Last updated: 20.09.13

Mentoring and coaching 'enhances staff performance'

Employers can boost staff performance through effective management coaching, according to one expert.

Liz Field, chief executive of the Financial and Legal Skills Partnership, claimed in an article for Money Marketing that the most successful businesses are those that nurture their workers' full potential and boast strong management teams.

She explained mentoring and coaching are the two most common forms of development, with both techniques using different approaches and goals.

Mentoring is more of a long-term process that supports employees in general business practices, with assistance usually coming from an older, more experienced staff member.

Meanwhile, coaching usually takes the shape of individual training events that focus on each person's performance and skillset.

Ms Field stated effective coaching will help a company to retain its most valuable employees by making them aware of - and encouraging them to take part in - the various learning and development opportunities available.

"It also creates a cohesive working team, whose members will know how to work together efficiently and quickly, even when under performance pressure or strict deadlines," she added.

The expert said managers must be made aware that it is their responsibility to coach employees in their organisation, after recent research conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development revealed in-house training delivered by line managers is seen to be among the most effective practices.

However, too few managers recognise the need to mentor staff, or that being given this role will encourage their teams to perform better.

It might therefore be worth them undertaking online training offered by Virtual College, an e-learning provider based in West Yorkshire.

The company's How to Manage Coaching module is ideal for equipping managers with skills in the key coaching principles and techniques and the knowledge of how to introduce a coaching culture into their firm.

Its People's Manager Toolkit would also be a great investment, as it advises employers on how to accommodate working parents, be empathetic when dealing with staff sickness and motivate their workers to create a healthy working environment.