When you picture star athletes getting personalized feedback on the field, you might want that for your work environments — like for the high-performing employees of a company, for example, who’re looking for professional and personal development.
The good news is that businesses are increasingly turning to executive and leadership coaching to help their team members learn, explore, and reach their full potential.
Coaching has different approaches, so we’ve put together a list to help you understand it better. Check out these workplace coaching examples to see how the strategies mentioned here can benefit your business.
What is coaching?
Coaching is the process of helping others improve their performance. It’s a task-oriented method of setting and achieving goals that comes in many different formats and models. These range from one-on-one or group sessions to coaching an entire company together.
This process generally involves direct attention from the coach, feedback, and accountability. Compared with traditional workplace performance reviews, it’s a more focused, immediate, and personalized method of improving performance that allows for better and more frequent communication.
Instead of expecting employees to take occasional performance reviews and act on the feedback later, coaches can observe and identify any roadblocks and give feedback, guidance, and encouragement at the moment.
What is coaching in the workplace?
When new employees join teams or companies, effective leaders may assign a coach (possibly a higher ranking member of the team or a human resources specialist) to teach them about the day-to-day routine at the office. This coaching approach may include identifying competencies and skill sets, goal-setting and action-planning, helping with time management, and providing constructive feedback.
However, for the more experienced team members already acclimated to their work life, effective coaching might focus on problem-solving, management, and teamwork skills.
A good coach will also inquire about the coachee’s job satisfaction and help them communicate any changes that need to be made to better align the employee’s competencies with business goals.
Team coaching examples
While one-on-one coaching may be more suitable for newer team members that require more direct support, it’s possible for coaches to facilitate sessions for more than one person at a time. These group sessions are particularly effective when coaching complete teams, and may include focus areas such as:
- Communication: Teams who don’t understand each other can’t perform to their highest potential. They may be waylaid by miscommunication and slowed down if different team members aren’t on the same page about the project’s goals. This is why coaches facilitate exercises about non-verbal communication, empathy, and assertive communication in the workplace.
- Self-awareness: Not every member of the team knows what they’re good at, much less what others are good at. Their knowledge of their teammates is sometimes limited to how they relate to their roles and tasks. A team-focused coaching approach allows team members to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each member and what makes them strong as a team so they can work together more efficiently.
- Leadership skills: For those in managerial positions or involved in the company's decision-making process, it may be hard to connect with other team members genuinely. Coaching skills allow them to support and show up for team members, regardless of the difference in skill level, position, or experience.
These coaching scenario examples are just some of the many that are useful in the workplace. Each employee has their own long- and short-term needs. The beauty of coaching is that it allows the coach and coaches to tailor their relationship to specific needs and goals.
Who should do the coaching?
Coaches can come from both inside and outside the workplace. Depending on the size of the group and the seniority of the employees, it may be helpful to look for different types of coaches.
One coach may want to tackle specific areas — increasing engagement, supporting, lowering stress, achieving career goals, or improving performance opportunities — with their coachee, while other coachees want to learn more about boundary setting to find a healthier work-life balance.
But in some instances, team members could excel as leaders for one another. For example, in a peer-coaching model, less experienced employees can be guided and coached one-on-one by a senior employee in the same department. This method relies on adjusting behavior through modeling, where the less experienced employee observes the task being done before doing it themselves.
For group or team coaching, the coach may come from outside the company or within (perhaps, again, a manager or senior member of another team). With this approach, the team’s goal is to learn to work together more effectively. This sort of coaching may involve workshops in communication skills and empathy or collaborative exercises.
In other more personalized situations, employees may work with an external coach, or one of their superiors, using specific coaching techniques. One such example is the GROW model.
- Goal: What do we want to accomplish? This can be a long-term or a short-term goal.
- Reality: Hone in on the facts of the goal by asking questions about it — what, where, when, and who. Is this really accomplishable?
- Options: List out the possibilities available to reach the goal. This is a brainstorming stage, so don’t be afraid to consider new perspectives and unusual ideas.
- Will: Mark down the steps to accomplish the goal.
Any coach-coachee relationship works best when adapted to fit the coachee’s specific needs and goals. Companies should always consider the details of each situation and pick the most suitable coach for the job.
Why should companies use coaching?
Although the benefits of coaching may not always be immediately measurable, companies should consider the option seriously for many reasons. Coaches giving feedback happens over time. During this period, companies can see:
- Employees developing qualities that make them excel at their jobs
- Soft skills such as active listening help improve company culture
- An increase in employee retention and engagement as they feel more confident
- Better teamwork within and across groups
- Stronger stress management skills
Leadership coaching styles in the office also help senior employees develop leadership skills in the workplace. This kind of professional development is great for boosting employee confidence and competency and fosters an open office environment where employees are encouraged to innovate and collaborate.
Coaching is a process that takes time and ongoing effort — one session may be a great start but may not yield visible results. Coaching isn’t limited to sports or a particular kind of workplace. It can be practiced in different contexts and environments.
At Practice, we understand that a coaching relationship works best when it’s personalized. Try our all-in-one client relationship management system to tailor your coach-client relationship for a perfect fit.