6 Benefits of Coaching in the Workplace (And When to Use It)

August 22nd, 2023 – SkillCycle

Successful woman plans work schedule, writes in notebook, sitting at workplace with laptop

Coaching helps employees tackle challenges, progress toward goals, and offer their highest contributions at work. It can bridge the gap between where your employees are today and where they want to go — in their careers, within your company, and even personally.

“A coach can help employees explore what steps are possible; uncovering barriers and opening up opportunities to build a bridge to what success looks like for them,” says Tori Rochlen, Director of Learning Success & Enablement at SkillCycle.

With coaching, employees learn how to use their strengths for best outcomes. These workers achieve sales results that are 10 to 19% higher than others, with 14 to 19% increases in profit, according to Gallup.

Providing coaching can help drive positive impacts across your organization, creating better worklife success and improved performance.

In this article on coaching in the workplace, we’ll explore:

  • What coaching in the workplace is and how it’s used
  • Six benefits of coaching in the workplace
  • When to use coaching in the workplace for maximum impact
  • How to successfully introduce a new coaching program


What is coaching in the workplace?

Coaching in the workplace is a developmental process. It involves someone with coaching skills assisting an employee in building their skills and performance through feedback, and by setting goals for improvement and growth. 

It’s becoming more common for managers to look to coaching to encourage positive employee growth, according to the Society for Human Resource Management

This process can be led by a manager with well-developed coaching skills, an HR leader, or an external coach. It’s most successful in an environment that is supportive of the time and effort it takes to coach effectively. 

“Coaching is a process that lives inside a supportive coaching culture,” says Rochlen. 

Coaching is valuable at all levels of an organization. Managers can use coaching to support, connect with, develop, and build trust with their employees. However, in order for managers to be able to coach their employees, they likely will need to be coached themselves. 

HR leaders may offer coaching or may create coaching programs that incorporate external coaches, business coaches, and peer-to-peer coaching.

Coaches may use different tactics or coaching styles in the workplace. Still, most coaching structures have similar goals: to help employees develop skills, move past obstacles, and perform to their highest capacity, increasing their job satisfaction with every goal met.


6 key benefits of coaching in the workplace 

Organizations in which leaders empower others through coaching are nearly four times more likely to make good decisions than organizations where this support doesn’t exist. They’re also more likely to financially outperform industry peers, according to McKinsey.

“A coach can help bring awareness to the behaviors and thought patterns that an individual may not be aware are acting as barriers to success,” says Rochlen

Here are six ways coaching can benefit employees: 

  1. Building employees’ confidence in themselves
  2. Helping people understand and deploy their strengths
  3. Supporting those who need to break out of paralysis or feeling “stuck” 
  4. Creating awareness of behaviors and thought patterns
  5. Helping uncover steps that can drive progress toward goals
  6. Reducing second-guessing and driving better decision-making

These positive impacts can also drive better results for the organization, as they help employees grow personally and professionally, expanding their contributions to the company.

“Coaching can unlock increased performance, goal alignment, and goal achievement,” says Rochlen, “It can also improve relationships between individuals within your organization.”

From a business perspective, coaching can empower employees and help leaders spend more time making strategic decisions that impact a company’s long-term success. 

“Developing skills within a team can build trust within teams and drive the team’s overall goals forward,” says Rochlen. “Building trust with your team builds engagement, and an engaged team is ready to go above and beyond.”


When to use coaching in the workplace for maximum impact

Ongoing coaching can be helpful for individuals at any stage of the employee lifecycle, but there are certainly times when it offers deep value. 

“The coaching process should be ongoing and collaborative,” says Rochlen. “It’s important that employees are in the right mindset to be coached and to actively participate in the process.” 

However, there are times when coaching can be especially valuable to help guide people during key moments of growth or change. Navigating these situations can help employees build the skills they need to overcome challenges. 

Watch for these high-impact moments where your employees may need extra support:

  • When they have a goal but don’t know what steps to take to achieve it
  • When trying to get unstuck when spinning their wheels or frozen on the next steps
  • When trying to make an important decision
  • After receiving unexpected feedback or response from others at work
  • When going through a professional transition or navigating change in their personal lives
  • Trying to manage areas where they aren’t seeing results or want to improve
  • Building better relationships in the workplace
  • Finding a balance between work life and home life, or creating healthy boundaries

Offering access to coaching during these times can be especially fruitful in helping employees thrive in their roles.


How to successfully introduce a new coaching program

When organizations launch a coaching program or individual coaching relationships, it should be carefully planned and executed, like any other critical change management process. 

Having champions on the team who can help encourage others to participate in any new program can be very helpful, as is ensuring any new framework is created to support the employees themselves.

“Coaching is always in service of the individual being coached. While coaches may use different coaching styles in the workplace, the style will and should evolve with what the coachee needs,” says Rochlen.

Explaining the benefits of coaching for employees’ career development can be helpful to ensure the focus is on helping people bridge the gap between where they are today and the successful future they envision for themselves. 

One-to-one coaching is for everyone. Learn more about our coaching marketplace to explore the benefits of professional coaching and its impact.


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