Coaching Employees To Be Their Best
Employers seek coaches to motivate workers
The Business Journal of Milwaukee - January 13, 2006
by Beth Earnest
The scenario is familiar to employee coach Theresa Heeg: A company realizes many of its key
leaders will retire in just a few years, yet its future managers still have to acquire necessary
leadership skills before they can fill those positions.
So the company calls in a professional coach. That coach works one-on-one with the targeted
employee to identify general strengths, weaknesses and goals.
Over the past few years, Heeg and others say, executive coaching has become much more
widespread. Businesses decide they need to outsource for leadership development, and
consultants rush to find their own niche in the market.
Those consultants have data to back up their claims that coaching is the way to go.
External executive coaching delivers a return on investment of nearly six times the initial cost
of coaching, according to a survey of 100 senior executives who participated in coaching
programs. The survey was conducted by Jacksonville, Fla.-based Manchester Consulting,
which Philadelphia-based Right Management Consultants acquired in 2004. Seventy percent
of the executives who participated in the survey valued the return on their investment in
coaching at $100,000 or more. Nearly 30 percent put the return on investment between
$500,000 and $1 million.
調查顯示: 運用專業的"企業教練"之投資報酬率高 - 約為所花成本的六倍.
'Coach Approach' 教練式領導
Heeg started her own coaching business in 1999 because at the time, she said, no companies
were looking for organizational development staff members with a background in coaching.
In 2003, she abandoned her own company and began working for Wheaton Franciscan
Services of Wheaton, Ill., as an organization development specialist and internal coach in its
When Heeg was a coaching consultant, she focused much of her time on training groups of
managers to use the "coach approach" in their businesses.
Under the coach approach, managers help their employees develop skills by asking leading
questions. Here's an example:
An employee says he is unable to solve a problem. The manager asks him to list the potential
solutions he has tried already. After he has done so, the manager then asks how he has solved
similar problems, and how he can use those strategies in his current situation.
The idea, Heeg said, is for the manager to help the employee help himself.
"教練式領導"就是培養員工自助助人與自我負責的精神 - 或稱為"全能啟發."
"In the old days, they called it empowerment," she said.
Many businesses want to learn how to use this approach so they can groom future leaders,
Heeg said. Sometimes, it's enough to hire a consultant to lead training sessions. Other times,
however, companies want the consultant to work one-on-one with an up-and-coming
"教練式領導"的引進 - 可以是團體的教練課程, 也可以是一對一的個別教練時間.
"It's viewed as a real perk for an employee to have a coach," said Randy Rakow, director of
strategic human resource services for Pewaukee-based MRA-The Management Association
Inc., which employs more than 130 people and has an annual revenue of nearly $10 million.
Rakow works as an external coach with MRA's member organizations.
Usually, the "coachee" is a high-level manager or executive. The employee, the coach and the
person responsible for bringing the coach in -- often the employee's immediate manager -- sit
down and identify goals.
教練, 被教練人, 與主管必須建立協議與共識.
"You have to make sure that all three people are in agreement," Rakow said.
Then, the coach meets privately with the employee for a few hours, twice a month, for three
to six months. The two have a particularly tight trust relationship, Rakow said, because the
coach doesn't have any internal aspirations within the organization.
個別教練進行的方式可以是: 一次幾個小時, 兩個星期一次, 為期三到六個月.
While some consultants say coaching is most effective when it comes from an outside source,
they do sometimes certify internal coaches for companies. In those cases, said Mary Hunter,
a senior manager in employee relations services at MRA, the consultant takes responsibility
for keeping the internal coach up to date with his or her certification.
Representatives from General Electric Co. say they incorporate coaching into their leadership
GE occasionally brings in a consultant to help prepare an employee for a specific event, such
as a speaking engagement, said Bob Cancalosi, GE's chief learning officer, who works at
Waukesha-based GE Healthcare Technologies. But usually, employees receive their coaching
through him, other top-level executives and each other during leadership classes, such as GE
Healthcare Management Development.
Among other tasks at these training sessions, executives go through a two-day business
simulation in which their trainers observe how they handle stress and how they work with a
group. They then share those observations with the executives.
兩天實務觀察: 了解企業主管如何處理壓力, 如何與團隊共事, 之後教練給予真實回饋.
"It is a huge wake-up call for people," Cancalosi said. "They are given very honest feedback in
front of their peers."
GE incorporates coaching, mentoring and training into all-in-one leadership programs,
Cancalosi said. Therefore, the company's top trainers don't often feel they need to hire
"There is no set industry definition of what (coaching) means," Cancalosi said.
He does, however, feel that coaching -- whether internal or through professional coaches -- is
becoming more prevalent in large and small businesses.
"There's been more of an emphasis on emotional intelligence, as well as IQ," he said. "The
best leaders have a good balance of both. You can go out and lead a team and get great
results, but if no one wants to be with you a second time, you're hitting a wall."
Though more companies are using coaches proactively rather than to respond to a problem,
there still is plenty of troubleshooting in the coaching world.
In these instances, Rakow said, the employee still is a valued member of the company; he just
is having trouble with one particular issue, such as sexual harassment, and human resources
or the employee's manager want to address that issue before it becomes an even bigger
Patricia Clason, owner and director of the Milwaukee-based Center for Creative Learning,
remembers a case in which an employee was having trouble relating to his manager and to
the employees who worked under him. She spent nine months helping the employee work
through his difficulties and finding out what he perceived to be his assets.
"In the course of nine months, we took him from being demoralized to having strong self-confidence
and rebuilding a strong team," she said. "He actually determined he didn't want
to be a manager at all, and he changed his focus."
重振士氣, 重建自信, 團隊重整.
However, Clason is careful to point out that a coach is not a mentor or a therapist. She does
not train the employee in how to do his job, nor does she provide emotional support.
Clason said she occasionally has recommended to human resources that an employee seek a
"What's frustrating for me is working with people who need to be in therapy, because they're
so stuck," she said.