A business is much like a team in the way that its employees are nothing without strong leadership, the team coach. There are many different ways of leadership and coaching in the workplace, whether it be praising good behavior, giving constructive criticism, approaching problems through either a positive or negative lens and so on. Each style of leadership yields different outcomes for different people, although the hope is always to motivate employees to do the best work they’re capable of. Here’s what you should know about coaching in the workplace.


What Does Coaching Look Like?

Coaching in the workplace consists of the coach and the person being coached meeting together to set goals together. These goals will focus on the employee becoming his or her best self, contributing all they can to the company, and learning how to most effectively utilize their talents and time.

Within the sessions, the employee and coach will work together towards finding the best way to accomplish goals. A general premise of coaching in the workplace is that the answers lie inside the employee—the coach is only there to help them discover what they need, not to tell them what they need. Though the coach can help lead the employee to the answer they’re looking for, ultimately the employee has to determine the answer for him or herself.


What Coaching Is Not

Coaching is not therapy or counseling. Therapy and counseling tend to focus on events and patterns of the past, whereas coaching is focused on the future, performance, and action.


Is Coaching Important?

Coaching is a valuable and important facet to expanding employee performance. Major companies that are very successful, such as Hewlett-Packard and IBM, have identified coaching as vital for the leadership and management competency of their employees, especially of millennial employees.

Coaching takes the training your employee has received to the next level, moving from knowledge to behavior. While training can tell your employee the basics of achieving success, coaching can help them find the motivation to be the best within themselves as well as the best method for them to get there. Coaching results in an investment in the betterment of performance on an employee’s personal level, and thus helps to improve company’s overall performance.


Examples of Coaching Strategies

coaching in the workplace

Some coaching strategies will cause one employee to succeed and another to disengage; it is the duty of a good coach to find what strategy works best to individually motivate each employee they work with. Some examples of coaching strategies include:

Do Drills

  • Doing drills with an employee can help them feel more comfortable in their role. Encouraging them to practice body language and social skills if they work with cliental often, or asking them to practice a presentation in the mirror multiple times before it is due. Though some may find these exercises silly, some employees will take comfort in feeling prepared and their work will flourish because of it.


  • Some people are inspired to push themselves harder when they receive constructive criticism, but for others, constructive criticism leads to a fear of trying and causes them to shy away. For some employees, celebrating their triumphs and encouraging the behavior they do well is enough for them to stray away from doing what they don’t do as well. Though it’s important for a boss to be able to tell their employees their mistakes, the way of framing these mistakes can make or break the situation. By celebrating accomplishments, a coach can help turn constructive criticism from something fearful into something motivating for individuals who may respond negatively to it.

Set a Game-Plan

  • By utilizing both short-term and long-term goals, setting a game plan can effectively change an employee’s behavior drastically. It is easy to get overwhelmed if one looks too much at the big picture, and just as easy to procrastinate if one looks too far into the future. Setting goals that are both immediate and far off can help enhance productivity and avoid procrastination or becoming overwhelmed to the point of paralysis.


Coaching in the Workplace

Coaching in the workplace is a foreign concept for most individuals and businesses, but it can transform the productivity and output of one’s business. By coaching employees to be the best versions of themselves, as both team members and individuals in a business, and by also using methods like drills, celebrations, and game plans, your company and employees will thrive. Knowing that large companies such as IBM depend on coaching to enhance the leadership and management of their employees, it is no wonder coaching has become so popular in the workplace!