It has become a popular trend around the world when it comes to coaching. Most organizations are very concern about coaching. Simply because they want to execute with excellence and groom a stronger staff force.
In many organizations, they developed their own team of internal coaches to coach their employees within the organization. This is a good start, as many internal coaches are from leadership positions or from the Human Resources department. Here are some insights of engaging ‘internal coaches’.
Advantages that organizations can benefit from:-
- It saves cost, internal coaching is basically FREE; just an added responsibility to appointed personnel(s);
- The coaches are able to share experiences using the coaching platform;
- The internal coaches already understand the organization business, strategies, structure or systems in place;
- It’s a ‘friendlier’ mode working with people whom you already know their working style;
- If the coaches are leaders in the organization, they may find it less challenging to gain respect and build rapport with the executives (coachees);
- These coaches may have already identified the attitude and current issues of the executives (coachees), therefore the coaches will be able to speak the language of the organization;
- The management team or corporate can send direct instructions (e.g. vision, mission, targets) to the coaches for them to work with the executives (coachees).
Some drawbacks for the organization to ponder:-
- It could be overwhelming for the coaches to take on coaching assignments as effective coaching requires time from their working hours;
- The management team has to understand that the internal coaches who take extra responsibilities to coach others, have their own tasks to perform at the same time;
- The appointed coaches have less experience coaching others, it could be something totally new to them;
- They could face challenges in getting feedback, because they do not have the step-by-step for coaching;
- Coaches may not have sufficient cross-organizational perspectives that allow the executives (coachees) to understand a different context (environment);
- The coaches may perceive this coaching assignment as less important as they have to work on their personal tasks and other projects;
- Internal coaches may not be very good in handling coachees’ behaviors; especially those with personal issues, depression or stress;
- Some coaches may be ‘blinded’ with own experiences and they are up to the trend or resourceful enough in asking questions or handling requests;
- Executives (coachees) may treat the coaching sessions as less serious because it’s internal;
- Executives (coachees) may also have less confidence with the internal coaches whether their conversations will remain confidential, so they may share less or hide some important issues;
- Progress of the coachees may fluctuate due to lack of monitoring or follow-ups from the coaches;
- Management team may not be able to measure the efficiency of the coaching sessions due to limitations.
The above are based coaching experiences. As a Coach, it’s more important to look at the “overall coaching initiative”; not only to the advantages of the organizations; but also about the concerns of the coaches and the learnings of the executives (coachees).
However, should there be a need for internal coaching in any organization; they can consider setting up an “Internal Coaching System” or “Internal Coaching Manual”.
Here are the guidelines for quick reference:-
- Who can be internal coaches? List out some criteria for selection.
- Are the appointed internal coaches willing to be a coach? Do they have the passion and time?
- What are the essential experiences and knowledge an internal coach must have?
- Will it be good if the internal coach to go through a coaching program with the experts before starting coaching others? My answer is YES; guide from an expert helps and ease the whole process.
- How can the management monitor this process and the progress of internal coaching?
- Is there a platform for the coaches and executives (coachees) to express their thoughts during the coaching sessions? Example, you can have a suggestion box or an email address dedicated for the coaches or coachees to raise their concerns and this must remain confidential at all times.
- Who is responsible to evaluate the effectiveness of the internal coaching?
- Are there any clear guidelines to maintain confidentiality, handling sensitive issues?
- Will there be any legal process or documentations involved?
- What is the time frame set for each coaching session? Example, 1 hour, 2 hours or a maximum to 3 hours so it won’t distract the work of both parties.
- Individual or group coaching? Very simple, if you want to groom someone, it can be “individual coaching”. If you want to groom a team to work on projects, it can be “Group coaching”.
- How to conduct the coaching? – Face to face, Skype calls, etc.
Thank you for reading; we sincerely hope that the insights of coaching are beneficial to you and your organization.