Why is Coaching in the Workplace Important?

Coaching in the workplace is an important part of any organization that wants to foster a positive organizational culture. The idea of coaching is different from the traditional manager or supervisor because they focus on helping employees improve their skills and performance, and mentoring them to achieve goals, while managers are known to focus more on day-to-day operations and are more task-oriented. Managers also have a reputation of micromanaging and hovering over employees, but thankfully, a manager can learn the leadership skills necessary to coach employees and improve the connection and relationship with their teams in order for everyone to achieve success.

The coaching process starts with coaching tools such as goal setting and providing constructive feedback which help build awareness for both parties about what's going well and where there may be room for improvement. Effective coaching also includes on going coaching conversations, behavior modeling, follow up meetings, and action planning to ensure progress is happening. Every organization should strive to have coaching as a part of their culture, but it's especially important for managers and supervisors because coaching gives them the ability to better manage employees by helping them improve their actual performance and achieve goals that contribute to the big picture, rather than focusing solely on day-to-day operations or smaller tasks and projects.

At IRI Consultants and Projections, we've had decades of experience assisting many organizations in overcoming their employee engagement and retention struggles, while providing training that develops leaders into good coaches who can connect with team members at all levels. We've been able to help companies to increase leadership effectiveness and provide them with the skills necessary to lead both their teams and the workplace as a whole to business success. We've written at length about effective coaching, how to coach your employees, and even what a successful culture of coaching looks like. Today we'll cover the basics of what coaching means and how you can better understand how your workplace can provide coaching to employees in order to solve problems, improve performance, and develop employees' potential to positively impact the company as a whole.

What is Coaching?

Coaching is a powerful process used to empower others to:

  • Increase their self-awareness in order to
  • Facilitate more conscious decision-making, which
  • Forwards their decisions into focused and organized action, and that
  • Ties in the key component of accountability to measure progress

As a leader, who coaches, it is very important to understand what is required in the specific coaching interaction and to come to agreement with the person about the coaching process and relationship. You have to get mutual agreement upfront or else trust will be compromised. An effective coach understands the agenda is set by the other person, as well as coming up with solutions to their targeted desires.

An effective coach never gets involved in the other person’s story and always keeps their ego, their needs, and their agenda outside of this critical interaction. This conversation is totally about the other person’s agenda, needs, wants and desires. They determine everything through your effective questioning. An effective coach also has the ability to focus completely on what the person is saying and not saying, understanding the meaning of what is said in context of the other desires. This is active listening with your whole body and using your intuition for further probing. Finally, an effective coach has the ability to integrate and accurately evaluate multiple sources of information and to make interpretations that help the other person gain awareness and thereby achieve desired results.

coaching employees

The Purpose of Coaching in the Workplace

When coaching becomes an integral part of your company culture, employee performance will be positively impacted. Studies show coaching can increase employee engagement by up to 20% and companies that have coaching cultures are able to retain their best talent for longer periods of time compared with organizations without coaching practices in place. Employees who are coached at work feel more confident about taking on new challenges, setting higher goals, and achieving greater success both personally and professionally. Employee potential can and will expand and develop and employees can accomplish more than they thought possible with the right mentoring.

People who are coached at work not only feel more confident about their ability to succeed, they also have a greater sense of impact and influence on the success of others and the business. Coaching helps employees see the bigger picture so they can understand how what they do impacts other people as well as themselves. Because coaching builds self-awareness, it creates an environment where employees are more likely to be engaged, productive, and share ideas that contribute positively the company's overall mission.

If coaching is done effectively in your workplace, it can have a positive impact on employee performance by strengthening relationships between managers and their teams. A coaching relationship should empower both parties because coaching helps individuals make sense of what they do every day and gives them the ability to set clear goals for what they want to achieve. It positively impacts everyone: the employee, the supervisor, and the business. In other words, a good coach provides regular feedback that helps develop employees' skills so they can take on more responsibility and feel empowered to advance in their careers. Furthermore, it offers a form of leadership training that can teach any of your leaders how to engage with and motivate team members at all levels.

It will lead to better performance by making individuals more engaged with their work because they understand how their role contributes positively towards achieving company objectives. It also helps employees grow within the organization so that there are opportunities for advancement and more room for growth.

The Coaching Mindset

Coaching is a mindset that managers need to embrace because it will help them be better at their jobs, by allowing them to develop their skills and increase trust and connection with team members. Coaches are effective managers who have learned how to set clear goals, provide feedback on performance, give guidance when challenges arise, and encourage people to move forward as a team. When workplace coaching is done effectively, it is not only beneficial for employees, it's also beneficial for managers and supervisors who are able to empower their teams to be more productive.

Coaching in the workplace has many benefits that contribute positively towards employee performance including building relationships between managers and team members. Coaching creates an environment where individuals are more engaged with their work which leads to greater success both personally and professionally. Basically, coaching, when done well, is one of the most effective ways that managers can empower their teams by helping them achieve results they didn't know they were capable of.

workplace coaching

How Workplace Coaching Positively Impacts Your Organization

Managers who are coaching their employees can have a positive impact on performance by empowering their teams, building self-awareness to set clear goals and achieve greater results both personally and professionally. 

Coaching is beneficial for managers who want to become true leaders, along with all employees, because it creates an environment where individuals feel empowered to take on new responsibilities and push out of their comfort zones. Employees have a sense of pride when they are challenged and can rise to the occasion, and supervisors benefit as well, since they can hone their leadership skills and connect with their teams on a different level. It increases feelings of trust, strengthens relationships, and promotes an overall positive workplace culture. Leaders can feel confident knowing they're able to successfully delegate tasks to employees that may not have had the opportunity in the past to develop new skills, both personal and professionally.

When individuals have clear goals and receive regular feedback about the ways they're succeeding and the ways they need to improve, their motivation increases. When motivation increases, workplace productivity increases, and this positively impacts the bottom line as well as the atmosphere where everyone works. In fact, 94% of employees say they'd leave a job that didn't appreciate the work they were doing. It's amazing that the simple act of recognizing your teams for a job well done can be what keeps employees engaged and keeps you from losing top talent.

Next Steps

Since coaching benefits managers as well by helping them build relationships with their employees, this leads to greater success both personally and professionally for everyone involved. Coaching creates an environment where individuals feel empowered to take on new challenges and accomplish greater results both personally and professionally. Keeping this in mind, it should be a focus of yours to provide your leaders at all levels with the coaching skills they need to help build a workplace culture where employees feel valued, respected, heard, and they are mentored to achieve both personal and professional goals.

With the proper training, your leadership teams will have all the tools and problem solving skills necessary to create this type of environment. If you're struggling to hire employees who want to stay, or failing to keep your engaged employees motivated and inspired, it's time to develop a plan. We'd be happy to help you turn managers into coaches and create a successful future for your business. You can talk to our team of experts to get set up with a solution that's right for you and your positive employee relations strategy. We've been successful at assisting multiple organizations with the same struggles you're facing, and we're only a click away!

About the Author Walter Orechwa

Walter is Director of IRI's Digital Workplace Solutions Group, and the founder of A Better Leader. Walter provides expert advice, highly effective employee communication resources and ongoing learning opportunities for Human Resources and Labor Relations professionals.