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21 Top Benefits of Coaching in the Workplace

The benefits of coaching in the workplace lead to greater professional development and personal growth.

Coaching in the workplace has historically been viewed as a resource for higher-level employees – known as executive coaching. But that sentiment is changing. As organizations seek to grow and evolve, many leaders now credit the benefits of coaching as being a key factor in professional development for all levels of employees.

The benefits of coaching in the workplace read like a blueprint for best practices. Companies across the globe are having their team members engage with professional coaches to help identify and clarify goals, cultivate workplace culture, enhance personal growth, and support leadership development.

What is coaching?

The International Coaching Federation (ICF), the leading global organization for coaching standards and education, defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”

Bottom line, engaging with a coach provides an opportunity to move yourself forward, personally and professionally.

It’s easy to get stuck or give up when you feel like you’re trying to do it all on your own.  A coach is your own personal guide that’s with you each step of the way. Coaches bring new perspectives to your thoughts in a way that helps effectively problem solve so you can thrive and reach your full potential.

How does the coaching process work?

The coaching process can help to identify or clarify short-term and long-term goals, strategies to achieve those goals and accountability structures to sustain positive change.

A coaching session will typically run anywhere from 30 minutes to 60 minutes and center around a stated goal for that session. The total number of coaching sessions needed to achieve specific goals depends on the type of goal (short-term vs long-term) and commitment level.

Coaching in the workplace

Creating a workplace culture that is highly engaged and rooted in positivity, creativity, and productivity is no easy task. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to building workplace culture because every team member is different.

Everything from what motivates employees to different leadership styles can impact workplace culture. This is where effective workplace coaching can be a powerful tool to transform an organization.

Although our societal tendency is to focus on outcomes or better results, a good coaching approach will start by helping to create awareness and understanding around individual mindsets that are impacting behaviors. Understanding the mindsets that lead to chosen behaviors is key to affecting change. And changing behaviors is how you change outcomes!

For instance, a team member’s productivity levels have dropped off and they are feeling broadly disengaged at work. Their goal is to be more productive so they can achieve a bonus. While the desired result is achieving a bonus, a coach would help to pinpoint the underlying issues of those disengaged feelings and address those first. Because until those disengaged feelings are faced and overcome, the behaviors to support success (a productivity bonus) won’t show up.

Outcomes stem from behaviors. And chosen behaviors are driven by underlying mindsets.

Team members may be disengaged due to a myriad of issues – a perceived toxic environment, a lack of resources, non-existent work-life balance, or dissatisfaction with their role. Workplace, as well as individual, coaching can create a situation where team members feel more empowered, effective, and confident to own their change moving forward.

Qualities of a good coach

Once you have made the decision to be coached, it’s important to find the right coach! Just as each leader has their own leadership style, coaches also have their own coaching style.

Research shows that the critical success factor allowing a client to achieve an outcome is the relationship with their coach. Working with a coach is a vulnerable experience so it’s crucial to partner with someone you feel comfortable sharing your personal thoughts with.

Here are some questions to help you evaluate if someone’s coaching style and background are a good fit for you:

  • Formal training – Coaching is not a regulated industry so it’s helpful to know what, if any, certifications or other credentials the coach holds. Did they attend an ICF-accredited program? ICF-accredited education organizations must complete a rigorous review process and demonstrate that their curriculum aligns with the ICF Core Competencies and Code of Ethics.
  • Experience and background – For some, knowing the coach has lived in their world creates a connection.  What is the coach’s background? Is it important to you to have a coach that has experience in a similar industry?
  • Open-mindedness – Working with a coach should help unlock different perspectives or levels of awareness. Does the coach ask open-ended questions and let you explore or draw your own conclusions? Or does the coach direct the conversation more than you would prefer?
  • Empathy – Feeling heard allows you to step outside your comfort zone and take a deep dive. Does the coach recognize your emotions and withhold judgement? Does the coach acknowledge your perspective and invite you to reflect on it?
  • Trust – Confidentiality is the foundation of every coaching relationship. If you are being coached through an employer-sponsored arrangement, has the coach explained what information they share or do not share with your employer? Has the coach created a safe space for you to share?
  • Self-awareness – A coach should always keep you front and center. Does the coach keep the focus on you, or do they drift into offering their own opinion or story?
  • Enthusiasm and passion – Good coaches will celebrate your big milestones as well as your small steps forward. Does the coach applaud your strengths and motivate you to keep moving forward?

Benefits of working with a coach

Effective coaching in the workplace provides a positive impact with far-reaching benefits to both the organization and its team members.

A Global Coaching Client Study, conducted on behalf of the ICF, found that among individuals who received coaching:

  • 80% saw improved self-confidence
  • 73% saw improved relationships
  • 72% saw improved communication skills
  • 70% saw improved work performance
  • 61% saw improved business management
  • 57% saw improved time management
  • 51% saw improved team performance

21 benefits of coaching in the workplace

Understanding the benefits of coaching can help decide if it’s a good fit for you or your team members.

1. Make team members feel valued

Offering access coaching, for long term or new employees, automatically creates a culture where people feel valued. It sends a strong message that the organization cares about team members as people, not just employees, which can help to increase employee engagement and improve employee retention.

2. Increased job satisfaction

Uncovering an employee’s strengths and creating a plan to effectively address their challenges can help them reach their full potential and find greater satisfaction in their work.

3. Greater employee productivity

Coaching can inspire efficiency by providing constructive feedback or observations on practices and behaviors. These insights can be development opportunities for individual employees to achieve better results and better performance.

4. Improve communication skills

Effective communication is deeper than just being articulate. Exploring your awareness of soft communication skills such as body language or active listening can have a dramatic impact on your ability to communicate effectively.

5. Develop personal accountability

Identify ways to own your individual performance by creating accountability structures that are relevant to how you work best.

6. Increased employee engagement

A greater sense of alignment between individual goals and company goals, and individual purpose and organizational purpose also drives a greater sense of employee ownership. And when companies show commitment, or even initial investment, in their employees’ well-being and professional development, employees tend to respond in kind.

7. Opportunity for professional developmen

High-potential employees are obvious receptors for professional development opportunities. It’s other employees that are often overlooked – and where coaching can impact organizational transformation. Providing access to coaching across all levels will help quickly identify strengths as well as efficiently develop those assets.

8. Cultivate new skills

Dispelling a fixed mindset or limiting beliefs opens the door for new learnings and development of broader skill sets.

9. Set meaningful career goals

Working with a coach provides a unique opportunity to set career goals that align your core values with the goals of your organization.

10. Improve workplace culture

Coaching cultivates a culture of curiosity and partnership.  It not only helps to improve the way employees interact with each other, but also the interactions they have with external stakeholders.

11. Connects with individual employee motivation

Coaching dives deep into a person’s “why” or what motivates them. Discovering what motivates people in the workplace is especially important for organizations that are looking to increase productivity and improve growth.

12. Gain valuable insights

Working with a coach provides a unique opportunity to accept observation, reflection, and feedback from someone other than a direct supervisor.

13. Improve retention rates

Organizations can help improve employee retention rates and reduce the cost of turnover by implementing a coaching program. Providing access to coaching signals to your team that the organization is invested in cultivating talent from within and may encourage employee longevity and loyalty.

14. Increase team members sense of purpose

Coaching provides an opportunity for team members to revisit their core values and how they align with their work.

15. Improve time management

Developing better time management skills requires an understanding of how time is spent. Working with a coach provides an opportunity to dive into time patterns and learn effective strategies to prioritize and plan.

16. Cultivate greater problem-solving skills

The power of coaching can unlock deep levels of creativity and out of the box thinking among employees. Team members learn how to own solutions, even in difficult situations, and can also manage conflict more effectively.

17. Encourage personal growth

Team members that take responsibility for their actions also take ownership of their future. Working with a coach to build self-awareness can help to grow confidence in decision making and increase the ability to accept regular feedback.

18. Greater awareness of emotional intelligence

Partnering with a coach can be a great opportunity to become aware of, or improve, soft skills. Learning how to regulate emotions helps to refine interpersonal skills as well as build empathy.  

19. Sharpen leadership skills

Leadership presence involves an ability to authentically show up and connect with others in a way that inspires. Working with a coach is the best way to leverage leadership strengths and identify gaps or challenges that may be acting as barriers to further growth.

20. Builds confidence

Identifying strengths and how to leverage these unique traits helps to shift mindsets from self-doubt to self-efficacy. Building confidence is essential in the workplace for any organization that is looking to cultivate a culture of growth.

21. Provides an appropriate outlet for personal issues

While coaching is not therapy, it does allow a safe space and appropriate outlet for employees to share or explore feelings that may be getting in the way of their own progress. Coaching sessions can be a powerful forum for team members to show up as a whole person, not just an employee, as they consider their future-oriented goals and objectives.

Successful coaching in the workplace

If employers want to empower employees across the entire organization, cultivate positive company culture, improve employee performance, and develop an engaged workforce, then making the investment in employee coaching is a great way to positively impact these objectives using one proven resource.