Coaching and Counselling in Employee Performance Management

Keywords: coaching and counseling employees

Discuss, in brief, the role of coaching and counseling in improving performance of employees.

Counselling is a very important element of enhancing job performance and work output of an employee. Many researchers have worked a lot in order to see the impact of on the job and off the job counselling on the performance of employee. Counselling is a systematic approach in order to analyze problem area where an employee is not performing well. This means with help of counselling, managers could be able to solve the problems due to which an employee is not being able to perform efficiently and effectively (Toit, 2007).

Counselling is a very important technique in order to motivate an employee towards his job. Communication between the supervisor and employee should have to take place at both sides; so that the supervisor can easily highlight the actual problem and the possible solution for that problem that hinders the employee desired performance (Champathes, 2006).

Different coaching methods are accessible for supervisors in order to encourage their employees. The methods comprise individual assessment meetings, direct observation with feedback, and facilitation with work group support. Sometime a supervisor also used the mixture of all three methods of counselling (Starr, 2004).The most necessary step in any effort to increase employee performance is counselling or coaching. Counselling or coaching is the day-to-day communication between a supervisor and an employee.

Coaching always provides positive feedback about employee contributions. At the same time, usual coaching brings performance problems to an employee’s concentration when they are of no consequence or big enough, and assists the employee to make them correct.

The purpose of performance coaching is not to make the employee feel badly, or to show how much the HR expert or supervisor knows. The goal of coaching is to work with the employee to resolve performance dilemma and get better the work of the employee, the team, and the department.

Nowadays, it’s important to get the most production from each employee efficiently and effectively.  Organizations must make sure that every worker performs to the best of their ability and delivers substantial worth to the business.  One leading matter that almost every company deals with is the challenge of dealing with worker performance reviews. 

Employee performance reviews were once seen as a compulsory part of managing employees, but on the other hand it also observed that managers and employees feeling fear from going through evaluations.  The time it takes to write, administer, analyze and then package them up for release is enough to decrease anyone’s output by a huge quantity.  This attempt toward employee performance management just isn’t as winning as it should have to be. Then the concept of coaching in order to increase the employee efficiency has been introduced. Coaching is pretty simple, stemming from a relationship that anyone who has been in a learning/mentoring relationship can understand. A coach helps an employee to get better, stronger, and more effective at the job. This can happen through analysis of performance, provision of skills training, exhortation to higher achievement and provision of rewards and sanctions.

Coaching is about performance. A successful coach tries to see things from both the project or work objective and from the subordinate’s point of view and then merge these perspectives into helpful suggestions. As a clever person once said, “Helping is for the helper.” It isn’t a matter of how the coach/supervisor would do it. It’s a material of helping subordinates to be more effective in their own way. The supervisor’s achievement is the inclusive accomplishment of the rest.

Counselling is a more individual attempt. It is harder because there are no clear answers. It requires the supervisor to really pay consideration to the work and career related concerns of the subordinate. A person stressed with his project or doubtful her abilities want more than exhortation or training class. They require to be heard and understand first before they will open themselves to support and new approaches. Even employees with family or financial problems need to be heard first before they can be approved along to right company resources (e.g., employee assistance programs).

It is a trusted supervisor with whom workers will talk about career decisions within and without the company. A qualified, confident supervisor knows that people will sometimes leave a group for good and personal reasons, hurting immediate productivity. Yet that same supervisor also knows that time invested in people pays off in the long run in inspiration, output, devotion, dependability and retention. Counselling is not about donations or being a get smaller. It’s about helping people achieve their possible and mutually reveling in it. Eventually, it’s about group performance.

Research shows that association with the supervisor is an important factor in order to retain employees in an organization. That is the person with whom they interact most frequently and the one who has the most direct influence on their work information and their future. Being a good supervisor who attracts and grows strong subordinates is neither magical nor mysterious. It is hard, eyes-open, focused work from supervisor.

1.2 Problem Statement

A comparative study between the perception of manager and employee about the impact of counselling on the employee performance.

1.3 Hypothesis

H1: There is no difference between the perception of manager and employee on the impact of psychosocial counselling on the employee performance.

H2: There is no difference between the perception of manager and employee on the impact of career development counselling on the employee performance.

H3: There is no difference between the perception of manager and employee on the impact of job related issues counselling on the employee performance.

H4: There is a positive impact of psychosocial support from the supervisor on the employee performance.

H5: There is a positive impact of career development guidance provided by supervisor on the employee performance.

H6: There is a positive impact of sharing job related issues with supervisor on the employee performance.

1.4 Outline of the Study

This study has examined the impact of counselling and comparing the perception of the manager and employee about the out come of counselling on the job performance of employee: the perception which is representation of what is perceived and considered as a basic component in the formation of a concept. As coaching has played a very fundamental role in improving the employee performance for the success of organization sine a very long time ago and always perceived positively as a key factor, at the both ends, by supervisor and employee as well. There is always a positive impact of psychosocial support, career development guidance and sharing job related issues with the supervisor on the employee performance.

This research is based on comparative study in order to analyze the differences in the perception of manager and the perception of employee about the impact of coaching and counselling on the job performance of employee. For example, in order to improve the performance of an employee if a counselling session has been conducted, now the perception regarding the outcome of counselling on the employee performance would be same on the end of employee and manager as well or would be perceived differently by both of them.

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1.5 Definitions

Employee counselling

Employee counselling can be explained as providing assist and support to the workers to face and sail through the complex period in life. At many points of occasion in life or career people get nearer to some troubles either in their job or private life, when it starts influencing and upsetting their performance or, rising the pressure levels of the individual. Counselling is guiding, calming, advising and sharing and helping to resolve their troubles whenever the require arises. Counselling can be done on different areas, like as follows:

Psychosocial support: Psychosocial support is the procedure of meeting a person’s emotional, social, mental and religious desires. All of these are necessary fundamentals of positive human development.

Career development support: It is a complex managerial course which involves people, addresses their ambitions, assigns those roles & responsibilities, matching with their potential, evaluate their presentation, and create Job positions to accommodate growth ambitions of workers.

Job related issues support: Job related issues support is the process of providing guidance to the employees if they are facing any kind of issues on their jobs.

Employee performance

Effective and efficient performance of an employee is an important element for the success of an organization. Employees who do not obtain yearly performance reviews, but still obtain annual pay raises, do not obtain additional enthusiasm because they be trained that no performance increases are required in order to get more money. So management of an employee performance every day is the key to an effective performance management system.



Dubinsky, Childers, Skinner, & Gencturk (1988) have defined the supervision as the behavior of an individual when he or she is directing the actions of a group toward a combined goal. Two management behavior dimensions that have recognized in organizational behavior vis-à-vis subordinate attitudes and performance are supervisor initiating structure and consideration. Initiating structure is the level to which a leader/supervisor guides subordinates, clarifies their roles, and plans, coordinates, problem solves, criticizes, and forces them to give an exceptional performance. Consideration is the extent to which a leader/supervisor is supportive, friendly, and considerate of subordinates, consults with them, represents their interests, has open communications with them, and recognizes their contributions.

Supervisors should monitor employee accomplishment of performance outcomes and try to discover reaction on their own effectiveness. Relationships expand little by little and gradually over time and need to be “recalibrated” through ongoing communication between the supervisor and the employee. This ongoing communication often continues even when an employee has shifted to another position (Kram, 1985 & Moberg, 1994).

Hill (1992) pointed out that new subordinates usually required counsel from their earlier supervisors rather than existing supervisors in order to resolve their different job related issues. Supervisors should have to advice employees and get ready them for their future and career related transitions. Supervisors should look forward to maturation in their relationships with employees. They should have to support employees to become more independent and at the same time spot their own need to move beyond a development role.

Staw, Sutton, & Pelled (1994) explain how helpful feeling helps subordinate to obtain favorable outcomes at work place. It has been observed that feeling and positive emotions on the job have favorable impact on: (1) independent relationship of employees with, (2) reactions of others to employees, and (3) reactions of employees to others. These three sets of factors or variables are very important, in turn, to lead to work achievement, job enrichment and a higher quality social context.

Employee creativity has been considered to be the creation of thoughts, products, or procedures that are (1) narrative or unique and (2) potentially helpful to the employing organization. These thoughts may be a sign of either a recombination of accessible resources or an opening of fresh materials to the organization. That is, creative work can be generated by employees in any job and at any level of the organization, not just in jobs that are traditionally viewed as necessitating creativity. Finally, we observed creativity as differing from innovation in that the previous linked to ideas formed at the individual point, while the second one refers to the implementation of these thoughts at the organization level. As noted before, that helpful behavior on the part of others in a work-place (such as, coworkers and supervisors) enhances employees’ creativity. It means the more supervisors were cheering of employees, the more creative ideas they submitted to an organization’s suggestion program. Thus, the more employees’ supervisors and coworkers offer support for creativity, the higher employees’ creative performance will be (Amabile, 1996).

As supervisors act as organizational agents in their treatment of subordinates, Perceived Supervisor Support should contribute to Perceived Organizational Support. The strength of this relationship would depend on the degree to which employees identify the supervisor with the organization. Supervisors who appear to be highly valued and well treated by the organization would be highly identified with the organization’s basic character and would therefore strongly influence. Of course, an employee may attribute a supervisor’s high perceived status to the organization’s misperception of the supervisor’s character. But, on average, supervisors who appear to be highly regarded by the organization would be assumed by workers to strongly embody the organization’s character (Levinson, 1965).

Some researcher has found that parents of preschoolers reported lower levels of work-family conflict if they perceived their supervisors were willing to discuss family-related problems and were flexible when family emergencies arose. In some of the early studies dealing with supervisor supportiveness, researchers focused on whether a supervisor supported the use of a specific practice. More recently, researchers have focused on the overall supportiveness of a supervisor rather than his/her support for the use of a given family-oriented benefit.

Allen (2001) defined a family supportive supervisor as one who is sympathetic to the employee’s desires to seek balance between work and family and who engages in efforts to help the employee accommodate his or her work and family responsibilities.

Given the theoretical rationale provided by Allen (2001) and his findings, a negative relationship has been predicted between reporting to a supportive supervisor and work-family conflict. With regard to the relationship between reporting to a supportive supervisor and family-work conflict, to our knowledge, no study has examined this relationship. However, to the extent that a supervisor is perceived as supportive of balancing work and family demands, it seems likely that there should be less reported family-work conflict.

Supervisors may have an important bearing on the individual outcomes which subordinates get from their job. In many respects, the supervisor is the most direct and important person in an employee’s work context and is therefore most expected to stand for the organization’s culture or climate as well as having a direct influence on subordinate behavior (Kozlowski & Doherty, 1989).

Considerable importance in research has been placed on individual performance and group productivity, with some notice also being given to satisfaction with the supervisor. Fewer researches have been conducted on the impact of supervisors on other emotional reactions which employees might experience, such as psychological stress and wish to leave the organization. Two assumptions underlying the present study are (a) that one important realm of influence which supervisors might control is the degree of uncertainty which personnel have to contend with in their work environment, and (b) that uncertainty is a predictor of work-related affect, strain and behavioral intentions. An argument has been made, through their interactions with subordinates; supervisors may lessen or, on the other hand, exacerbate the amount of uncertainty confronted by workers within an organization. Supervisors’ behavior may be quite significant for alleviating or increasing the uncertainty and irregularity which subordinates experience about their job tasks, about management, and about the social and political dynamics of the organization (O’Driscoll & Beehr,1994).

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A theoretical illustration of supervision which has exact implications for the task of a supervisor is path-goal theory. According to this standpoint, the accountability of the supervisor is to simplify the means by which individuals attain work-related goals. Goal-attainment is viewed as an obligation for achieving happiness and sustaining high performance levels (House & Mitchell, 1974).

Keller (1989) has suggested evaluation of subordinates’ need for clarity as a moderator of the impact of supervisory behavior. He observed that need for clarity moderated the association between supervisor initiating construction and subordinate performance.

While this is a significant judgment, little attention has been given to a more fundamental issue the extent to which supervisory behaviors do or do not provide clarity for subordinates (Tetrick, 1989).

Prior to searching for personal characteristics which may sensible the link between supervisory measures and subordinates’ personal outcomes, it is important to examine the affiliation between a range of supervisor behaviors and the amount of clarity or, on the other hand, the amount of insecurity which subordinates experience in the work surroundings. Research on leadership and supervision has underscored the possible impact of numerous types of supervisory behavior. Particular thought has been given to initiating structure and the provision of support or consideration for employees as most important contributors to subordinate sentimental experiences and performance outcomes (Ashour, 1982; Seltzer and Numerof, 1988; & Tjosvold, 1984)

Employee performance is an important building block of an organization and factors which lay the foundation for high performance must be analyzed by the organizations. Since every organization cannot progress by one or two individual’s effort, it is collective effort of all the members of the organization. Performance is a major multidimensional construct aimed to achieve results and has a strong link to strategic goals of an organization (Mwita, 2000).

Managers at all the levels have to input their efforts and make maximum use of their abilities which sometimes are produced under supervision or without it. However, there are many expectations from managers working for an organization. These expectations are sometimes fulfilled but in some situations these managers may be running to their boss for guidance. Therefore, the managers must be developed so that they can think and work on their own and fulfill their responsibilities innovatively, while understanding and foreseeing the market and business situations. Consequently question arises that how an employee can work more efficiently and effectively to increase the productivity and growth of an organization. An effective leadership program can be of an immense assistance to help identify and build leadership qualities among individuals within the organization.

The relationship between leadership and performance was indirect as well as direct, which proves the importance of developing leaders through leadership development programs (Gadot, 2007). Latest studies provide that organizations heavily invest in Human Resource Development interventions to update and skill the employees in order to attain job performance, job satisfaction and job involvement.

These skills can be imparted by providing necessary technical/non-technical training and coaching (Rowold, 2008). Currently leadership is widely recognized, and verified through research. Leadership development can be imparted through experiential learning, vicarious learning and transformational learning and it is imparted as leaders can influence the people and motivate them (Popper, 2005).

Leadership development is becoming an increasingly critical and strategic imperative for organizations in the current business environment (Sheri-Lynne & Parbudyal, 2007). Leadership development is an important area which is considered and implemented in organizations to increase human capability and some other benefits like to gain competitive advantage. Some developmental assignments can be carried out concurrently with regular job responsibilities, whereas others require taking a temporary leave from one’s regular job.

These development assignments can be used to develop managerial skills at current jobs, some may be used to develop new projects or begin new projects serving as department representative on a cross functional teams. Training sessions play an important role to improve the performance of organizational managers regarding communication skills, listening skills, motivate others, support others, and share information (Klagge, 1997).

A leadership development program is aimed to improve the skills of managers at all levels whether operational, tactical, strategic and personal as well. Performance is a vital feature of an organization; furthermore, development programs can be helpful in identifying and managing teams, where group development and specifically personal development and growth of managers also take place. The most important aspect nowadays is that how a manger can adopt the leadership attributes and effectively use them to perform his job responsibilities assigned, these attributes can help him work further than the job responsibilities and add more achievement to the organization. Leadership development process intends to develop leaders and also includes transfer of organizational culture and values ultimately resulting into collective sharing among all the members of the organization to achieve the organizational objectives (Hamilton & Cynthia, 2005).

Leadership requirement in today’s organizations in Pakistani perspective is very important to meet the global business challenges. On the other hand, leadership development is also a major consideration and challenge across the globe and has a major influence on employee’s performance



This study is the comparative study about the Perception of employees and supervisors on the outcomes of counselling on employee’s performance. In the organization if counselling is provided by supervisor to his subordinates, this study, on the one side focused on the outcome of counselling on the employee performance and on the other side this study has compared the perception of employee and supervisor about the results of counselling on the performance of the employee.

3.1 Method of Data Collection

Personal survey technique has been applied and Questionnaire has used as an instrument to collect the data and data has been collected by taking an appointment with the respondents for having a personal meeting, in order to filled those questionnaires.

3.2 Sampling Technique

Quota sampling technique has been used.

3.3 Sample Size

Sample size used for this study was, 150 respondents (30 managers/supervisors, 120 employees).

3.4 Instrument of Data Collection

Questionnaires were used as an instrument for data collection. These measures were developed by Scandura and Ragins (1993). Questionnaire consists of two parts.

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i) In first part, response has been received from supervisor and employee about the counselling related to different issues.

ii) In second part information have been gathered about the impact of counselling on the employee performance.

The instrument is in the form of closed ended questionnaire. Answers were recorded in the Likert five point scales.

Strongly agreed = 5 Agree= 4 Neutral= 3 Disagree= 2 strongly disagree= 1 (for first part)

Increase = 3 Remain same= 2 Decrease =1 (for second part)

Dimensions in this questionnaire are as follows:

  • Psychosocial support
  • Career Development
  • Job Related Issues

3.4.1 Validity and Reliability Test

The instrument was pre-tested in order to identify if there are any issues with the instrument and whether it was easy to understand and comprehend the questions or not. Through pretesting it was found that all respondents felt comfortable in responding and found the instrument interesting as well.

Reliability analysis allows studying the properties of scales of measurement and the things that build them up. The Reliability Analysis procedure calculates a number of frequently used procedures of level reliability and also gives information about the associations between individual items mentioned in the scale. Intraclass correlation coefficients can be used to compute interrater reliability estimates (Tutorial, SPSS 17 version).


Cronbach’s Alpha is the internal consistency model which is based on the average correlation. Here the value of Cronbach’s Alpha for employees is 0.731 and for managers is 0.961, which indicates that the data is consistent.

3.5 Research Model Developed

  • Supervisor perception about the outcome of counsel ling
  • Psychosocial support
  • Career development
  • Job related issues
  • Impact of counselling on employee performance
  • Employee perception about the outcome of counselling
  • Psychosocial support
  • Career development
  • Job related issues
  • Statistical Technique

Figure 3.1 (Source: Scandura and Ragins, 1993)

3.6 Statistical Technique

In this research Independent sample T-test has been used for H1, H2 and H3 and Regression has been used for H4, H5 and H6. The reason of using this Independent sample T-test for H1, H2 and H3 is that as over here perception of managers regarding the impact of counselling on employee performance has been compared and T-test assesses whether the means of two groups are statistically different from one another. Researchers usually use the t-test to compare two samples so that they can make an inference about the populations from which they drew the samples. The reason for using Regression for H4,H5 and H6 is ,in statistics, regression analysis includes any techniques for modeling and analyzing several variables, when the focus is on the relationship between a dependent variable (Employee Performance) and one or more independent variables (Psychosocial support, Career development, Job related issues). More specifically, regression analysis helps to understand how the typical value of the dependent variable changes when any one of the independent variables is varied, while the other independent variables are held fixed.



5.1 Conclusion

One of the most vital issues facing organization is preserving employee assurance to business goals and objectives. Most of all companies are facing a time of great managerial change led by oversees outsourcing, downsizing, global reform, and retreating career progression paths. Because of these changes, workers are less probable to rise up the position and more likely to amend jobs or area of occupation often. With performance being an elementary foundation stone to financial achievement, employers will need to put into operation constant learning programs and enable workers to obtain new skills to thrive. There are many situations in the office when counselling can be implemented. At any time, employees may experience problems related to personal, professional or might be their career development, which may seriously affect success at the company and in achievements of its financial and strategic goals. If these difficulties go unsettled for a period of time, they are possible to crash the employee’s talent to perform effectively on the job. Counselling is a strategic resource that workers can use and managers can rely on when work performance, career transition, personal behavior in the workplace and/or cultural fit becomes a question. It provides a means for supervisor to encourage their workers to seek career, personal or current job related support early to avoid small troubles from receiving out of hand and creating greater barriers to accomplishment. It’s also a way to help key workers to get rid of personal and professional issues and reach higher career aspirations, so that they maintain to add important value to the business.

5.2 Discussion & Implications

Counselling is a method of responding to another individual so that he/she is supported to explore his judgment, mind-set and performance to get at a comprehensible self-understanding. Employee counselling services deal with several types of problems, including tensions among supervisors and employees, co-worker versus co-worker, sexual harassment, verbal abuse and job disappointment. These are all work connected issues, but employee counselling is also available for employees dealing with personal issues, such as alcoholism, separation and sadness. Regardless of the nature of the employee’s troubles, they can get in the way with the excellence of his performance. Companies must look for to give an ambiance of eagerness at each level of the business. Miserable employee relationships can send a business into a descending spiral, if problems and conflicts are not brought to the forefront and resolved. Employee counselling services are available to support and give confidence anxious staff members to face their challenges. When companies give serious notice to the state of their employees, employees start feel satisfaction and secure when they know that organization cares about their problems and challengers. Therefore, employees are free to think and to get better their performance while helping to complete the organization’s purpose and mission.

The most important motive why counselling is considerable in an organization because through it employees are well motivated to achieve their own and organizational goals more efficiently and effectively. Supervisors are paying attention to the output and performance of their staff. On the other hand, if employees are discontented, anxious, or stressed regarding personal, job related or career development issues, they will not be able to execute well on their jobs. So it is very important for that organization to give guidance and coach their employees, so they can perform better at the workplace and can achieve organizational goals more efficiently and effectively.

5.3 Recommendations and Future Research

A number of recommendations that can be considered and done for future research:

  • Sample selection should be distributed more evenly rather than concentrating on one particular area. The result will be more representative and convincing.

Other variables should be looked upon in order to get more appropriate results. For example, future research can be done to check the impact of following different areas of counselling on the employee performance and productivity:

  • Marriage and family counselling
  • Rehabilitation counselling
  • Mental health counselling
  • Substance abuse counselling
  • Educational Counselling
  • Organization Cultural Counselling
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