When to Coach? When to Mentor? Choose Wisely to Improve Employee Performance.
Smart employers know they can up their employee productivity and retain more talent if they invest in developing their workforce. We think coaching and mentoring are great options to help meet these goals. But which option should you choose, and when?
It may surprise you to know that many employers don’t realize that coaching and mentoring are not synonymous. Even though many times the terms are used interchangeably in everyday conversation, they are actually two different ways to develop your workforce.
According to a great article posted by Training Daily Advisor, coaching involves giving your employees knowledge and specific feedback in order for them to improve and develop their job performance within their current roles. Mentoring takes on guiding an employee through career development, focusing more on where they grow within the organization. Mentoring may include some coaching elements, but on the whole it is focused on developing opportunities for growth for your talent within the company, instead of teaching tasks or job functions.
“When it comes to your leadership role within your team, knowing whether you need to act as a coach or mentor is important,” says Tina Hamilton, PHR. “Coaches assist in the learning process in order to improve employee job performance. This type of relationship is usually limited in time and tends to be more hands-on. Mentoring is about helping employees develop personally or professionally, and are long-term relationships that tend to focus more on guidance than specific skill sets.”
You should assess the overall needs of your team and organization first, then fit either coaching and/or mentoring into your training program so that your efforts work to improve employee performance, productivity, morale and retention, Hamilton notes. Nurturing workers in this way also lets managers better learn what kinds of talent you already have on staff, which will help you focus your future hiring efforts better as well. “Another great thing is that, because you put effort into coaching or mentoring them, your employees will feel valued by and more loyal to your organization. The benefits of building this kind of strong workforce are broad and long-lasting.”
Do strong work teams really make a difference?
Absolutely, and it all starts from the top—that’s means you! In a recent study published in the journal Human Relations, it was reported that effective teamwork among an organization’s top management makes for a workforce that is happier and more productive. Since retaining and motivating talented employees is of key interest to most organizations, the research findings are eye-opening when understood on an executive level.
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“By using this the Building Your Best Team Ever ebook series you can improve employee motivation, performance and satisfaction, and that can really improve your bottom line without making a single new hire,” says Hamilton. “We set out to provide business owners and executives with a tool that uses modern HR practices to elevate the level of performance of their existing workforces, and this ebook does exactly that.”
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