Many organizations and businesses that emphasize cooperation, communication and team building are turning to peer coaching as a way to increase the resourcefulness of employees and provide a higher quality of workplace.
This is the first of a series of articles about Peer Coaching. In this article I will define Peer Coaching and share some results that businesses have experienced. Next month I’ll share strategies for creating a Peer Coaching Program and finally I’ll present an evaluation system to determine and demonstrate the effectiveness of your Peer Coaching Program.
What is Peer Coaching?
When I have a question about the best way to do something, my first step is usually to ask a peer for help. My peers are the most likely to know what I’m facing and most often has the right answer.
In many companies the employees don’t have opportunities to learn from each other.
Peer Coaching is a confidential process in which two or more professional colleagues work together to understand current and best practices, build new skills, share ideas, and come to an understanding of the unwritten rules at work. Peer Coaching has nothing to do with individual performance evaluations. It is not a “fix it” for problem employees. In a Peer Coaching relationship, both participants have a time and place to take risks. Peer Coaching can also be done in a group setting.
In the Peer Coaching group, the participants bring their own priorities.
In 2014 BlueCross BlueShield, Microsoft and BP were using Peer Coaching as a low cost strategy to improve their investment in employee development.
Other benefits of Peer Coaching: decreases the burden on supervisors, addresses the need for employees to connect and support their peers and develops coaching skills preparing employees to fill future supervisor, coach and leadership roles.
Developing a Peer Coaching Program is not for the “faint at heart.” Leaders at all levels must genuinely embrace and support the program. Contact me and let’s get one set up for your business or organization.