11 Coaching in the Workplace Examples

By Indeed Editorial Team

May 27, 2021

Coaching is a beneficial method to improve the performance of employees and increase productivity. The best leaders are able to coach team members to help them adapt to new situations, develop skills and increase their efficiency. Learning about the importance of coaching and the instances in a workplace that may require coaching can help improve coaching skills. In this article, we discuss why coaching is important and how it benefits employees with scenarios of when leaders may coach their employees.

Related: How To Become a Coach (With 5 Benefits of Manager Coaching for Employees)

Why is coaching important in the workplace?

Coaching is important in the workplace because of how it benefits employees. Having a mentor to coach employees can improve their performance and increase job satisfaction. Here are other ways coaching employees can help:

Affects employee performance

Coaching can teach employees new skills for success and help them improve productivity at work. Having a manager that is a coach can make them more approachable, so when employees need help they may feel more comfortable going to their coach. This can help improve employee performance which ultimately benefits the success of the company.

Helps achieve goals

A coach can help create personal goals for each employee, which considers each employee's skills and job role. Specific goals can lead to greater success because coaches design these goals carefully and they are more attainable and measurable when goals involve fewer people.

Promotes teamwork

Coaching encourages collaboration between employees and promotes and strengthens teamwork. This leads to high efficiency and greater productivity because employees work together.

Establishes open communication

When managers coach their employees, this establishes an open channel of communication between them. Coaching can also help build relationships between employees, which improves the work environment and makes the workplace more enjoyable for everyone.

Teaches employees problem-solving skills

One goal of coaching is to teach employees problem-solving skills so that they can better help themselves and perform their job tasks independently. Coaches help employees develop problem-solving skills by introducing processes and strategies to find a resolution.

Related: 10 Ways To Improve Your Creative Problem-Solving Skills

Increases employee retention

Coaching in the workplace can also increase retention rates because employees receive better training and therefore their performance and job satisfaction improves. Coaching also helps establish healthy relationships at work which can have a big effect on the happiness of employees.

Examples of coaching scenarios

Here are examples of scenarios in which you may coach employees:

1. Adapting behavior

An employee may require coaching to adapt their behavior if their behavior is affecting their or others' work. An example is an employee who turns in work late puts a project behind schedule, but a coach can help develop time management skills and improve the employee's productivity.

Coaches may provide one-on-one training when company policy changes to help employees change their behavior and adapt to innovations. This eases transitions and can make employees more comfortable.

2. Changing careers

When an employee changes careers and comes to work for a company, having a coach can help them learn their job tasks quickly, which helps the team reach its goals more efficiently. During a career change, there can be many job skills that an employee needs to develop for the new job.

A coach may help an employee change careers within the company as well. This is helpful for companies to hire candidates who are familiar with the team and job duties. They may do this by allowing the employee to job shadow someone in the company with the position that they are moving into. This situation may also apply to mentors coaching their successors before retirement.

Read more: How To Make a Career Change

3. Developing skills

Coaches help new hires develop necessary skills for their job role, such as communication and technical skills. This is beneficial to the company because training programs improve talent and can make them more competitive.

Another scenario that requires coaching is when a company changes work processes, for example updating technology. To adapt to this change, coaches may teach employees how to use the new technology.

4. Improving job performance

Improving employee job performance is a scenario where coaching can help an employee reach their goal quickly. For example, if an employee is under their production quota, a coach can provide them tips on how to improve their productivity. A coach can help improve job performance by monitoring progress and providing the employee with self-monitoring tools as well.

5. Increasing positivity

A positive attitude affects productivity so managers can benefit from encouraging positivity in the workplace. In this scenario a coach may teach methods of relaxation, positive visualization and improving your mood at work. Consider coaching a workshop on positivity for all employees. This can offer preventative measures that promote positive thinking and reduce the risk of employees feeling negative.

Related: How to Stay Positive at Work (Q&A)

6. Problem-solving techniques

It's helpful for managers to coach all employees on how to solve problems with proven techniques such as:

  • Brainstorming: Involves a group of people and helps a team collaborate and take part in the decision-making process.

  • Mind mapping: This allows you to visualize the problem by drawing and connecting it to potential solutions including details of how to implement the resolution.

  • Storyboarding: Helps visualize a process and potential outcomes by drawing a story of the problem and resolutions.

Coaching employees to use problem-solving methods can give managers more time to focus on strategies and offer employees more independence.

Related: 10 Ideation Techniques For Problem-Solving

7. Setting goals

Coaching employees on how to set goals is one of the most common coaching scenarios for the workplace because setting goals is an effective way of measuring progress and accomplishing tasks. Coaches may teach employees to use any of the goal-setting methods to set personal goals and to help accomplish team goals. here are popular goal-setting methods in the workplace:

  • SMART goals: Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound goals are easy to track and provide a detailed plan for how to reach your goals. This method is best for general goals, such as project completion.

  • HARD technique: Goal-setting method for a heartfelt purpose that you can animate and visualize yourself achieving with requirements and reasons for achieving a goal that is difficult. This method is for long-term goals like paying off a loan.

  • WOOP method: A method that works best for creating or quitting habits. To use this method you identify a wish, the desired outcome, obstacles to achieving the outcome and plan how to reach the wish you have.

Related: A Guide to Goal-Setting Training Games in the Workplace

8. Receiving a promotion

When an employee receives a promotion, a coaching program can help them be more successful in the new role. In this scenario, a coach may train the employee and prepare them for the promotion by providing tools for the new role, showing how to perform tasks and help set performance goals.

9. Reducing fear

Fear can inhibit an employee's performance so finding methods to reduce their fear can improve performance and help achieve company goals. A coach could work with this employee to learn their fears and help find ways to address them. For example, if an employee is nervous to work with a new team, a coach can educate them on ways to communicate, introduce themselves and adjust to collaborating with new people.

10. Retirement planning

Employees who reach retirement age may not be ready to retire and a coach can help determine how to utilize their talent and knowledge. This can help an employee adjust the capacity at which they work but remain working for the company.

Coaching can also help the team transition when a member retires. A coach would not only prepare the team but also help the employee with their retirement planning by helping them to notify human resources and finish projects.

Related: How to Set Retirement Goals: Steps and Tips

11. Returning to work

Employees who return to work after a leave of absence, maternity leave, a sabbatical or a period of unemployment may need a coach to help them transition and assimilate back into the workplace. Returning to work can be a challenge and it is helpful to have someone to offer support and instruction on how to perform job tasks. In this situation, a coach may educate the employee on company policy, workflows, give an orientation of the building and introduce them to other team members. This provides a training program and equips employees with skills and knowledge they need to succeed.

Coaching skills

Being an effective coach requires these skills:

Active listening

Active listening means to hear, understand and be able to repeat what someone says. As a coach, it is extremely important to listen to employees to learn what challenges them. This helps discover which skills to coach the employee to develop. Listening to employees that you are coaching also promotes trust and dependability because they know you care about their opinions.

Related: The Importance of Good Listening and How to Listen Effectively

Communication

Excellent communication skills are essential for effective leaders because much of coaching requires sharing instruction. Excellent communication includes written and oral skills and the ability to express yourself with these methods. Being a good communicator also helps a coach collaborate with their team and lead by example.

Related: How To Foster Effective Communication in the Workplace

Interpersonal

Interpersonal skills are abilities that help in building relationships. Abilities such as dependability, communication and emotional intelligence help coaches to gain trust from employees and find unique ways to teach them. It's important to build relationships with employees because it benefits communication, improves productivity and can make you a more effective leader.

Goal setting

Setting goals is a common task for coaches. This skill is helpful to instruct employees and guiding them to success. The ability to set goals requires organizational, strategic, visualization and critical thinking skills. Coaches set goals for themselves but also part of coaching is to help employees create goals.

Read more: How to Develop a Successful Goal-Setting Process

Observation

Observation skills are useful for coaches to determine who needs help and how to best provide assistance to the employee. Attention to detail can help a coach give personalized advice and help set a course for success for each employee.

Education

The primary role of a coach is the teach employees so education skills are essential. Coaching requires empathy, patience and knowledge of instructional methods. It is useful for a coach to become familiar with learning styles so they can adapt their coaching methods to how each employee learns most successfully. For example, if the employee is an auditory learner, lectures on how to improve their productivity with tips may be more effective than a hands-on approach.

Related: 8 Common Types of Learning Styles

Evaluation

An important job role of a coach is to evaluate the performance of employees. This helps track goals and helps adjust coaching methods. Evaluation skills include the ability to observe, analyze and interpret information as well as provide feedback to the employee for how to improve and what they are doing well.

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