Development in organizationThe turn of the year is in most companies planning time, in particular, of the budget for the following year. It’s also high time to think about the development of the employees. Why? Because only organizations that are characterized by sustained growth are able to remain in their trade and gives profits. What does it mean? In the context of organization development is the process of acquiring knowledge, skills, and specific behaviors or modify existing one – in other words, the development consists mainly of learningAs organizations are created by people, and thanks to them they exist, it is important for companies to invest wisely in the process of growth of their employees. Today, there are many approaches to employee?s development. Consulting and training companies are trying to outdo one another in offering more and more new services into more and more catchy names. However, the most popular tools for development are still training, coaching, mentoring and counseling. I will try to briefly describe what are these methods.   Training is the process by which a person acquires new knowledge or skills. He or she goes through from the state of ’I know that I do not know’, to ’I know that I know’. Competencies acquired in such a way are, however, far from achieving full proficiency in the field. The content of the training should be tailored to the current needs of the organization and their level.
  • The needs at the level of implementation concern a situation, where employees do not yet have the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively perform their duties. The purpose of the completion of such training is to do the job well.
  • The needs at the level of improvement concern cases, when the company realizes that it stands in place and to go forward it needs to increase the efficiency of their employees. Here, the goal of training would be doing the work better.
  • The needs at the level of innovation refer to a situation, where even better performance of work, but in the same way, doesn?t bring results – it is necessary to look for new, better ways to do the job.
Trainings may involve so-called hard skills – combined with specific knowledge, like operating a certain program, training in budgeting; and so-called soft skills, related to contacts with other people (eg. interpersonal communication), or employee’s own abilities (eg. coping with stress). Some of trainings, as it is in case of sales specialists, may concern the development of both hard skills (eg. planning process of selling) and soft one (ie. contact with a difficult client).   Coaching is a method of strengthening and improving individual competences in a particular field. By focusing on the already existing skills and knowledge gained through formal training or informal experience, the employee can improve the efficiency of his or her work. Participation in coaching allows a person to reflect on his or her activities in specific areas and possible revision of his or her attitudes and approaches to improve the way the job is done. In coaching there is rather no place to learn something completely new. Coaching is focused more on the future – to establish a particular goal and to plan the way to achieve this goal. There are several types of  business coaching:
  • Executive coaching is designed for middle and senior management and may include topics such as improving interpersonal communication, performance management or strengthening of strategic thinking.
  • Leadership coaching is intended for persons managing teams of employees and serves the development of leadership qualities and behaviors.
  • Career coaching refers to career development and planning individual career paths.
Coaching can relate to a single employee (the most common form), or the whole team.   Mentoring involves providing general guidelines for professional life. It is a process in which a more experienced or knowledgeable employee leads less experienced or competent person. Mentoring is something more than just answering questions or providing occasional help – it’s more of a lasting relationship of learning, dialogue and meeting the challenges. Mentoring covers a wide range of issues, and usually helps employees to develop in a given area or organization, and allows him or her to see how other, more experienced colleagues use the company’s profile and policies in the performance of their tasks.   Counseling is a process of providing general guidelines and support to the employee in solving a particular problem. It is based on an open conversation, in which the employee is encouraged to talk about his or her career, to search for alternative solutions to problems and to draw conclusions from the events in which he or she was participating. Consultative process is running on the current needs, a specific task or problem, and may involve: – difficulty in performing professional duties, – lack of compliance with the principles that are in effect in the company, – or the work on improving specific skills. The consultancy focuses primarily on the past – the cause of the problem, which path the employee has travelled to the point where he or she is today and what he or she can do to change the situation.   To be continued? Photo credit: kennymatic / Foter / CC BY

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