September 18

Why is Coaching Employees Important?


All businesses need to have productive employees. Without a solid productive staff, businesses will fail to create a healthy organization and realize greater profits. Without effective employees, business owners struggle, create stress, and ultimately struggle to keep the business open.

The old ways are out. No longer does it work to just use annual reviews in the workplace. Employees are an expense and an investment. This is why coaching employees has become so critical. If a business wants self-managing, problem-solving employees, that can be counted on to take on leadership roles, and support new employees then, coaching is the best solution.

Without a solid coaching program and/or skill-building initiatives, you will likely have unproductive employees who either don't care that much about doing a good job or they will not know how to effectively do their job. Certainly, people might show up to collect a paycheck, but ultimately you won't get the most out of your workforce.

Understanding what coaching is, offers the first step to understanding why it's so important for businesses to offer coaching to their employees.

What is Coaching?

When you engage coaches in the workplace, you will be equipping employees with the tools and knowledge necessary to be very productive. Coaches within organizations establish a professional helping relationship that develops and enhances the entire culture of the organization.  

Workplace coaching is often seen as a leadership strategy. It helps to empower employees to help the organization achieve specific goals. There are two main ways to coach your employees:

  • Internal Coaching - This type of workplace coaching puts the managers and other leaders in charge of coaching employees. It can be done formally or informally.  The issue to first consider is, are these internal coaches trained in the art and science of developing others?   Just because someone has evolved up in the organization does not mean they know how to coach.   Are they effective communicators?  Do they have the trust of the employees?  Are they confident in their skills as a coach?
  • External Coaching - When you bring a professional coach from the outside into the organization, they are called external coaches or external hires.  These should be seasoned, experienced trained coaches that are hired to work with management and company leaders. This form of coaching has been proven to help new managers and leaders become more consistent and effective.  The benefit of external coaches is that they have no bias or preconditions about the organization.  As they are outsiders, staff often feels safer knowing that confidentiality will be maintained and they are free, to be honest.

This is critical in coaching because if the employee being coached does not believe what they say is being held in strict confidence coaching becomes a sham with the coachee simply sharing what they think the coach wants to hear.

Regardless of the type of coaching used, coaching must be focused on engaging employees, making them aware of the goals of the company, and helping them reach those goals.

Top 5 Benefits of Coaching Employees

  1. 1
    Increased Employee Productivity

The biggest and maybe the most important benefit you will gain from coaching employees is increased employee productivity. When employees are better engaged and understand the goals of the organization, and feel a part of the team they become more productive. They will now have clarity on the direction and the tools to help them achieve their work goals.

  1. 2
    Decreases Turnover

Coaching employees has shown to dramatically decrease turnover. When you have less turnover, you develop more consistency in your workplace. In addition, the longer employees stay, the more competent and dependable they become.

0bviously, employee retention is extremely important. Employees are an investment that requires ongoing support and training.  It certainly makes sense to nurture your investments so they grow and help the organization for years to come.  Coaching employees leads to better job satisfaction and loyalty.

  1. 3
    Increase Leadership Effectiveness

When you coach managers and other leaders in your organization, they become better at leading other employees. Effective leadership can lead to a more productive workforce. One-on-one coaching sessions tend to work best, from an external coach, for the leadership team.

  1. 4
    Better Engages Employees

When you coach employees, you will be engaging them on a new level. With better-engaged employees, the organization can reach new goals. A study from Gallup showed that engaged employees lead to more sales, lower absenteeism, and higher customer metrics.

Proper coaching can lead to employees feeling more connected with the organization. This can lead to a higher level of trust and loyalty.

  1. 5
    Creates Better Team Effectiveness

In many organizations, teams are what get things done. Coaching employees can lead to more effective teams. Whether it's external coaching for the leaders or internal coaching for the workforce, you can gain more productivity and effectiveness from your teams.

Coaching can help teams with communication and self-correcting skills. The right coaching can make a team work better together and accomplish more, in less time.

What are Your Workplace Coaching Needs?

Before you can jump in and start coaching employees, you should identify your needs. Every organization is different and a cookie-cutter approach often doesn't work very well. When you know your workplace coaching needs, it's easier to figure out how to address those needs.

It might be possible to bring in a consultant to help gather information through interviews, surveys, and assessments. This can be a very effective way to figure out where your weak points are and how to use coaching to address them.

However, if you have already established a culture in your organization allowing employees to provide honest feedback, you might not need a consultant. If this is the case, you might just need to conduct some staff interviews to figure out what skills and resources your workforce feels like it needs to become more productive.

Once you identify your coaching needs, you can choose between internal and external coaching. In some cases, both might be necessary. Teaching managers and leaders how to coach themselves can be the first step toward teaching them how to coach employees.

When is Coaching Employees a Good Idea?

While the right coaching, at the right time, and in the right situation can be very helpful, if you try to coach employees when the issue doesn't require it, you might pile on new issues.

Managers have to be able to recognize when a situation calls for coaching and when it doesn’t. Some of the most common times for coaching employees include:

  • A Lack of Focus - When employees don't have the focus or motivation they need, it's a good time for coaching.
  • A Lack of Skills or Ability - Of course, when an employee doesn't have the skills or the ability to complete the job, coaching can help them gain the needed skills.
  • A Lack of Resources - Without the right resources, employees might not be as effective. With coaching, the needed resources can be discovered and provided.

Typically, coaching employees is helpful when employees are struggling. With the right coaching, employees can gain the skills, ability, focus, and motivation to complete the job correctly with confidence.

There are many reasons why coaching employees is important. When you have a coaching culture within your organization, it can lead to many significant benefits. Effective coaching can make it easier to achieve organizational goals and can lead to employees capable of being promoted to higher positions.

BONUS! SMART Action Plan

To ensure that the action plans are S.M.A.R.T., ask the following questions:

S – Specific

What exactly needs to be done to address the issue?
Who will do it?
What steps will be taken?

M – Measurable

What will be the measure of success?
How will progress be checked?

A – Attainable

What are the limitations?
Do we have the resources right now?
Can we do this within the timeline?

R – Relevant

Has the employee understood the importance of the action plans?
Is this aligned with the organization’s objectives?
Will this help achieve the goal?
Will this actually impact the customer?

T – Time-bound

What is meant to be achieved by the deadline?
Is there a deadline set to complete the action?
What dates will the action/s need to be done?

Once a coach and the employee/coachee agree that the action plans are indeed SMART, document the session, get a commitment to the action plans, and setup accountability.

Ongoing performance management is often done to ensure the task and KPI meets the requirement in an effective and efficient manner.


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