HRMT416 Week 6 Discussion Forum

Based upon your research and the readings from the text, what do you feel are the similarities and differences between employee coaching and employee counseling? Which is more effective and why? Do you have any personal experiences to relate regarding counseling or coaching in your own professional career or work?

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In my opinion there are many similarities between coaching and counseling. It has been my experience depending on the organization I have been employed at that the terms are used differently. For example, at Staples, counseling was used for disciplinary action and coaching was used for performance improvement. At Starwood, the word counseling seems to be taboo and the only word used in relation to performance is coaching and it is either a formal or informal coaching. Employee wellness programs at both Staples and Starwood are just that, no other terms, with a plethora of options from weight loss to smoking cessation. Both coaching and counseling seek to help the employee take corrective action or improve something through an analysis of the situation, goal setting, evaluation of progress, and communication through the process (Payne, 2007).

An employee may be experiencing problems at work as a result of personal issues or vice versa, experience problems at home due to issues in the workplace. I believe both can be equally effective and at times both are needed depending on the specific situation. Our text defines coaching as a process to help employees accept responsibility for their behaviors or performance and help them achieve better goal focused results through a partnership with either a leader or other qualified person based on the coaching need. These needs are usually work related but can stem from personal issues the employee may be experiencing. According to the text, counseling is defined as assistance provided to an employee through a company program from a qualified provider such as a health or substance abuse counselor (Werner, 2009).

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