Fort Belvoir, VA –
DCAA’s Coaching Program offers a unique professional development opportunity for all employees. Dr. Lyn Cheevers, DCAA’s Training Administrator, notes that “Coaching at DCAA focuses on the “what,” or the task the employee can cultivate.” That means that it focuses on developing specific skills needed in the “coachee” or employee’s current job.
The Coaching Program is required for all new employees and those assigned to a new or supervisory role, but is open to all employees in every job classification. The employee’s supervisor identifies the specific focus areas for coaching. A coach with relevant experience and expertise then works with the employee to provide suggestions and information, answer questions, and otherwise help employees gain institutional knowledge and specific job skills.
Overall, coachees have expressed positive feedback about the many benefits of the program:
“Having someone available specifically to assist me with all technical and information needs during my first days at DCAA gave me a sense of confidence and facilitated my integration into the team.”
“My coach sat with me as I received my first couple of assignments and walked me through an audit package. S/he allowed for my hands-on learning style and allowed me to drive the computer keyboard ... S/he has also been there as I have started to audit in a more autonomous state.”
“It is absolutely essential to have a go-to person where you feel that you can voice your questions without judgment, and that is what the Coaching Program allows me to do. I typically pose general knowledge questions and overall organizational practice or approach questions to my coach. S/he has been extremely helpful, confidential, and supportive.”
An additional positive outcome of the program is that coaches, in addition to their coachees, develop important skills.
“I have had to learn how to adjust my coaching "style" for different personalities/learning styles. It has also helped me refresh some skills/knowledge that I haven't used in a while, as well as learn new aspects of auditing that I would probably not come across otherwise.”
In the most recent program evaluation, 78% of coachees reported gaining institutional knowledge, while 78% of coaches said the coaching experience contributed to their own personal and professional development.
DCAA continues to find new ways to improve the coaching program elements, implementation, and ability to track individual success. It’s also important to note that DCAA has a Mentoring Program as well, which is a soft skills and leadership development program currently limited to those at grade GS12 or higher. As Dr. Cheevers notes, “As busy as we are, the DCAA workforce always finds ways to continuously improve.”