Pages

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Difference Between Coaching and Counseling Employees

Managers are part administrators and part cheerleaders. Without strong employees the manager is unlikely going to make much of a dent in the performance of his or her department. The very nature of management requires the coaching and counseling of employees. 

Coaching and counseling seems the same but are very different in how they function. Coaching is the act of giving advice in much the same way as counseling except with a difference; coaching is more specific. It requires a focus on something narrow and teaches how to improve that function.

Coaching uses a person with higher levels of skill to show the employee how to improve their performance. The coach may provide direction, training, or advice to improve performance. The employee gains more skill and the department functions better with the use of that new skill.

Counseling is a different kind of interaction with employees. Someone who is engaged in counseling helps employees work through options but doesn't necessarily make the decision for them. The employee is the center and the manager acts as Socrates who helps the employee fully understand the options and then narrow them down to those that are beneficial.

The two have different benefits and detractors on a department. Employees in a coaching situation might be better at a specific tasks but not understand the greater purpose of that task. The employee in the counseling situation may come to greater awareness but this doesn't necessarily have an immediate impact on the department through better performance.

New skills obtained through coaching are specific enough to easily measure and performance is often be expressed in a metric. The benefits derived from greater awareness through counseling are difficult to measure but have a long-term benefit for the employee and company.

The decision a manager makes to coach or counsel does have an impact. If a particular aspect of a job is in need of improvement then coach. If the relationship between the employee and the company will be a long one then counsel. Hourly employees fit a little better with coaching while professionals are a little better at counseling.

No comments:

Post a Comment