The presence of a coach makes all the difference for employees and leaders, which managers cannot implement without incorporating the coaching leadership style. The term “coach” is not confined to athletics and should not be limited to the sports industry.

Integrating the idea of coaching employees into your corporate culture will create a workforce that thrives on motivation.

In this article, we’ll take you through what the coaching leadership style along with its benefits.

What is Coaching in the Workplace?

Coaching is a leadership style where leaders choose to act as the coach rather than manage the employees. There are perks and downfalls to this coaching leadership style, but nowadays, most leaders choose to coach their employees to improve performance. It is the right leadership style in the 21st century for the majority of organizations.

What is Coaching Leadership?

Coaching leadership is less concerned about providing direction to employees and focuses more on helping them understand how to do tasks independently. This is directly opposite to autocratic leadership. Autocratic leadership is about top-down decision-making. However, coaching employees involves collaboration, support, and guidance. In this leadership style, the leaders bring the best out of employees. Therefore, coaching has a direct impact on employee performance.

Outstanding leaders position themselves well to guide the employees. Employees get the appropriate guidance to follow through with goals and overcome obstacles. Leaders build an empire of efficiency, nurturing a self-motivated workforce.

How is Coaching Different from Managing Employees?

The next question that arises is, why should you choose to coach over managing, which is the most common practice? Let us attempt a comparative analysis of coaching vs. managing and see how they differ. It will also give you an insight into the most suitable form of leadership.

Managers can choose to be coaches, a skill that they can acquire over time. If we take a peek into the history of managing employees, the core tasks are directing employees, delegating work, and fulfilling the organization’s objective. However, do we need it in the 21st century?

Employees from the present have different personal and professional objectives, so the organizational priorities have transformed. It is precisely why the style of coaching employees is exceedingly coming into the limelight. Companies are becoming open to coaching employees more than ever because they know what this coaching leadership style can offer.

To know why coaching employees is profitable, consider these benefits of coaching in the workplace. Coaches acquire skills to help develop employees, fuel the learning process, and make long-term improvements. These reasons illustrate why companies should invest in their managers and help them be coaches.

How to Coach Employees?

Leaders must develop some key competencies initially and take certain measures to coach employees. Here are the nine leadership coaching skills you will need to coach employees.

  • Listening
  • Providing feedback
  • Questioning
  • Guiding with empathy
  • Allowing the employees to arrive at the solution by themselves
  • Assisting with goal setting
  • Recognizing and championing strengths
  • Giving structure
  • Inculcating a solution-focused methodology

How to Make Your Employees More Engaged?

There are no shortcuts, roadmaps, or coaching plans, but there are 12 rules to master coaching employees. Implement the following rules to efficiently create an engaged workforce for your organization.

Provide Frequent Feedback

One of the workplace coaching skills for managers to transform into coaches is to inculcate the process of feedback. Leaders must provide feedback to the employees so that they know their strengths and weakness. Feedback is crucial for employees, and they will be able to scale up and brush up on their skills.

Dedicate a significant portion of time to the feedback process. The best way to provide performance feedback is through one-on-one meetings.

Cultivate Team Feedback Culture

There is a difference between coaching vs. feedback. Although providing feedback to employees is crucial, it should not be a one-way activity. Feedback works both ways since there is always room for improvement everywhere.

So, it will be beneficial to foster an environment where employees provide feedback to each other and their managers. Feedback from all levels of the workforce, or complete 360-degree feedback, is essential.

Motivate Employees to Test their Limits

In a positive sense, you must motivate your employees to push themselves to the edge of their limits. Disengaged employees lack interest in their work and often lag in terms of performance. Motivating such employees should be the primary intention. Coaches should try to push employees out of their comfort zone, performing to the best of their abilities.

While coaching your employees, you must try to provide challenges and regular feedback and recognition. Create a source of motivation for your employees, such as new tasks and a system to appreciate their efforts.

Consider Employees Ideas

If you need a premade coaching plan for employees, be open to what they have to say. Employees’ creativity will provide you with a new perspective on work. Also, when employees feel heard, they are more likely to stay engaged within the organization and work harder, pushing their boundaries.

When you listen to employees, you get a sense of the employee experience. Conduct one-on-one meetings, frequent feedback sessions, and surveys to help employees voice their opinions.

Create a Learning Environment

Each employee has a unique experience and thought process. All the employees’ personalities, strengths, and weaknesses may not match. If you want to practice coaching employees, create a learning environment where they learn from their peers.

A crucial coaching activity for managers is to encourage employees to interact with their peers. In this process, employees are more likely to learn a new skill or a perspective. For instance, employees may become more accepting of different viewpoints and become active contributors to workplace discussions. Mutual learning is something the coaches must inculcate so that they continue to upskill themselves.

Communicate and Ask

Communication is the key to coaching teams in the workplace. Developing a positive coaching attitude involves asking for opinions and keeping an open mind. When you communicate with your employees and ask them for their suggestions, your creativity and ideas will be enhanced.

When you demonstrate a learning attitude, you become a role model for your employees. By showing how willing you are to learn and improve, you motivate your employees to act in the same manner. Preach a learning attitude by conducting feedback sessions and open dialog.

Build the Pillars of Confidence

The perfect employee coaching template is confidence. Coaching in the workplace should be highly oriented toward support and guidance. Employees who receive adequate support stand out in the process of achieving goals.

However, ensure not to hold or pull your employees back. You must try to build the confidence level of your employees. The catch here is to recognize your employees and appreciate their efforts every step of the way. Fuel their confidence level by acknowledging their efforts and progress, and use it as a pillar to build confidence.

Encourage Employees to Find Solutions

One of the pathways to coaching employees effectively is leaving your employees to make their own mistakes. You might want to teach your employees yourself and tell them the solution immediately. However, you must refrain from doing that because it has long-term rewards for employees to resolve issues by themselves.

Instead, you can offer guidance by asking them questions that will force them to think about the odds and help them navigate the right path.

Be Tolerative of Negatives and Failures

The coaching management style concerns tolerance when things do not go as per plan. Success is not constant, and employees will fail and slip down the ladder of success at times. It is exactly how strategies and business work!

It does not mean you move on without addressing the issue; otherwise, it will down the organizational standard. Rather than berating your employees for the mistake, be communicative and ask for an explanation. Try to get them to voice where they think they went wrong and how they can overcome it the next time. By fostering positivity, you can encourage a solution-oriented workplace while coaching employees.

Make Recognition a Part of Your Organization

Leadership coaching involves moving past mistakes to be successful. In the way that you address mistakes, acknowledge the success of your employees as well. Coaching in the workplace is about being open to celebrating and championing your employees’ achievements. If your employees bring success, let them know you appreciate their contributions.

There are multiple ways in which you can make recognition a part of your organization while coaching employees. For instance, you can send a thank-you note, give a shout-out to their efforts in weekly meetings, or present them with a small gift of appreciation.

Determine Your Goals and Provide a Blueprint

Coaching vs. managing is all about motivating employees in the right, rather, same direction. Setting a blueprint of organizational goals is the best way to get all your employees aligned.

Try to be involved with your employees and sit down to match their personal and organizational goals. You can also create benchmarks and streamline them in the path of the overarching goals to get the team working as a unit. It will help employees understand their personal contribution and responsibilities toward the organization, and how they add to its success.

Offer Help

Coaching in the workplace does not mean letting your employees struggle helplessly. Coaching employees is about compassion and a positive and helpful attitude. Coaches must offer practical advice alongside motivating employees to search for solutions.

Try to offer help and ask what you can do for them. It will enable them to comprehend that they can rely on you for guidance when they feel stuck. You can choose to address employees alone or in groups and endorse a comfortable work environment. Make your employees feel safe so they can reach out to you without hesitation.

Is Coaching Employees an Advantageous or a Disastrous Move?

The effectiveness of the coaching leadership style depends on the leader and organization. You need insights into the coaching leadership style, so you can decide its appropriateness yourself. Here are the pros and cons of coaching employees.

Advantages of Coaching in the Workplace

  • Collaboration and communication is two-way, clear, and concise
  • Constructive feedback and improvement becomes part of the organizational culture
  • Every individual grows and develops personally and professionally
  • Leaders support their teams and coach them, not judge them
  • There is enough room to grow and foster creativity

Disadvantages of Coaching Employees

  • It requires a lot of time and resources
  • Results are not quick, and often, they are not guaranteed 
  • Companies that are strict or are highly driven through results will not find coaching employees an ideal to see improvements in the short-term

Though there are numerous drawbacks to coaching employees, the perks outweigh them. Companies are now educated or seek guidance to endorse the coaching leadership style. Also, many managers may not know the right way of coaching employees, but can always learn these skills. Coaching employees requires multiple skills, which managers can learn across a timeframe.