We come to work both to do our jobs and to learn and grow as professionals. In a great workplace, we have the opportunity to take on new challenges, develop our skills, and blossom as leaders. But we can’t do that without strong mentors — that’s where coaching comes in.
It’s natural for employees to need help reaching their goals. And when employees achieve their professional goals, it benefits the whole company. Coaches can act as guides and supports, leading people towards tangible milestones of success and those intangible feelings of satisfaction and pride in their work.
Ready to take your work to the next level? Let’s explore the ins and outs of coaching in the workplace and how to implement the practice at your company.
What is coaching?
Coaching is a goal-focused relationship in which coaches help their clients overcome challenges they’ve struggled to navigate on their own. Coaches can help with obstacles from applying to jobs to navigating conflicts, depending on the type of coaching they offer. If it’s a source of stress or discouragement for you, a coach can probably help.
Every client has unique goals and needs. Because coaching is such a diverse service, there are all sorts of techniques tailored to different kinds of problems. Several established coaching methods exist to tackle all types of goals, including improving employee performance, general health and wellness, and interpersonal relationships.
What is workplace coaching, and why is it important?
As leaders, we can’t expect our teams to overcome every problem or hit every milestone without guidance. It’s our job to support our employees as they grow as individuals, team members, and leaders in their own right.
Why is coaching important in the workplace? Let’s go over some of the benefits:
- It helps people face challenges. In a workplace, your staff encounter challenges daily. Coaching helps the team thrive under pressure by equipping them with the skills they need to problem-solve and navigate deadlines under stress.
- It fosters team and individual work. Employees never work in a vacuum, no matter their rank at the company. Show your staff how to collaborate successfully in a team setting while meeting their personal performance goals with team coaching.
- It boosts employee engagement. Your employees are constantly developing and learning from their mistakes. With the help of a coach, this intentional growth and self-assessment can quickly turn out results. When your staff hit milestones, they’re reminded their hard work contributes to a greater goal.
- It helps people improve. Strong and effective mentorship can take your team’s workflow to the next level, whether that’s through teaching time management or building up leadership skills. This growth helps staff better complete their work and makes the company more efficient.
- It opens employees’ eyes to what’s not working. Part of any coaching process is identifying areas of potential growth. Sometimes an outside opinion can help an employee understand what changes they need to make to reach their goals.
- It puts a strategy in place. Workplace coaching isn’t only about identifying what’s not working — it’s about enacting a strategy to improve. Coaches help the team take meaningful action with a well-laid plan tailored to their strengths and needs.
- It’s inspiring. Even if you’re not implementing a company-wide coaching strategy, your work with one person can inspire others to take charge of their careers – and perhaps even seek out your mentorship.
- It makes a long-term impact. The purpose of workplace coaching goes beyond making short-term changes. The skills and tools you equip your staff with will stick with them, and they’ll be better at navigating future challenges with less hands-on support from management.
How to implement coaching in the workplace
If you’re interested in implementing coaching at work, start by building up a toolkit of critical skills that every good coach should have. Here are a few examples of coaching techniques you can bring to the office:
- Precise goal setting. Help employees visualize where they’re going and feel inspired by their goals. With precise goal setting, staff know exactly what defines personal success and when to celebrate a milestone. Use quantifiable measurements when possible, like aiming for a 3% increase in sales for the quarter.
- Recognizing accomplishments. Show your staff you see how well they’re doing by calling out their hard work and coaching milestones. They’ll appreciate the gesture and be motivated to hit their next goal.
- Prioritizing learning. Learning new things is an essential part of self-improvement. Focus on teaching your team new skills and techniques, from setting professional boundaries to minimizing stress. If you notice a gap in their knowledge, take action to fill it.
- Open communication. Be forthcoming with your employees and don’t leave them to guess what they’re doing well or what needs improvement. Follow up on any advice you give and check in to see if it was helpful. Ask your staff how you can better support them.
- Providing honest feedback. It’s always important to share positive feedback in a coaching session, but don’t clam up when it’s time to provide negative or constructive feedback. Otherwise, your clients’ progress may stagnate.
- Ensuring your team’s comfort. One of the essential factors in any coaching relationship is learning your clients’ boundaries and comfort levels. Practice active listening and hold transparent, supportive conversations. You need to adapt your coaching style to every staff member you mentor, so listen carefully to their needs.
Coaching belongs in the office
Think of the office like a gym. Working on an exhausting project can feel a lot like completing a particularly challenging set. When we need encouragement at the gym to push through those final reps, our coach can cheer us on. With advice from a coach, we can improve our technique to make our workout more effective, just as a coach at work can teach us the skills we need to excel at the project.
No, there aren’t any weights at the office. But coaching is fundamental to a workplace’s success. It builds up employees, and as they become better professionals, the company grows, too. To learn more about improving your leadership and becoming a coach at your workplace, check out our blog.