Implementing Educational Technology for Facilitating Non-Human Coaching or “E-Coaching”

Implementing Educational Technology for Facilitating Non-Human Coaching or “E-Coaching”

Teri C. Warner (Intel Corporation, USA) and Darlene M. Van Tiem (Capella University, USA & University of Michigan – Dearborn, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3676-7.ch007
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HiTech Corporation (pseudonym) and its organizations are always looking for new methods of expanding its capabilities to help employees enhance competence and increase workplace satisfaction. While they would like to offer coaching to all employees, the costs associated with traditional coaching have limited coaching to only upper management. With today’s technologies, one possible solution is to develop coaching opportunities that do not require a coach and can be used anytime, anywhere. Through a small pilot and then subsequent larger release, the corporation tested a non-human coaching, or e-Coaching, system that employees could use for an alternative to traditional coaching.
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Setting The Stage

Jackie Snow (pseudonym) is the program manager for HiTech’s coaching program. On a monthly basis, she receives approximately 20 new requests for coaching services. Her job is to ascertain how coaching can help the requestor or potential coachee. In many instances, Jackie finds that while coaching is a viable option, her coaching program does not have the resources to address the type of coaching requested. In any case, she offers more traditional coaching which is labor intensive. Rather than directing the individual to take specific action, an effective coach presents alternative approaches for the individual to consider. Coaching enables an individual to build a bridge between learning, technical performance, and the workplace context of any given organization (Stevens & Frazer, 2005). Coaching bridges gaps between skill and performance while asking the right questions that provides insight, feedback, and opportunities (Grant & Stober, 2006; Langdon, Whiteside, & McKenna, 1999; Stevens & Frazer, 2005; Zeus & Skiffington, 2003). Rather than teaching a skill, coaching should be used anytime the goal is to help an individual reinforce or develop new, more effective practices (Kimball, 2005).Tradition coaching requires the coach and coachee to meet frequently. It also requires the coach and coachee to coordinate the dates and times the meetings are to be held, and, depending upon the coach, the hourly rate could be as much as $500. The coach and coachee develop a relationship whereby they meet regularly to discuss the coachee’s progress. In face-to-face coaching sessions, the coach and coachee must consistently synchronize meeting schedules and locations. In e-mail coaching, the e-mail messages become more frequent. The two exchange many e-mails to connect, discuss, make appointments, and more. In either case, the coaching experience for both participants requires many dedicated hours that are convenient to both of them. This process can lead to a long, extensive process that may not be optimal to either side.

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