From the Blog

Keys to coaching in the workplace

Employee coaching plays an essential role in modern organisations, because, unlike traditional performance management centred on annual reviews and off-site training, coaching in the workplace delivers and sustains improved capability and performance.

We explore why coaching is so effective and share rules you can start applying today.

Why is workplace coaching so effective?

Coaching is a powerful way to engage employees and lift performance. It shifts the focus from annual reviews and stand-alone, off-site training (that’s too easily forgotten) to the workplace, where you can truly make a difference.

According to the 70:20:10 learning principle, 70% of employee capability is learned on the job, 20% is learned from peers and leaders through coaching and mentoring, and 10% is learned from formal training programs.

Regular, on-the-job coaching ensures your people are embedding and using the skills and capabilities that will shift performance.

Coaching offers continuous career development and gives you the opportunity to track employee progress and provide immediate feedback on the behaviours that matter. Continuous coaching means that you can sustain improvements and adjust goals where and when you need to.

Coaching engages employees, too.

Regular coaching provides team members with the opportunity to set their own goals, reflect on their progress, identify areas to work on and celebrate success. With guidance from their leader and coach, team members can master one behaviour at a time and have control over their own development.

Workplace coaching programs can help businesses reach organisational goals and thrive in challenging environments, and also enable employees to perform at their best and remain competitive.

Creating a coaching culture

Before diving headlong into launching an employee coaching program, take a step back and consider the following questions:

  • Is our organisation ready?
  • What will effective workplace coaching look like?
  • How much time will it take?
  • Do our people have the skills to effectively coach employees?
  • Do our leaders have the time to coach?
  • What would our leaders need to stop doing to enable more time for coaching?

Effective coaching happens when leaders have the time to approach coaching consistently, the organisation takes it seriously and leaders are supported with sufficient resources.

Define your coaching program

When creating a program, ensure you establish organisation-wide goals and that you are ready to support your teams to achieve them. Don’t neglect to measure outcomes such as increased employee engagement, higher job satisfaction and employee growth. Tracking actual performance will be critical to understanding how effective your program is.

Leadership training

Does your leadership team have the skills to coach employees? If necessary, provide resources, training and, yes, coaching, to lift their coaching skills. Executive coaching and ‘coaching the coaches ‘are great ways for people to experience coaching and different coaching styles, too.

Free up your team leaders

While coaching employees in the workplace can be delivered in micro-bursts, it does need to be done regularly and consistently. Effective coaches will also need to plan for meetings and coaching sessions and observe how their coachees are progressing. This takes time. If necessary, you might need to remove some admin burden – but doing so is worth the investment.

Read on for three rules that workplace coaches should follow.

Ready to give YakTrak a go?

Get in touch and we'll give you a tour around YakTrak

YakTrak’s 3 rules for successful coaching

Are you a coach in your organisation? Are you unsure about how to provide coaching in the workplace or are you looking for tips on coaching styles and the coaching process? You can shift the dial by applying the following three rules consistently.

  1. Ask lots of questions

No matter what your coaching style is, coaching in the workplace provides you with an opportunity to check in with your employees in a structured way by asking questions.

Taking the time to check in with your team and individual team members can help keep focus on the behaviours you’re looking to shift, remove obstacles or reset and refocus. When coaching employees, you want to involve the team member in the coaching process. Make sure you ask questions such as:

  • What is your focus? If it’s not the same as yours, this can be a great prompt for a discussion about focus areas and where you both see room to shift outputs.
  • What does success look like? Encourage employees to define their own goals. This will help to refine the goals you’re working on together. Make sure you introduce specific measures to track progress, too!
  • What do you think you need to work on to build capability or shift performance? You might be surprised with team members identifying behaviours they want to stop or emulate.
  1. Prioritise one behaviour you want to shift at a time

Don’t try to do everything at once!

It can be tempting to focus on multiple goals, but generally when people are learning and practising new skills, they can focus on one to two things at a time. To work out what you need to prioritise:

  • review previously identified KPIs and how your employee is tracking against them
  • revisit the focus areas you’ve discussed with your team member (see above)
  • consider the areas that you (and your team member) want to work on – which one of these is most critical?
  • list the core skills and behaviours that are associated with that area
  • agree on one to two behaviours that your employee will commit to demonstrating regularly.
  1. Be consistent

Coaching in the workplace works when it’s done consistently. Don’t lose momentum by taking an erratic approach. To achieve maximum benefit, coaching sessions need to be held consistently and planned.

By setting up a regular, scheduled coaching session, managers or team leaders are letting their employees know that they value them and are willing to invest in their professional development. This provides motivation to focus on performance goals.

YakTrak provides the framework to hold regular workplace coaching conversations, keep track of goals, report on progress and identify capability gaps. YakTrak helps you focus on the right behaviours that drive the desired results.

While you might have a different leadership style and coaching methods that you’re going to use, the best workplace coaches remember to check in with their people, don’t focus on too much at once and are consistent in their approach!

Improve coaching outcomes with YakTrak

The benefits of workplace coaching are significant, so supporting your coaching activity with software that provides accountability and visibility can be a game-changer. YakTrak:

  • helps hold leaders accountable for coaching their people
  • provides visibility over quality of goals and tracks progress towards them
  • includes reporting and review mechanisms that will help you understand the impact your coaching activity is having
  • involves employees in the coaching process
  • provides a central location for documenting employee behaviour and coaching activity.

See YakTrak in action

Contact us today and we'll show you around

Looking for more workplace coaching tips?

Image from Kampus Productions via Pexels