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External coaching – support for managers and employees based on feedback
from a neutral assessor,
development of employee potential.
coaching is suitable for managers, mainly TOP managers (such as IKEA
we have excellent experience also with middle management ‘on the spot’
1999 we successfully implemented the joint project ‘External On the
Spot Coaching’ in Volkswagen Slovakia, a.s.
During the March 2001 New Trends in Personnel Management conference the
project was nominated for the prestigious HR OSCAR Awards
2000 prize as one of the four best personnel projects in
The conference competition were organised by MPG.
‘On the spot’ Coaching
Means, Service Recipients, Premises and Definition:
(give support ‘on the spot’) supervisors in their management work and
thereby support forming a strong team.
means is the coaching by an independent expert (consultant). The coaching
may be a counselling process, consultations and training in
the premises designed for this purpose and if needed, it takes place in
of direct recipients of the service
(SV) – the bottom link in the Volkswagen Slovakia, a.s. management chain
we base the project on
of coaching for VW needs
in the English word ‘to coach’: continuous, permanent preparation,
training). Coaching is an approach helping executives increase quality of
their work in two basic directions: in achieving the optimal performance
and in supporting personal potential. Productivity-wise, it focuses on a
permanent stabilized performance and an innovative approach to the working
process. In terms of the executive’s needs coaching deals
with managerial competencies development, questions pertaining to an
identification with the working position and corporate culture,
personal satisfaction, increasing inspiration, mental hygiene and career
development of supervisors.
phasing, ranges of external coaching and personnel coverage
1: information on coaching – 3 weeks (May 1999)
of external coaching for SV
Addressing issues in the workplace
coverage of the project
external coach is a human resources specialist, impartial and trained in
alternative conflict resolution. The coach may have also other roles:
trainer, facilitator, tutor, and in
justified cases the coach may also be a mediator in conflicts between
individuals or teams.
description of the Volkswagen project
the recent past, a model was sought in the Volkswagen Slovakia, a.s. plant
in Bratislava of helping young managers and providing support and
facilitating conditions for personal development of the more experience
staff (supervisors). The need for new executive staff and pressure on the
quality of the available staff are growing with the expansion of
Volkswagen in Slovakia. The outlines of a solution sought jointly by Ing.
Jaroslav Holeček, Member of the Board in charge of personnel affairs,
Volkswagen Slovakia, a.s. and Dr. Vladimír Labáth, started to be
seen in 1998.
result of their cooperation was an ‘on the spot’ coaching model. This
model of a new form of training and counselling had never been tested in
practice in Slovakia before. Mgr. Roland Wagner was invited to participate
in the launch of the pilot project since he had experience from both sides,
both as an external counsellor and trainer, as well as a training manager
and Human Resources manager (previously in IKEA). The external coach works
in the workplace four business days per week, currently in his sixth year
in this sense may be defined as an approach helping the executive improve
quality of his/her work in three basic dimensions: achieving the optimal
performance, improving interpersonal dimension of the executive work and
support of personal potential. In terms of productivity, it focuses on a
stable performance and innovative approach to the working process. As to
interpersonal communication, coaching helps understand the interactions,
learning new skills, and develops managerial competencies. From the point
of needs of the executive person it deals with issues of the
identification with the work position and organisational culture,
dimension of personal satisfaction, development of creativity, application
of principles of mental hygiene, and career growth of supervisors.
external ‘on the spot’ coaching project has several phases. To achieve
a situation when managers come to the coach voluntarily and as their own
initiative requires a number of steps. Without sufficient information,
mutual support and belief that coaching is a meaningful activity nobody
can be expected to voluntarily be subjected to feedback, behaviour
analysis, and individual development programmes.
beginnings of the project were characterised by unwillingness to accept
new things, perhaps even concerns, Even though there were conditions for
individual coaching, the interest on the part supervisors was sporadic.
Though it proved beneficial to offer training in coaching the
direct subordinate, the breaking point occurred when the coach started
attending the shift staff meetings regularly and after the meeting there
was time to discuss practical problems. Then they learned how to solve
them, or trained management skills. This form of having a coach and a
coached person sitting together in a natural working environment proved to
be the optimal way for the whole team of supervisors. This model
strengthens both the team work and the dynamics of the whole team on the
shift. Also a combination of group and individual coaching is very good
and effective. Individual coaching is provided in the form of practicing
and counselling, and compared to the common form of corporate training is
has one special dimension: individual approach. Coaching is based on
trust, a relationship, training, but also feedback. But most of all,
coaching must be based on the will of the coached person to want to
change something about him/herself.
‘on the spot’ coaching model originated as a response to
insufficiently used Araining gains in practice. The barriers in
implementing the learned skills and knowledge are no new phenomenon. The
‘on the spot’ coaching as long-term support proves to be a highly
effective method of intensive working with managers of all levels. In
November 2000 it was successfully introduced also in the lacquering plant
and its expansion to other units is being considered. We decided to
objectively evaluate its effectiveness by a survey that we commissioned
the UK Pedagogical Faculty in Bratislava to carry out. The result of
the survey should be available by 31 March 2001.
1 March 2001
of External Coaching in Volkswagen Slovakia, a.s. Survey:
subordinates have expressed an opinion that after their superior officials
(supervisors) completed the coaching their style of management has
improved, they have become more effective in delegating tasks, their
behaviour changed, they are more sensitive towards the needs of their
subordinates. After a comprehensive evaluation of the survey we can
conclude that not only supervisors but also their subordinates have a
positive perception of coaching."
Zuzana Susová: External Coaching Analysis, May 2001
on a successful project and excellent cooperation with VW Slovakia, a.s.
we started with external ‘on the spot’ coaching also at the
coach-building plant in May 2001...”
Roland Wagner, Otto Kovarik, VW external coaches
© Roland Wagner, 1999-2009
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