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  • By Expat
  • November 25, 2010
Over recent years HR Professionals have been implementing business coaching and mentoring programs which are proving themselves to be a very effective way to improve both individual and group performance.
Well-implemented programs have also gained recognition for their strong impact in leveraging personal and organisational development. To be successful, such programs must form part of the core strategy for ongoing employee development and the use of these programs by organisations will ensure employees have the necessary skills, competencies and knowledge to meet the ever-increasing demands of the competitive global economy.
Although there can be some conceptual differences between coaching and mentoring, there is certainly several complementary areas in process and objectives. Mentoring, in general terms, is the process of one individual taking an interest in career matters of another through the provision of intellectual support and guidance.  Coaching can be defined as assisting an individual develop an existing skill or expertise in a particular area.
Both coaching and mentoring provide a supportive environment to challenge and develop responses and behaviours that enhance business-operating effectiveness. Put another way, mentoring is a passing on of wisdom gained through life and business experience and is usually broader ranging. Coaching is more often associated with a tight and intensive focus on a particular area or skill. The term ‘coaching’ of course is most commonly used in reference to a specific sport.
Based on these concepts, most coaches and mentors agree that a good coach will also mentor and a good mentor will also coach! Therefore the two approaches should be seen as complementary and creating synergy, rather than mutually exclusive. The balance of emphasis is based on what is appropriate to the situation and business relationships.
In addition to coaching and mentoring programs for individuals, there can be enormous benefits gained from the implementation of a company-wide coaching and mentoring programs.
Expat International professionals can assist your organisation maximise success in this business environment. We start by defining the aims and objectives of introducing a coaching and mentoring program.  Careful consideration is given to the design of the program to ensure that expectations and required outcomes are met.  An initial focus is therefore placed on measurable benefits for your organisation.
A further option is for Expat International to work with your organisation to enable adoption of the coaching model to be developed into an in-house run program. Our experienced facilitators can continue to provide on-going ‘background’ as required.
Program Structure can vary in many ways to suit the particular environment. Typical structures include:

  •  Personal coaching programs initiated by an Expat International professional but often developing an internal unit of trained coaches for extension to company wide coverage.


  • Traditional mentoring schemes commonly involving an external Expat International professional working with an experienced internal manager or operative to guide a new or less experience colleague.


  • ‘Buddy’ schemes, a form of two-way peer-to-peer mentoring. Expat International works with the organisation to set up the scheme and monitor its success. The ‘Buddy’ system emanated from within tertiary education institutions whereby a more senior student is assigned as a ‘buddy’ to assist in orientation of the newer student. Its context is now widely applied to a wide range of business situation and particularly for expatriates on assignment. Within a specific business facility it is commonly set up between staff or managers of similar level in the organisation. However, as the need for a specific type of ‘Buddy’ may move on with time, the appointment of a person for this role may also be more senior than the ‘peer’ initially assigned.

Success for any of these programs will depend on establishing appropriate relationships between the employee, coaches or mentors and providing an environment in which the benefits of the program can be realised.
Expat International professionals will work with your organisation to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Develop the culture, processes and procedures to support coaching and mentoring programs.


  • Assist with job design to ensure that the coaching/mentoring function is integrated into the individual’s role and given sufficient time and priority.


  • Provide training and development for potential internal coaches and mentors.


  • Define the scope of the relationships and where it fits in the broader role of career development.


  • Provide guidelines on how the program should be delivered including setting objectives and key performance indicators.


  • Implement a monitoring and feedback process to measure effectiveness of the program both at the individual and company program-wide level.

Applicable to all areas and levels of the business organisation – both with individuals and teams – coaching and mentoring programs use language and interaction that everyone can relate to while progressing at their own pace.
Participants in structured coaching and mentoring programs are reaching ever-higher management levels in a range of organisations.  The very pace of change and the expansion of the spectrum of expertise associated with leadership are simply beyond most senior executives to keep ahead of given the time constraints of their role. In these cases the provision of coaching and mentoring programs need a range of resource inputs to provide the quality and depth of advice and information in a time efficient manner.
Expat International has the experience and contacts to ensure that senior managers can be provided with expert advice on whatever discipline or behavioral aspects are involved.  We have our own professionals but also have the experience and networks to draw on known external experts in specific fields where required.
The structured development of programs by Expat International can be applied throughout the organisation as required. The same experience is provided to all participants at whatever level they are at – both domestically or as expatiates on assignment.
The process raises self-awareness, increases motivation and a sense of common purpose which is linked to stronger staff retention. A stronger record in staff retention in turn has another benefit in reducing the cost and uncertainty of staff recruitment.
The programs complement the overall development of the individual but allow space for the use of conventional on-the-job training, which usually exists within the organisation.
Coaching and mentoring assists your managers and staff to overcome obstacles to their success, including aspects of their attitudes, beliefs and behavioral patterns. The programs provide an ideal forum for giving and receiving constructive feedback.
In summary, these Expat International programs make a strong contribution to building a common platform for organisational evolution and a stronger and coherent corporate culture.