A Framework for Better Coaching

 -  10/29/12

For more than 100 years, global agribusiness Archer Daniels Midland, a company with 30,000 employees, had no official performance management process.

When Patricia Woertz became CEO in 2006, she hired Mike D’Ambrose as senior vice president of human resources to help institute a formal performance management process focused on communication, collaboration and transparency.

Like many companies, Archer Daniels Midland’s managers struggled to provide coaching and feedback without specific development goals. The business adopted a coaching and development model and created Coaching to Win, an eight-week program designed to strengthen managers’ coaching skills.

Participation in the class is optional and open to any employee who has a direct report or a leadership role. By not making the program mandatory, the company organically grew interest to the point where employees must be placed on a waiting list before enrolling.

Coaching to Win includes three steps: preparing, engaging and sustaining. To prepare, individuals enrolled in the course identify one employee they will coach during the two-month program. Participants also take two self-assessments to determine their behavioral style and coaching skill level and participate in an introductory conference call.

To enhance engagement, participants meet for a one-day workshop to go over the Archer Daniels Midland coaching model and practice giving feedback. For the remaining month and a half, they work to coach the employee they’ve been paired with as well as write weekly journal entries and join on follow-up conference calls.

“It’s not a single dump of information, but instead something they begin to integrate into behaviors,” said Stacia Sherman Garr, principal at Bersin & Associates.

All employees who take the class receive a monthly newsletter and the opportunity to participate in webinars to keep their feedback skills fresh.

According to a Bersin & Associates case study, 98 percent of participants said Coaching to Win will show a measurable difference in their team’s productivity, with improvements in communication and team structure.

Article Keywords:   performance management  

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