The Value of Workplace Coaching

Unlike mentoring, which relies on an individual’s specific knowledge and wisdom to help career development, coaching focuses on the facilitation and development of skills, and is more task or process oriented.

With the help of a workplace coach, employees can achieve short-term goals such as acquiring small blocks of knowledge or developing and improving skills. The benefits of implementing a coaching program in your organization can also result in employee emphasis on solutions rather than problems, higher levels of performance, and closer relationships between employees.

There are many options when looking for your organizations coach. A coach could be an employee’s direct supervisor, co-worker, or someone from an external organization. The person you select can also take on many different roles to provide the best experience for an organization and help develop their team; these include:

The Leader: leads by example
The Facilitator: coaches in a wide range of areas
The Team Builder: creates unified teams
The Peace Keeper: acts as mediator
The Pot Stirrer: is not afraid to bring up difficult issues
The Devil’s Advocate: tackles issues for clarity
The Cheerleader: offers praise for a job well done
The Counsellor: gives honest and constructive feedback

If you would like to implement a coaching program in your organization, follow BioTalent Canada’s useful “Coaching Development Plan Checklist” to help you get started.

  1. Identify whether the need is for informal or formal coaching.
  2. Identify the performance standards and the related job behaviours, skills and knowledge on which you want the coaching to focus.
  3. Identify potential coaches and protégés.
    • Observe your employees on the job to identify potential coaches and protégés. Employees that you notice having a difficulty performing a particular skill or groups of skills, or who are new to the job, may benefit from coaching. Conversely, employees who are often approached by co-workers for help, who are happy to offer assistance, or who have strong skills and knowledge, may make effective coaches.
    • You can also develop a questionnaire that helps you determine which employees would like to participate in acoaching program, either as a coach or a protégé. The questionnaire should contain questions that help you explore and categorize your employees’ skills and interests, so you can match coaches and protégés appropriately.
  4. Establish a feedback process.
    • For example, set up weekly memos or bi-weekly meetings between coaches and management to keep you informed about the issues, concerns and milestones of each coaching group.
  5. Explain the program’s purpose and goals to coaches and protégés.
  6. Communicate feedback expectations and processes clearly to all of the necessary participants.
  7. Provide support for coaches who have little experience conducting on-the-job demonstrations and instruction.