A number of successful organizations have relied on coaches and mentors in order to develop both current and future leaders and facilitate the realization of organizational goals.
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Given such importance of coaching and mentoring, professionals in the field have urged CEOs to incorporate coaching and mentoring programs in their leadership styles and develop positive influences within their organizations.
This report justifies to the CEO of Skoda Auto why it is necessary to introduce coaching and mentoring programs in the organization.
Coaching and mentoring: contents and participants
Mentoring relates primarily to the “identification and nurturing of an individual’s potential through guidance, instruction, encouragement, and correction” (Megginson and Clutterbuck, 2005). The process may involve a long-term relationship, but the mentee controls goals and processes of the mentoring program.
A mentor or coach assists the mentee in developing an insight and comprehending the process through natural observation. This process allows mentees to develop awareness of their experiences as responses come from them.
On the other hand, coaching refers mainly to “performance improvement usually on a short-term basis in specific skill areas” (Megginson and Clutterbuck, 2005). It is the responsibility of the coach to set the goals or short-term aims of the program.
The coach controls the program, whereas the learner or the protégé owns the goals. The coach also provides feedback to the learner based on his direct observation.
The course content shall capture fundamental aspects of coaching and mentoring with aim of understanding the importance of the program in an organization.
- Defining key terms of coaching and mentoring, which include mentor, mentoring, protégé, and coaching
- Learners must also understand what coaching and mentoring are not. Coaching cannot succeed unless there are clear goals with measurable terms. Moreover, it needs support from senior managers, and the protégé and the coach must have full commitment to the program.
- Mentoring can enhance commitment of the team to Skoda, its strategic objectives, facilitate communication, improve organizational culture and practices, provide opportunities for the team to gain insights on how the firm runs and promote success and networking within the organization.
- Coaching will enable the team to gain skills, knowledge, and personal growth. It will also provide individual-centered learning, improve attitude, and allow protégés to choose their areas of interests.
- The content shall also cover the rationale for coaching and mentoring employees of Skoda, benefits of the program and identification of employees who can participate in the program
- The program will also evaluate qualities of a good coach and mentor by identifying eligibility, qualifications, characteristics and matching employees with the program
- Coaching and mentoring will establish a productive relationship with the aim of developing elements for starting and sustaining the program at Skoda Auto. Therefore, it will focus on the role of Skoda administrators, how to establish successful program, assess the needs of employees, ethical guidelines and confidentiality in the relationship of the coach and protégé.
- The program shall explore pertinent areas that employees need to know in order to understand culture, practices, and norms of Skoda Auto, evaluate core knowledge required for a successful program, organize the team professional and personal lives, develop, and sustain organizational relationship in the industry.
- The content shall also explore methods of coaching and mentoring with aim of strengthening relationships. The CEO must support employees through sharing of experiences, facilitating and developing communication skills, encouraging shared decision-making, record keeping, reflective practices, and reducing risks in coaching and mentoring.
- Improve coaching and mentoring practices by highlighting differences between observation and evaluation, collect data for constructive feedback, encourage role modeling and continuous need assessment of the team.
- The program shall provide problem-solving strategies to allow the protégé to identify and resolve problems within the company. It will also highlight how to work with reluctant experts, provide real life examples, bring the program to successful end, and engage in continuous support after the end of the program.
- Finally, it covers mentoring and coaching scheme completion in which the CEO evaluates the success of coaching and mentoring scheme. The review involves lesson learned, integration approaches, and program evaluation and sustainability strategies
The CEO must recognize that skills required in coaching and mentoring may overlap and at times the same. Therefore, he may use different methods to coach and mentor employees at Skoda Auto. The CEO as a coach may rely on direct feedback, whereas he may use observations and questions as a mentor.
During coaching, the CEO must work with employees on specific areas such as marketing, sales, leadership, and management. These areas require specific objectives and approaches during coaching.
The CEO must note that coaching and mentoring are “open processes, which many occur without the involvement of line managers and other departments” (Thomas and Saslow, 2007).
In this regard, the coach mentor assists the protégé to achieve the best skills and knowledge for the organization by bringing new skills to specific areas of focus. The protégé controls the learning process.
Instead, the coach develops the protégé’s skills and knowledge by asking the right questions to enhance decision-making and self-awareness. The goal of the program changes as the protégé acquires new skills and knowledge. The program must meet all its set targets.
Participants for mentoring and coaching
- Top executives who did not achieve much from normal training
- Executives who need to acquire new skills in various areas like leadership styles, knowledge management, and other related areas
- Workers who wish to develop their careers
- Top executives who have noticed poor records of achievements
- New recruits in the firm
- Workers who wish to transfer to other divisions
- Workers who have been away from work for a long period
- Decision-making managers in critical success areas
- Workers who need new abilities and insights
- The firm’s coaches and mentors
Potential costs and benefits to the organization
Coaching and mentoring shall offer many advantages to Skoda Auto. Coaches and mentors who provide their services in efficient and productive ways offer opportunities for employees to acquire and grow new skills for the company and personal development.
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Skoda Auto can win employees’ loyalty through coaching and mentoring. When the CEO molds his juniors, they may develop a strong sense of connection and commitment to the company.
Coaching also encourages open communication between management teams and their juniors. Therefore, Skoda shall save costs on continuous recruitment of new employees.
Employees with minimal experiences can learn from their most experienced counterparts. This facilitates employees’ abilities to grow professionally. Therefore, Skoda can improve efficiency among its employees. Still, coaching and mentoring enhance career growth of individuals.
For instance, coaching provides employees with opportunities of solving their own issues. Such skills are useful in decision-making processes for the individual, as well as for the organization.
Coaching and mentoring have abilities to improve teamwork in Skoda because they provide opportunities for managers to identify strengths and weaknesses within the organization and among employees. As a result, the organization can assign duties to employees based on their abilities to collaborate effectively.
Coaching and mentoring also increase employees’ morale, career progression, and job satisfaction. Consequently, Skoda can derive benefits, which come from motivated employees such as increased outputs and high rates of retention.
Coaching and mentoring aim at improving performance within the organization. Employees can use their new skills to improve achievement of targets, productivity, and reduces cases of dissatisfaction.
Such programs account for talent management, diversity within the organization, and retention. Therefore, they can provide opportunities for the human resource department to arrange succession plans, employees’ placement, and policy implementation.
Knowledge and skills benefit
Coaching and mentoring widen skills, knowledge, and experiences of employees. In addition, they provide opportunities for employees to “acquire new skills and knowledge and support innovation” (ACCA, 2008).
Coaching and mentoring program shall aid the company to support a culture of openness and information sharing. They can also improve reorganization, support new roles, and develop favorable attitude towards change.
Coaching and mentoring help in identification of employees with leadership abilities. Therefore, Skoda can develop its success plan and manage any change process, which can disrupt the company.
Costs of coaching and mentoring
Skoda can incur substantial costs because a well implemented coaching and mentoring program requires many resources. Some of the costs may involve the following:
- Fees for external mentors and coaches
- Training costs for organizational mentors and coaches
- Lost valuable or chargeable time during coaching and mentoring programs
- Coaching and mentoring consume considerable amount of time
- Costs of training the trainer for the organization
Skoda can measure benefits of coaching and mentoring by analyzing their effects among employees. It should start by observing individual’s performance after coaching and mentoring programs. Alternatively, it may focus on a single department and note changes in areas of interests.
The organization can define success as “a return on their expectations, which would be to achieve their coaching objectives” (ACCA, 2008). Skoda can evaluate the effectiveness of the program by using the following procedures.
- The company must set goals, a timescale, and create tools of measurements. This requires inputs of managers and protégé.
- The learner must provide a reflection of lessons he or she has learned from the program through formal feedback. This should identify changes in management skills, behaviors, and performance.
- The mentor and coach can provide feedback in the learners based on pretest and posttest results. Observations from colleagues, team members, and line managers are also useful for evaluation purposes.
- The organization can measure key performance indicators (KPIs) of the learner after coaching and mentoring programs. At the same time, they can also observe rates of employee retention, growths in profits, and effects on customers.
According to past studies, many organizations have applied the above steps to evaluate effects of coaching and mentoring on employees. They recorded improved results among employees (Thomas and Saslow, 2007).
For instance, they noted improvements in staff relationships, management of change processes, employees’ problems, and strategic approaches to business.
However, the major challenge is in measuring individuals’ performance based on their KPIs. Both external and internal factors can affect coaching and mentoring. Therefore, it is difficult to account for positive effects of coaching and mentoring programs based on KPIs of individuals.
In 2006, Chartered Institute of Personnel Development conducted a study (Does coaching really work?) and noted the following:
- 96% of respondents thought internal and external coaching were highly effective
- Only 32% suggested that this conclusion could be based on KPI improvements, whereas the remaining respondents agreed their conclusions were subjective (Chartered Institute of Personnel Development, 2006).
On the other hand, some institutions have found out systematic methods of measuring benefits from coaching programs. For instance, in 2001, Manchester Consulting Inc. conducted a study among Fortune 1000 firms based on the return on investment (RIO) and noted that ROI was about 600 percent.
It compared “the benefits as measured by increased revenue, cost savings, and estimated financial gains from better relationships and improved KPIs” (Manchester Inc., 2003). The study also established the following:
Table 1: Benefits to companies that offered executive coaching
|Percentages in improvements|
|Reducing customer complains||34%|
|Retaining executives who received executive coaching||32%|
Source: Manchester Inc., 2003
Table 2: Improved benefits to executives who received coaching
|Working relationships with direct reports||77%|
|Working relationships with immediate supervisors||71%|
|Working relationships with peers||63%|
|Working relationships with clients||37%|
Source: Manchester Inc., 2003
Such figures provide precise ROI because of coaching. However, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) noted that some organizations believe that the benefits of coaching are “not capable of such precise measure” (ACCA, 2008).
Potential changes on organizational culture and knowledge management because of adopting mentoring and coaching program
Organizations derive their cultures from “beliefs, practices, and behaviors that form a part of their identity” (Peel, 2006). In any organization, the CEO and managers take responsibilities of managing employees. As a result, they shape cultures of their organizations as they work towards organizational objectives.
Therefore, the CEO of Skoda is in the best position of influencing organizational culture. However, transforming cultures in organizations require a team effort because a single individual cannot do it. Changing a culture of an organization can occur by winning the trust of employees. In this regard, coaching and mentoring can help the CEO to achieve cultural transformation in the organization.
Skoda has developed its culture from attitudes, beliefs, and assumptions. Organizational culture can define the success or failure of a firm. In some cases, cultures may be obvious or hidden. Moreover, a large firm like Skoda may have a complex culture that consists of a number of sub-cultures in different divisions. However, it is difficult to identify how an individual’s behavior may affect the culture of an organization.
Coaching and mentoring normally involve assessing, understanding, and changing the existing culture if there is a need. However, it is necessary to transform organizational culture over time so that the firm can realize its strategic business objectives.
The mentor or coach should design a plan for guiding a culture change in an organization. This plan should also contain the desired changes as it addresses possible barriers to culture change. Managers who take part in coaching and mentoring programs can also facilitate culture change within the organization.
This method is suitable for large firms. It is fundamental for the mentor or coach to a plan culture change for the CEO and senior managers so that employees can follow their examples.
At the same time, coaching and mentoring programs should link organizational culture with the strategy. This suggests that organizational culture affects strategic objectives of the firm, and it is important for the program to account for business objectives.
Denison observed that some elements of organizational culture like mission, involvement, consistency, and adaptability affect a firm’s “return on investments, return on assets, sales growth, customer satisfaction, and other outcomes” (Denison, 1990).
A study by Barham and Conway shows that issues, which coaching and mentoring should focus on originate from a culture of a company (Barham and Conway, 1998).
In addition, Hay notes that the way in which an organization treats its people and its strategies and structures are all a part of organizational culture (Hay, 1999). Therefore, Caplan pointed out that coaching and mentoring programs can only succeed if they align with the current organizational culture (Caplan, 2003).
An organization can achieve a culture change through coaching and monitoring by focusing on the following:
- Promoting employees’ commitment and involvement
- Helping the CEO to set strategic vision for the company
- Focus on profitability, teamwork, and operation efficiency
Executive coaching has a crucial role in transforming organizational culture. Therefore, mentors and coaches must ensure that programs address organizational culture adequately for effective development of group dynamic, leadership and management styles.
Organizations have noted that creating, sharing, and retaining knowledge can create competitive advantage. In this regard, managing knowledge has become a way of employee development due to sharing of proficiency and ideas, involving best practices, and developing mutual relationships.
Best work practices usually engage and inspire employees, especially when they come from experienced managers and CEOs.
Coaching and mentoring gained recognition across many firms as effective methods of transferring knowledge from experienced employees to others who need such knowledge.
Through matching new or inexperienced employees with the “most experienced senior executives, an organization can effectively pass the intangible and tacit knowledge among its employees” (Denison, 1990).
Knowledge management during coaching and mentoring processes allow employees to acquire new knowledge through formal processes.
In addition, the protégé can create a bond with his or her coach or mentor. Knowledge management can be effective for firms, which have high rates of staff turnover, high numbers of employees who are approaching retirement age, or where an organization has a poor training and learning habits.
Through managing knowledge, CEOs and senior managers who have experiences can share their knowledge with the rest of the team. At the same time, interactions between coaches and mentors with the protégés increase socialization within the group.
Junior employees shall understand the importance of corporate vision, values, beliefs, and improve their chances of networking both within and outside the organization. This suggests that Skoda should consider investing in the CEO’s coaching and mentoring as a valuable investment for the company.
Knowledge management also facilitates open communication within the firm i.e., employees freely share their knowledge and skills with others, including employees from other departments. Coaching and mentoring must address issues of competition among employees by encouraging a culture of creating, sharing, and retaining knowledge within the organization.
Coaching and mentoring have abilities to facilitate such seismic changes. Therefore, if the CEO is also a mentor and coach, then he or she has favorable opportunities of transferring knowledge to other employees. Coaching and mentoring are ways of advancing skills and knowledge to people who need them.
Moreover, the CEO also creates an opportunity of grooming potential replacements and successors for the organization. The CEO, as a coach and mentors, has opportunities of expanding the skill pool for the organization.
In addition, he or she must also endeavor to have many talented individuals for the company. In short, the CEO has the responsibility of ensuring that an organization has the right people for its future growth.
Benchmarks to judge the success of a coaching and mentoring scheme
Once Skoda Auto has decided to introduce coaching and mentoring scheme, the mentor or coach and the learner must set certain goals.
- Identify specific areas for mentoring and coaching
- Define overall goals and objectives of the scheme
- Create achievable and realistic outcomes
- Create a plan for getting the preferred results
- Develop a suitable coaching or mentoring scheme for the program
- Create a favorable timetable
- Devise a method of evaluation and assessment of the progress
- Develop a feedback mechanism
The coach or mentor and the protégé must agree on a feedback mechanism before the beginning of coaching or mentoring process. A feedback system provides opportunities for the coach or mentor to provide a true account of the success or failure of the program.
It is necessary for the mentor or coach to seek for feedback as scheduled so that they can address any emerging issues before such issues derail the program. It is also necessary for the mentor and protégé to “agree on evaluation processes and standards for the program” (Thomas and Saslow, 2007).
This implies that the program must have “clear objectives, standard, assessment, and evaluation systems to allow for effective review of the protégé’s progress” (Thomas and Saslow, 2007).
Table 3: Coaching program with targets and assessment
|Jones Willis||Coaching program|
|Objective||To promote teamwork|
|Standard targets|| |
|Assessment||Informal review after every month for the next four months|
|Evaluation||Within four months|
The mentor or coach shall collect feedback data by informal interactions with the protégé. The mentor or coach records the outcomes in a report together with recommendations for the next course of action.
Before or after the end of mentoring or coaching program, the protégé and mentor or coach should “check the progress against the set objectives and criteria” (Megginson and Clutterbuck, 2005). The process involves making of a short report.
The protégé and the coach or mentor must review their achievements against the objectives, provide overall account of the program, and provide recommendations for further action if required.
Table 4: Coaching program evaluation outcomes
|Jones Willis||Coaching program|
|Objective||To promote teamwork|
|Standard targets|| |
Provide assistance to colleagues without requests from the team members
|Further recommendation||Must be in a charge of proposing new marketing campaign ideas and leading the team and project for effective evaluation of the progress|
Both the mentor or coach and the protégé must be aware of possible barriers to effective coaching and mentoring. Some of the barriers include the following:
- Challenges from organizational culture whereby the culture of the organization does not support coaching and mentoring program
- Inappropriate matching of the mentor or coach with the employee
- Failure of the CEO and line managers to support the initiatives
- Lack of collaboration and support from colleagues who have missed an opportunity to take part in the mentoring and coaching program
- Lack of clear objectives
- Unrealistic expectations about the possible outcomes from the program
- Conflicts between the line manager or other departments and the mentor or coach e.g., failure to involve the HR department in the process of selection
Studies have shown that both coaching and mentoring programs could provide significant benefits to an organization. As a result, the role of ‘the CEO as a coach and mentor’ as gained popularity in many organizations.
This provides adequate grounds for a subsequent adoption of the program by the CEO of Skoda Auto because it is necessary for managers to possess various skills and knowledge and transfer them to other employees.
The approach to coaching and mentoring can be either short-term or long-term program based on the availability of time.
However, it is necessary to monitor the effectiveness of coaching and mentoring program, but there is a need to understand the relationship among the learner, managers, HR, and the coach or mentor.
For instance, employees may select their own coaches and mentors without consulting with the HR or other departments. This has led to conflicts in the program.
Effective mentoring and coaching must have clear objectives, goals, milestones, outcomes, evaluation, and feedback procedures. Every detail must be clear before the start of the program. The aim of the program is to improve employees’ performance.
Therefore, it is simple to measure ROI if there are clear guidelines. Skoda Auto must implement practical steps in order to improve coaching and mentoring programs.
Besides, past studies have indicated that coaching programs have the potential to increase RIO of an organization. However, some firms believe that it is difficult to provide precise measure for such benefits.
The company must understand the ultimate role of mentoring and coaching as methods of improving performance rather than as substitutes for conventional studies.
The roles of the CEO and other senior managers are critical for the success of the program because of their influences on organizational culture and knowledge transfer.
Such involvement and support show other employees that senior executives also believe in the culture of mentoring and coaching as strategy with benefits to the firm. However, the firm must anticipate any barriers to effective implementation of the program.
ACCA, 2008 The coaching and mentoring revolution – is it working? ACCA, London.
Barham, K, and Conway, C 1998, Developing Business and People Internationally: A Mentoring Approach, Ashridge Research, Berkhampstead.
Caplan, J 2003, Coaching for the Future, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, London.
Chartered Institute of Personnel Development. (2006). Does Coaching Really Work? CIPD, London.
Denison, R 1990, Corporate culture and organizational effectiveness, John Wiley, New York.
Hay, J 1999, Transformational Mentoring: Creating Developmental Alliances for Changing Organizational Cultures, Sherwood Publishing, Watford.
Manchester Inc. 2003, Executives Coaching Yields Return on Investment of Almost Six times Its Cost, Says Study. Web.
Megginson, D and Clutterbuck, D 2005, Techniques for coaching and mentoring, Elsevier Butterworth Heinemann, London.
Peel, D 2006, ‘An Analysis of the Impact of SME Organisational Culture,’ International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 9-20.
Thomas, N and Saslow, S 2007, ‘Improving productivity through coaching and mentoring’, Chief Learning Officer, vol. 6, no. 5, pp. 22-26.