Coaching and Mentoring in Health and Safety
Coaching and Mentoring are used hand in hand but are different operations. They are often mentioned together, this is because they are similar in their use. The end state is the development of others and unlocking of potential for the benefit of both the individual stakeholders. That said they are completely different in their use. Mentoring is used to pass on knowledge, Coaching is used to unlock potential to increase performance.
To ensure effective Coaching or mentoring there needs to be a target, something to aim for. This applies to both the individual and the organisation. It could be said that effective Coaching or Mentoring of individuals could lead to effective Coaching and Mentoring of the organisation by default.
Senior managers may see Coaching and Mentoring as not cost effective, there may be other areas where senior managers feel money may be better spent. Changing this perception is difficult for the Coach. The coach wants to unlock potential to increase productivity, not to hinder the organisation. A suggestion would be to run a pilot program for a period where the organisation could measure its success. Senior managers would be surprised at how cost- effective Coaching and Mentoring could be. Another suggestion would be to provide evidence of where Coaching and Mentoring has been cost effective. "The coachees had six coaching sessions over a period of three months. As a result of this pilot 50% of the participants cited coaching as a reason for staying in post", states Arnold J, in Coaching Skills for Leaders in the Workplace.
If senior managers are viewing Coaching and Mentoring as not cost effective, then it is fair to say that they do not have complete buy-in. As already highlighted change can be perceived as a bad thing. It is imperative that senior managers are fully supportive of Coaching and Mentoring, by having "top cover" will ensure the success of the organisation. It can be hard to get buy-in from the senior managers, a suggestion would be to hold a meeting with all stakeholders. Formulate a Coaching and Mentoring plan that can be presented, this should include cost, timescales etc. it may also be beneficial to highlight case studies where organisations have succeeded due to effective Coaching and Mentoring.