employees for bigger roles in the company. Coaching, on the other hand, is intended to positively affect performance by enhancing learning. But counseling is meant to affect behavior where it is apparent that an employee’ s behavior is affecting his work-related output, causing discomfort to other employees, and affecting the output of team members.
Of the three approaches, counseling appeared to be the most challenging, and this was further confirmed by Stone (1999), who observes that counseling is meant to address the needs of problem performers. Since counseling requires a manager to go to the root cause of the problematic behavior, it is more challenging than both coaching and mentoring. However, in line with the knowledge gained from the course readings, Stone (1999) observes that managers who neglect counseling problematic employees often have to spend approximately 50 percent of the time they would have otherwise used attending other functions, to deal with the consequences of problematic behavior. The importance of employees to any contemporary organization seems to inform the needs to counsel, coach and mentor staff as indicated in the learning activity.
By the end of week five, I got the impression that the concepts of motivational theory where monetary payoffs are not just enough to keep contemporary workers happy were closely related to the learning activity.
Specifically, I understood that employees are assets to a company, and they need to be appreciated, recognized, challenged, empowered, and adequately rewarded. Counseling, coaching and mentoring such employees are viable ways through which employers can help employees better themselves.