by N. Purcell | July 10, 2023 | 5 Min Read

7 employee coaching and development tips


An organization's success is highly dependent on its employees' effectiveness. Yet many organizations lack effective employee coaching techniques to truly unlock their team’s potential. Whether due to constraints such as time, resources, or expertise, they miss out on the potential benefits of coaching and developing employees.

Here’s the good news: learning how to implement coaching strategies in the workplace is easier than you may think. With the proper teaching methods and help from a robust skill-building platform, you can quickly create the foundation for an effective employee coaching program.

Employee coaching is increasingly important for recruiting and retaining the best employees. So how can you adopt this valuable tool and use it to improve the performance of your organization? That’s what we discuss in this article.

What does coaching an employee mean?

Every employee in your organization is a unique individual. They bring their own experiences, expertise, and personality to the table—each offering a different perspective on the challenges your organization faces. Employee coaching and development is about leveraging this individuality to help your staff reach their full potential.

When done correctly, coaching an employee can have a powerful impact on your organization.

Benefits of coaching and developing employees

Effective employee coaching can bring a host of benefits to any organization:

  • Improved problem-solving skills: Coaching helps employees develop critical thinking and decision-making abilities, enabling them to tackle challenges more autonomously.
  • Increased motivation: By investing in employees’ development, you can boost their self-esteem and give them a greater sense of purpose. This leads to increased job satisfaction and higher levels of motivation.
  • Strengthened leadership skills: It’s important to equip employees at all levels with leadership skills, and coaching can help build the skills and competencies necessary to succeed. Developing soft skills like communication, collaboration, and problem-solving will support your current managers and prepare team members who may be ready for a promotion.
  • Heightened creativity: Coaching fosters an atmosphere of innovation by encouraging employees to think outside the box and find new approaches to their work.
  • Better customer service: By investing in employee coaching, you can ensure your staff has the tools to provide the best customer service possible. This can lead to a better overall customer experience and improved customer loyalty.
  • Enhanced team collaboration: Coaching helps employees work together more effectively, leading to greater cooperation and stronger relationships within the team.

By coaching an employee across various competencies, they will become a greater asset to your organization. But here’s a question: How can you ensure when coaching employees, training achieves your strategic goals? Let’s look at some unique and effective employee coaching techniques and best practices for coaching employees through each one.

7 effective employee coaching techniques

For your employee coaching efforts to be effective, it's essential to identify the coaching strategies in the workplace that will be most helpful for your team. Here are seven techniques to consider:

1. Start with tangible goals

Establishing a measurable and meaningful goal will help your employees stay focused and motivated. Track progress, recognize accomplishments, and provide feedback regularly as they strive to reach their goals. This is how coaching helps employees: by showing them how far they’ve come and how they got there, so they know how to keep the momentum going.

2. Focus on strengths

Rather than focusing solely on weaknesses, it’s important to emphasize an employee's strengths. This will help build confidence and motivate them to take on challenges. Each employee has different strengths and weaknesses, so take the time to identify them to be most effective.

This is where personality tests, performance reviews, and one-on-one conversations are helpful. By understanding where employees excel and where they need to improve, you can create tailored coaching plans to help them reach their full potential.

3. Encourage employee feedback

It may seem like a no-brainer to involve your employees in the coaching process, but it’s an important step that can easily fall by the wayside. A key tenant in how to coach an employee is allowing them to give honest feedback and suggestions.

This type of feedback loop is important for two reasons. First, it can give you valuable insight into how an employee thinks, helping you identify any areas of improvement. Second, it shows them the organization values and respects their opinion. This builds trust and loyalty, which is essential for effective coaching.

4. Embrace failure

Fear of failure stops many from trying new things and taking risks. In the coaching process, it’s important to remember that mistakes can be just as valuable as successes. Failure is an opportunity to learn and grow, not something to be feared.

Encourage your employees to take ownership of their work and accept responsibility for both good and bad outcomes. Should “failure” occur (however you and your employees identify failure), use it to discuss what went wrong and determine what lesson it can exemplify.

Create a training environment where it’s safe to experiment and fail, with the understanding that failure is part of learning.

5. Explore new ideas

Exercising the muscles of creativity and innovation requires an open mind. Allow space for ideas in any employee coaching environment, no matter how odd or outside the box.

Encourage employees to share their ideas and evaluate them objectively. When exploring ideas together, look into what resources are available and potential ways to move forward, even if the original idea might not seem feasible.

6. Coach individuals and teams

Everyone can benefit from a combination of individual coaching and group coaching settings. This aligns with most assignments in the workplace – sometimes employees will work on a project themselves, but they must also be able to collaborate with others.

As part of any employee development program, include time for one-on-one and team-based coaching. This should foster camaraderie and help employees understand how their skills fit into the larger organization.

7. Find an LMS with coaching features

A powerful way to enhance your methods for coaching and developing employees is to use an LMS with coaching capabilities. This provides an organized, trackable way for employees to access training materials and resources.

Modern LMS solutions offer features proven to increase engagement, like gamification and blended learning. With an LMS that doubles as an employee coaching platform, managers can easily give AI-driven feedback, encourage practice, and follow progress.

Business results of implementing effective employee coaching techniques

  1. Performance Improvement: The most immediate desired output of employee coaching and development is enhanced performance. Through coaching, employees’ skills should improve, which consequently increases their efficiency and effectiveness in the workplace.
  2. Skill Development: Coaching an employee is often focused on building and refining key skills, whether they're technical abilities, soft skills like communication and leadership, or a mix of both. Developing these skills prepares employees for current and future roles, fostering a culture of continuous learning.
  3. Behavioral Change: Effective employee coaching should also facilitate positive behavioral change. This could include a better approach to problem-solving, improved teamwork and collaboration, or a more proactive attitude toward work. This change often leads to a more harmonious and productive work environment.
  4. Increased Employee Engagement: Ongoing coaching helps employees feel valued and invested in, leading to higher levels of job satisfaction and engagement. Engaged employees are more likely to be productive and loyal to the organization.
  5. Career Progression and Succession Planning: Employee coaching and development prepares employees for higher-level roles, contributing to their career progression and fulfilling the organization's succession planning needs. It creates a talent pipeline within the organization, reducing the risks and costs associated with external hiring.
  6. Reduced Turnover: 66% of employees plan to quit due to a lack of career advancement opportunities. When employees receive consistent coaching and see opportunities for professional growth, they are more likely to stay with the organization, reducing turnover and the costs associated with it.
  7. Cultural Alignment: Through coaching, employees can better understand and align with the organization's culture, values, and vision. This alignment can contribute to a more unified organization.
  8. Innovation and Adaptability: Coaching and developing employees encourage them to think creatively, embrace new ideas, and adapt to change, all of which are critical in today's rapidly evolving business environment.

Drive effective employee coaching experiences with Spoke®

Implementing effective employee coaching techniques requires a well-developed strategy, but starting from scratch can feel like a big undertaking. That’s where we come in.

At Unboxed Training & Technology, we help organizations develop and execute coaching strategies in the workplace using our skill-building platform: Spoke®. Coaching through Spoke® allows managers to create shared accountability plans with employees, make data-driven decisions, keep conversations organized in one place, and ultimately become better coaches.

Schedule a demo to learn more about our employee coaching services and technology.

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