What is Coaching in the Workplace?

What is Coaching in the Workplace?

When we think of coaching it’s easy to imagine an American football team led by a man with the whistle and a clipboard. Whilst coaching in the workplace is slightly different from this (no one will expect you to wear a shell-suit) the thinking is not dissimilar. Coaching aims to get the best performance out of an individual or team. A great coach, in any environment, will work towards getting the best out of their team or individual. They know when to ‘tell’ and when and how to help people work out their own solutions using a careful mix of communication techniques.

If an American football team coach’s job is to get the best out of his players to win games, the purpose of coaching within the workplace is to improve working performance. Like a sports coach, a workplace coach takes the existing skills of the team and builds on them, enhances them and gets the very best from them. They will also introduce new skills and give the team the knowledge and skills to use them.

The coach is a leader who provides guidance and instruction. This ultimately leads to better overall results for the company or business. When done well coaching can increase productivity, bring a greater sense of commitment and loyalty from team members as they feel more connected and valued, this will also work towards reducing stress and tension as staff feel supported and heard and will improve overall communication.

How does coaching in the workplace happen?

Workplace coaches use listening and questioning techniques during 1-2-1 sessions and group meetings. They also provide consistent and ongoing support and encouragement to individuals and teams to keep them motivated and connected.

Any organisation considering using workplace coaching should consider training courses before implementing workplace coaching. Appropriate training will:

  1. Identify the difference between learner and coach centred behaviours
  2. Explain how to help learners work out their own solutions
  3. Introduce new tips on coaching skills that would take your team to the next level
  4. Differentiate between learner and coach centred techniques
  5. Use learner-centred behaviours to “pull” the process forward – showing understanding, drawing out through questioning, helping the learner work out their own solutions, asking the learner for feedback
  6. Use coach centred behaviours to “push” the process forward – giving advice, sharing experiences, giving feedback, stating expectations
  7. Understand what skills need to be developed to become a great coach

Workplace coaching would benefit any company at any time but there are certain situations when it may prove particularly effective:

  • Your company may have many employees who despite obvious talent and ability, are not meeting expectations.
  • Perhaps the company has identified core skills and wants to develop them.
  • The company may be introducing something new. A new way of working, a new product/ project.
  • You want to increase and improve company morale.


You can view our Coaching Pathway online training courses here.

This course aims to show how to get your opinions heard and your ideas to relevant stakeholders in ways that not coercive, threatening or manipulative. Training is delivered on the premise that delegates must view influencing as a process, not an action, and that they must be others-focused not self-focused. By the end of the course, learners are able to generate SMART influencing goals with win/win outcomes as well as being able to identify and select from different approaches to getting your ideas across according to the circumstances and the others involved.