Coaching Employees: Develop Your Coaching Skills

Coaching skills can have a significant impact on an individual's performance. Coaching is often seen as a tool to help people develop their skills and abilities, but it can also be used in the workplace to motivate employees and improve their performance. This article will look at what coaching entails, how leaders can coach employees and some examples of effective coaching skills that you might see in the workplace.

As a leader, you have the power to change your team's performance. Many coaching skills will improve productivity and creativity from employees. If you want to be an effective leader or manager, you should take these 11 steps to increase your ability to coach employees.

Recognize improvement efforts.

It's essential to recognize your employees for not only their achievements but for their improvement efforts as well. A fundamental way to improve employee performance is showing employees that they're appreciated. When you consider that 94% of employees say they would leave (or have left) a job due to a lack of appreciation, you can't downplay the importance of recognition for your team.

Create goals.

You should set goals with employees based on their capabilities, talents, and skills. Ask your employee for ideas on what they think is achievable in a specific time frame so that you can set realistic goals together. Help the employee break down larger tasks into smaller chunks of work, allowing them to be more productive throughout the day.

Additionally, encourage your team to set their own goals and help them achieve those goals by coaching them through the process of setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Timely) goals, or even SMART-ER goals. A key to coaching employees means providing feedback on their progress towards achieving their goals promptly.

Encourage progress.

Assess your employees' progress and provide feedback. You'll notice that feedback and consistent, regular communication are critical to coaching employees. This will encourage employees to think about what they need to do next, which will help them achieve their goals. If you see an employee struggling with a particular task or project, find out why it is difficult for them by having frequent conversations, giving them the opportunity to ask questions and receive advice.

Reward achievements.

This will encourage employees to set and achieve more goals by showing them that their hard work has been noticed. Set a reward system for your employees specific to the job role, such as an extra day off or time away from the office after completing specific tasks. At times, it can be challenging to know when an employee has achieved a goal or completed a task, which is why you must take the time for regular coaching sessions. If an employee has worked hard on a project and done well, acknowledge this by giving them positive feedback in front of their colleagues. This will encourage employees to work harder and motivate them to produce even better results.

Coaching skills are essential. and the ability to coach effectively is widely seen as a tool that helps people develop their skills and abilities - not just an employee's performance at work.

Ask an employee about their learning style by coaching them through the process of discovering how they learn best. This will help you when assessing their performance in the future. Be aware of different personalities when coaching employees - some people may prefer to work independently. In contrast, others might need more direction and guidance to achieve their personal goals and see success in their overall career.

Provide feedback.

Coaching your employees to better performance requires you to provide feedback that will help develop their skills and also allows managers to strengthen their ability to communicate with and motivate their teams in the long run. Employees should be given regular opportunities to discuss their progress, and this can also work during formal reviews by using coaching language and techniques. The two processes are very similar as both use open-ended questions which prompt self-awareness and reflection. Providing regular, constructive feedback and open dialogue allows you to observe employees in their day-to-day work environment, which can be beneficial when it comes time for formal reviews.

Provide constructive criticism.

Coaching is about helping employees grow and develop over time, which means that you will need to be aware of their strengths and areas where they may need additional support. Employees should be given constructive criticism - especially during formal reviews - to learn from their mistakes and be recognized for their wins. You should try your best to avoid focusing solely on criticisms, as this will only discourage employees from striving to improve.

As a leader or manager, you should coach your employees by using coaching skills that allow you to build their confidence and show them how they can be better at what they do in the future. These coaching techniques will help people grow into confident and effective professionals who can produce results that exceed expectations.

coaching employees

Be patient.

Coaching employees is about building their confidence and showing them how they can be better at what they do in the future. This takes time, which means that you need to be patient when coaching people over a period of weeks or months.

Coaching skills are very important because they allow leaders and managers to coach employees effectively so that they produce better results at the end of the week or month. If you want the time you're investing in employees to be successful, leaders and managers must use coaching skills like demonstrating empathy, providing constructive criticism, asking questions, etc. These techniques ensure employees can grow into confident and effective professionals who can produce results and exceed expectations.


A critical piece of being able to coach employees to better performance is to empower them so that they can show more initiative at work. When coaching people, leaders and managers should ensure that their discussions and ongoing dialogue are centered around being action-oriented. This will allow for greater empowerment, which leads to results.

Coaching is all about empowering employees - not just telling them what they need to do. You should try your best to avoid coaching sessions that are full of criticism as this will only discourage people from trying their best at work. If you want coaching skills to be developed and have an impact, leaders and managers must empower people to take control of their own development.

Don't criticize mistakes.

If you want to be successful as a manager or supervisor who is working on their coaching skills, it's important not to criticize people when mistakes are made. This will likely only discourage an employee from trying their best at work. Instead of criticizing your team members for making a mistake, provide positive feedback so that they can learn from their mistakes and improve.

Offer solutions.

When coaching your employees, you must offer solutions instead of problems, as this will help empower people and allow for greater productivity. Once you identify what the issue is, and you and your employees already have agreed-upon goals, you can work to suggest solutions that will be mutually beneficial. Rather than focusing on criticisms or only providing negative feedback, you can offer new ways of completing tasks or different approaches to projects for employees to feel empowered and motivated to still get their job done.

Celebrate successes.

When managers and leaders coach employees, it's important to celebrate successes. This will motivate people as well as establish trust between employee and manager or leader. An effective coach celebrates the wins while having a plan to improve and empower employees on their professional development journey continually. Be sure to find out what motivates each of your team members and what types of recognition mean the most to them. By tailoring the celebrations to the employee, celebrating each success will have that much more of an impact!

Additional examples of using effective coaching skills in the workplace:

  • Provide employees with clear instructions, feedback, and guidance.
  • Plan for performance improvement through goal-setting.
  • Give praise where it is due, i.e., when an employee has done well or achieved his/her goals.
  • Ask relevant questions to help an employee think through a problem or situation.
  • Be supportive of your team member's ideas, even if they are not suitable for the current project.
  • Allow time for reflection by asking open-ended questions that encourage thought and self-awareness.
  • Actively listen when a member of your team is talking to you.

Teach Your Leaders To Coach Employees to Better Performance

Leaders should remember that coaching is not about the manager or leader but about the effect it has on empowering your teams to take control of their own personal and professional development. Leadership coaching requires changes in mindset, behavior, habits, etc. These are essential to produce results, achieve shared goals that benefit both the business and the employee, and empower and motivate employees to work to their highest potential.

In this lesson, leaders take a look at what differentiates "coaching" from training or mentoring. Leaders explore the proper roles & responsibilities of coaching, and get some practical and actionable coaching skills. They'll learn all they need to know with Develop Your Coaching Skills. Here's a preview of what this training is all about.

Here's what your leaders will come away with when they complete "Develop Your Coaching Skills" training from A Better Leader:

  • How coaching is different from training or mentoring
  • The responsibilities of coaches and coaching subjects
  • The skills needed to create impactful coaching

You can chat with our team of experts to make sure your leaders learn how to coach employees. Schedule your free demo today, or simply discuss the solution that's right for you!

About the Author Jennifer Orechwa

With over 25 years in the industry, and now as IRI's Director of Business Development, Jennifer has gained a unique perspective on what it takes to build a culture of engagement. By blending a deep understanding of labor and employee relations with powerful digital marketing knowledge, Jennifer has helped thousands of companies achieve behavioral change at a cultural level.

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