You found our guide to employee coaching in the workplace.
Employee coaching in the workplace is any step a manager takes to help team members grow and improve professionally. Workplace coaching can help employees enhance their efficiency, learn new skills or adjust to unfamiliar settings. Employee coaching benefits include improved employee productivity and performance, creativity, and goals attainment.
Workplace coaching revolves around giving effective feedback. You can improve your abilities by reading coaching books and learning about coaching styles.
This post covers:
- the definition of employee coaching
- the elements of effective employee coaching
- examples of employee coaching in the workplace
- templates for employee coaching
Here is what you should know.
The definition of employee coaching
Employee coaching involves meeting regularly with employees to help them understand objectives, overcome obstacles, and enhance their performance. Essentially, you help employees improve by providing a setting where team members can work through difficulties and achieve goals. Coaching often requires a series of regular one-on-one sessions. It is important to keep these sessions separate from your usual weekly one-on-ones.
In a company, employees work together to accomplish a common purpose. Helping your current employees and new hires achieve their full potential is an excellent plan. According to research published by LinkedIn, leadership coaching has a return on investment that is 5.7 times greater than the cost.
The elements of effective employee coaching
Coaching is highly effective in three areas, including fixing issues, planning and executing long-term goals, and providing constructive feedback. Coaching requires both perseverance and compassion. Managers need to remember that employees are humans, not machines. Teaching is an excellent method to learn and boost the capabilities of your team members.
1. Thinking creatively and addressing problems
The first step many managers take when a coworker comes to them with an issue is to offer tips for a solution. It is only natural to provide advice if you are more skilled than the employee. However, this approach is just a short-term fix. If you prompt coworkers to think about the problem instead of fixing the issue immediately, then employees are more likely to learn how to solve difficulties independently.
It would help if you showed employees how to devise solutions or think creatively. The popular saying goes, “Give your team a solution, and you empower them for today; teach your team how to solve issues, and you empower them for a lifetime.”
The coaching process starts with actively listening when team members share a problem. You should reflect on the statement. It is not uncommon for workers to discover they already know the solution to a problem just by hearing it repeated back.
The next step is to ask open-ended, thought-provoking questions to get colleagues to think for themselves. You could take your teammate through the steps you would follow if you were in their shoes. Do not be afraid to share your own experiences and explain how you have seen similar events unfold. You should only offer specific solutions as the last option.
2. Setting and executing goals
Anyone pursuing a career path should have certain long-term objectives in mind. As a coach, it is your responsibility to help employees figure out those objectives and then map out a realistic plan, complete with dates and deadlines for each step.
One long-term objective, for example, is to take on tasks that align more with personal interests. You may assist the team member in determining the abilities or skills they need and what projects to take to build those talents progressively. It is critical that you accomplish these goals while keeping your teammate’s priorities aligned with the team’s overall objectives.
You should take the time to get to know each employee and identify their distinct objectives. Some professionals desire greater responsibility, while others want to improve their communication skills, become better leaders, or boost productivity. You should help your employee figure out hurdles to clear or destructive behaviors to kick. These factors can be a starting point for a discussion. Feel free to add additional thoughts or examples from your own life.
If you do not know where you want to go in life, it might be challenging to figure out your possibilities. Rather than focusing on what the employee say they want, dive deeper into motivations. Many employees may claim they want to be managers when their true objective is to have more influence and recognition. You may assist these individuals in figuring out other ways to achieve their desired outcome.
It is your role to assist in creating reasonable expectations regarding how long it will take to attain objectives. You can draw up a strategy for monitoring progress towards intermediate milestones. Instead of focusing on the specific result, emphasize the importance of the journey. Be sure to provide feedback and input to keep the employee on track.
Here is a list of goal setting exercises to try.
3. Providing Feedback
When events do not go to plan, a leader will have to provide constructive feedback to a coworker. Providing proper constructive feedback can be an incredible source of development. It is critical that the employee feels heard and understood throughout these exchanges. Maintaining eye contact and being empathic can help you establish a trustworthy presence. You could mention your flaws to build a sense of trust.
It is also important to maintain a steady energetic balance. You should avoid slouching or being evasive. You should not chastise violently or make the situation seem bleak, either. Instead, keep calm and do not be afraid to say what is on your mind.
When coaching, analyze your observations and describe your personal experiences objectively. Try to explain why the issue matters to you and how you believe the problem affects their performance or the team’s success. Listen intently to what the coachee has to say, and open yourself to new ideas. Help the team member make concrete efforts toward a better future and set targets. Then, during every interaction, discuss the next steps, assignments, and how you feel about your progress until the problem has a solution.
Here is how to give constructive feedback to employees.
Examples of employee coaching in the workplace
The following are examples of situations where you might use coaching with employees in the workplace:
1. Improving skills and abilities
New employees might benefit from coaching in areas such as communication and technical proficiency. Since training programs may strengthen the company’s workforce, this approach is a win-win situation for every employee involved. A good example of the practice is when work processes change in a company, like after adopting new technology. Coaches may help their staff learn how to utilize the new technology and adapt to new processes.
2. Changing one’s conduct
If an employee’s conduct interferes with the job, then they may benefit from coaching. An example of this situation is an employee that submits work late and delays the project. A coach may assist the team member in improving their time management and productivity.
When a company’s policy changes, coaches may give one-on-one training to assist workers in changing their behavior and adapting. As a result, the transition phase is seamless, and employees are more at ease.
3. Improving the quality of one’s work
Enhancing a worker’s performance or work quality is another example of a case where coaching is important in the workplace. The manager may help an employee falling short of production goals by offering advice on how to increase their output. A coach may also help enhance an employee’s work performance by assessing progress and providing them with self-monitoring tools.
4. Switching careers
When a new employee joins a firm after a career transition, a coach may help the individual get familiar with their responsibilities. This coaching is beneficial for meeting team goals. An employee must learn new skills to succeed in their new roles following a career change.
The coach may also help an employee make a career transition within the organization. Hiring applicants who are acquainted with the team and the job’s responsibilities is advantageous for employers. Firms can make this transition effective by letting the employee assist the colleague that currently holds the position. For example, this scenario applies to department heads mentoring their successors before retirement.
5. Improving outlook on life
Productivity rises when folks have a happy outlook. Therefore, workplace coaching can work to improve positivity. A coach might instruct employees on relaxing and improving their moods and outlook on life while at work. Consider conducting a positivity session for your staff. Optimistic workers will feel less negative at work.
6. Learning problem-solving skills
Managers may help their staff by teaching them established approaches to problem-solving, such as:
- Brainstorming involves a group of employees meeting to generate ideas and collaborate.
- Visualizing the issue asks employees to sketch a problem, link it to possible solutions, and provide instructions on how to execute the resolutions.
- Storyboarding entails developing illustrations that tell a tale about an issue and its possible solutions.
By coaching employees in problem-solving techniques, managers can empower them and spend more time on strategy.
Check out this list of problem-solving exercises.
7. Identifying and achieving objectives
Setting objectives is one of the most prevalent coaching situations in the workplace. Goal-setting is an efficient technique to measure progress and complete tasks. Coaches may train employees to adopt any of the goal-setting strategies to develop and accomplish personal and team goals. Some of the most common strategies used in the workplace to create goals include:
SMART goals: Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound objectives are easier to monitor and chart a course for accomplishing the goal. This strategy is best suited for more broad objectives, such as completing a project.
HARD strategy: Employees can make meaningful but challenging goals by imagining themselves doing them and determining the requirements. This strategy works for long-term objectives.
WOOP technique: This technique works for forming new habits or breaking old ones. This method entails determining the goal, the preferred results, the challenges, and how to accomplish the goal.
8. Coaching on inclusion and diversity
Employee coaching can foster diversity and inclusion in your workplace. When it comes to increasing a company’s diversity and inclusion, the gatekeepers are usually HR, recruiters, and senior management. These employees need coaching on fair hiring processes and identifying prejudices when hiring.
In addition, personnel at all levels should learn the art of fostering an inclusive workplace culture. Providing training sessions on diversity and inclusion during your virtual town hall might be helpful. Alternatively, you might include information about your diversity and inclusion policies in your company’s mailings.
Here is a list of DEI activities and a collection of diversity-boosting books.
9. Getting a promotion
Newly promoted employees may require a coaching program. Coaches may help employees prepare for promotion by teaching them how to execute new duties and assisting them in setting performance objectives.
Check out this list of books for new managers.
10. Reducing anxiety
Finding ways to lessen an employee’s fear may increase performance and assist the organization in accomplishing its objectives. A coach might work with the employee to discover their anxieties and devise strategies for dealing with them. For example, a coach may help an employee who is worried about working with a new group learn effective communication, proper introduction, and collaboration with new team members.
11. Retirement planning
A coach can help employees who have reached retirement age figure out how to best use their skills and expertise. Consequently, the employee can alter their working capacity and still retain their employment in the firm.
When a team member decides to hang up their cleats, coaching may assist the other group members with the transition process. As a coach, you can ease the employee’s retirement plans by notifying human resources and completing tasks.
12. Getting back to work
Workers returning after a leave of absence, such as maternity leave, may benefit from a coach who can assist them in reintegrating into the workplace. Going back to work after an extended time away may be challenging, and having a coach to aid and guide you through the process is essential. A coach may instruct the employee on corporate policies and procedures, provide a workplace overview and handle introductions to other team members. This coaching helps employees acclimate and succeed in the workplace.
Templates for employee coaching
Regardless of the end goal, it helps to map out a strategy. Employee coaching follows the same principles. The use of a basic template to visualize coaching goals aids in the development of a realistic roadmap for achieving important goals.
In a few sentences, explain why the employee requires coaching. The purpose might be improving a soft skill, such as communication. Also, the employee might benefit from learning how to use an online analytics tool. It would help if you also clarified why the person has to improve in this particular area.
The template should describe what the employee expects to accomplish from receiving coaching or training. For example, improving outlook on life or learning a new skill.
Benefits of change
It is not enough to clamor for change. You should also identify the benefits associated with the change. In the template, make a case for why the employee should strive to improve in a certain area.
For example, the employee may need to improve their time management skills. The employee will save time, increase productivity, and be less stressed if they take efforts to better manage their time at work.
The template should contain a column for the list of measures that an employee may take to achieve their objectives. Daily tasks, formal training, regular adjustments, and other forms of ongoing education are all examples of what to put in this category.
This column should highlight how long the employee will need to follow the strategy before noticing results. The manager can set up a meeting later to review the individual’s progress or address any obstacles they have.
The importance of employee coaching in the workplace
Coaching is beneficial to employees. Employees who receive coaching or mentoring often have better job performance and satisfaction. Other benefits of coaching employees include:
Boosts the efficiency of the workforce
Coaching may help workers learn new skills for success and boost their productivity in the office. A manager who is also a coach is often more accessible, so workers may feel more at ease turning to their coach when they need assistance. This approach may boost staff productivity, which improves the company’s bottom line.
Aids in achieving objectives
A coach may assist each employee in setting personal objectives that account for their unique set of abilities and responsibilities at work. Coaches may succeed by setting more specific objectives that include fewer players and are thus easier to reach and measure.
Establishes an environment of openness
Managers can open a line of communication between leadership and the general staff by implementing a coaching culture in the workplace. Additionally, coaching may aid the development of stronger working connections between coworkers, which in turn enhances morale and positivity.
Coaching develops and enhances cooperation by encouraging workers to collaborate. Productivity and efficiency soar when employees work as a team to complete projects.
Improves problem-solving abilities
Teaching workers problem-solving skills is one purpose of coaching. This practice prepares employees to work more autonomously. Employees develop their problem-solving abilities by learning the methods and processes involved in devising solutions.
Here is a list of books on probelm-solving skills.
Boosts employee loyalty and retention
Better performance and job satisfaction from coaching can increase retention rates. Employees are less likely to quit their jobs if they are happy. Coaching may also help employees build strong connections with their coworkers, which can significantly impact their happiness and well-being.
Check out this list of employee retention tactics.
Good managers continually look for ways to help employees grow and succeed. You may be proactive in improving employee performance by implementing employee coaching in your firm. You also assist your employees in achieving their professional objectives.
Feel free to also check out this list of leadership qualities and this collection of books on mentorship.