A colleague recently told me about an article he had read about a trend in management that appears to be a successful one (http://bit.ly/brGMeV) . A firm had hired many new employees who were young and didn’t have the experience they needed. They were finding that sending them to training wasn’t enough. O.K. – that’s not the surprise; sending employees to training in hopes that a program can ‘fix’ them or that they won’t need performance management from their boss is like crossing your fingers in hoes of waking up taller. It’s silly.
Rather than have their managers’ mentor or coach them, the company opted instead to hire coaches for the new employees. They are finding that this approach has been very successful. Again – no surprise there – coaching, feedback, and performance management are all key for the transfer of new skills to job application.
My surprise for me is that the Bosses of these folks are not doing the coaching – they are farming it out to others! I’ll overlook the conversation about how people get certified, trained, and what qualifies a person to be a coach. Often it’s simply about fit, chemistry, and rapport. If someone thinks that a coach can help them – they’ll hire that Coach and see if they can. If not – we’ll there are plenty of coaches to choose from. One firm highlighted in the article simply made someone in the company the Internal Coach and if people needed support and assistance, they went to him.
Wasn’t this once the skill that was a key asset for senior managers – developing others? If you aren’t good at developing talent – should you hire someone to come in and coach on your behalf? If that’s OK – could you hire someone to make your presentation if your public speaking skills are less than stellar? Why not bring in a financial whiz to help you do the annual budget?
It’s not really that farfetched. If you can hire someone to clean your house because you don’t have time or aren’t very good at it, why not bring in the expertise you need to do other things. Cook the meals, decorate a room, organize your closet – we have people for that. Coach your employees, create your presentations, write your reports – we have folks for that too.
So your talent may end up being all about finding the talent!