Last updated: 26.03.24

Coaching in the Workplace: Purpose, Benefits, and Putting It into Practice


In our current day and age, coaching in the workplace is becoming the norm. The reasoning for this is two-fold, the first being that it has direct benefits on your business as a whole by improving your company culture as well as employee productivity. Secondly, it is a valuable tool that benefits your employees’ personal and professional development, helping them be more capable and feel supported in their roles. 

Data has revealed that over 75% of organisations offer a mentoring or coaching programme, and further research has highlighted that 99% of companies using coaching believe that it delivers tangible benefits to their business as well as their employees. 

Coaching at work can improve your workforce by enhancing their knowledge and skill sets so that they can grow and succeed. However, not all businesses recognise the value of coaching or offer coaching in the workplace. This leaves much to be learnt about the role good coaching plays in supporting an organisation and its employees to succeed. 

In this article, we’ve delved into the topic of coaching in the workplace to reveal what it is, why it is important, its benefits and what needs to be done to execute workplace coaching successfully.

What is Coaching in the Workplace and What Is Its Purpose?

The definition of coaching in the workplace is a long-term process that aims to get the very best out of any given employee. It’s a way of helping them to improve their skills and knowledge, and ultimately, the purpose of coaching in the workplace is to help employees get better at doing their jobs, or work towards one of a higher level. 

One-on-one coaching in the workplace is a popular format to facilitate these discussions, but peer coaching in the workplace is often adopted too, which fosters collaboration and encourages team members to share their expertise and experiences. 

Coaching employees in the workplace is quite different to training or mentoring, and this is why the term is commonly misunderstood. Coaches aren’t there to impart their knowledge or skills to the employee, nor are they there to direct the employee in their progression. The process of coaching is one of mutual discussion to help a person get the best out of themselves.

Why is Coaching in the Workplace Important?

Coaching in the workplace provides an opportunity and environment for employees to develop their knowledge and skill sets. Workplaces are dynamic and industries are constantly evolving, but thanks to coaching in organisations, employees can be prepared to deal with this change effectively and it can empower them to become leaders in their roles. 

However, the answer to this question extends beyond just these reasons, as good coaching can offer many individual benefits to the employees themselves, as well as the organisation they work in, which we elaborate on in more detail below. 

What are the Benefits of Coaching in the Workplace?

The benefits of coaching in the workplace are often direct for the employees receiving the coaching, which then creates secondary benefits for a business. Below, we’ve revealed the different benefits of coaching in the workplace, splitting these into the benefits for employees and the benefits for businesses, so that you can better understand why workplace coaching is increasingly popular with businesses of all sizes.

Benefits to Businesses

There are several benefits to coaching in the workplace which have positive implications for the growth and success of your business:

Improves Employee Retention and Reduces Employee Turnover

By implementing useful coaching tools in the workplace, you are more likely to keep your employees. This is a result of employees feeling that they are an important part of the organisation, and by feeling this commitment - in ways such as receiving quality coaching in the workplace - they will in return be committed to your business. 

Increased Employee Engagement

By offering workplace coaching, your workforce will feel as though they are involved and supported in the process of their own development and conversations about their potential and performance. With this, they become more committed to the work that they’re doing, leading to increased engagement. 

This is not only beneficial for your businesses, as engagement is linked to increased productivity, but it also helps to enhance your work culture and foster better internal and client relationships. 

Boosts Productivity

A study by Harvard Business Review research highlighted that coaching can boost productivity by as much as 44%. Coaching in the workplace allows employees to tap into all aspects of their professional lives, helping them to better understand how they can progress. In doing this, employees improve their job satisfaction and motivation, leading to increased productivity. If your team is at peak productivity, this is highly beneficial for your business. 

Benefits to Employees

To put it into perspective, the Institute of Coaching revealed that over 70% of people who received coaching benefit from it, in ways such as improved work performance, enhanced communication skills, and stronger relationships. We’ve shared some of the biggest benefits of employees receiving coaching below.

Improved Communication Skills

With good coaching, employees can focus on the ways that they communicate in various scenarios and how this can be improved. If they struggle with certain types of communication or aren’t experienced in communicating in particular situations, this can be well-targeted and addressed during coaching in the workplace. 

Not just this, but coaching in organisations can help develop relationships within a workplace, as it can be used to enhance communication skills directly linked to team building and collaboration. Conflict resolution is also a key communication skill that can help resolve conflicts within team environments and build stronger relationships among team members. 

Better Job Satisfaction

By sitting down with employees and hashing out what their strengths, weaknesses, and aims are in their role, they will feel heard and as though they’re important and valued members of your team who you have a vested interest in helping succeed. 

Improves Confidence

Coaching in the workplace can enhance the productivity of your employees. Having conversations that reflect on employees’ strengths and achievements means that they can realise the positive impacts of their actions on the company, which they may not necessarily reflect on day-to-day. 

With this, they feel that they have the right skill set to perform their role. This also boosts autonomy in employees, helping them to recognise when they make mistakes and take responsibility for them accordingly. 

How to Put Coaching in the Workplace into Practice

Now we understand the benefits of coaching in the workplace, we’re going to take a brief look at how it can work in practice. 

In most cases, business leaders will pair an employee with a coach, and it might surprise some to find out that it’s not important for the coach to have anything in common with the employee when it comes to day-to-day work. 

As already mentioned, coaching is more about helping the employee help themselves through their approach and attitudes to work, so coaching skills are more effective than job-specific skills. Empathy, communication, leadership, and general business experience are some of the best qualities for a coach to have.

Regular meetings are the most common format for coaching. These can be every month, or even more frequently during every week. At these meetings, the coach and employee will collaboratively work through a variety of talking points. 

Generally, the same steps can be applied in any coaching discussion.

Setting Goals

One of the most important parts of workplace coaching is setting goals for the employee. Generally, these are going to be long-term aims for career development, but they can also be short-term goals, perhaps for particular projects or even aims like building relationships with other people.

Determining Strengths and Weaknesses

A workplace coach can help employees understand their strengths and also weaknesses. This information can then be used to inform other talking points, such as goals or how to approach certain projects or issues. 

Reflecting on strengths specifically can help employees understand what they’re doing well, which can in turn boost confidence. Equally, knowing specific weaknesses will pin down specific improvements that need to be focused on sooner rather than later, helping to steer employee development. 

Overcoming Obstacles

The workplace coach and mentee will discuss how obstacles can be overcome, whether these obstacles are project issues, personal requirements, or even communicating with other colleagues. This will enhance problem-solving skills and improve understanding of unique workplace situations.

Evaluating Performance

To reach goals, employee performance needs to be assessed and discussed. Again, this is collaborative - the coach is not there to tell the employee whether they’ve done a good or bad job. 

In doing this, performance can also be a talking point in future progression and pay-rise discussions, which is particularly beneficial for the employee. 

What Are The Most Important Responsibilities of a Workplace Coach?

In delivering workplace coaching sessions, whether with employees or peers, a coach needs to understand their responsibilities to help empower employees to be the best that they can be. These are particular skills that need to be adopted to support the employee and nurture them to gain as much as they can from their coaching session, as explained below.

Adopting a Coaching Mindset

If you want to be a great workplace coach, you must first get yourself in the mindset for conducting the session. Workplace coaching requires a lot of active listening, following up with questions on the spot to dig deeper into topics, and carefully observing employee behaviour. 

As such, it’s incredibly important for a coach at work to feel that their time is well spent on helping the employee to grow and succeed and be prepared to use their soft skills for the coaching session to run smoothly. 

Apply Coaching Styles That Are Specific To The Employee

Every employee will require a different approach to their coaching session, depending on how they learn, communicate, and best respond to feedback. This may require initial discussions with the mentee to understand how they best need to have the session delivered for it to be effective.

Connect With Employees and Establish Communication Before Sessions

One of the key considerations to make before coaching employees is to connect with them in advance of your sessions. Especially in our era of remote working, it’s become all the more important to build meaningful relationships with your employees or coworkers. 

In doing this, you have already created a grounding comfortable and honest communication, which increases the chances of having genuine conversations during your coaching sessions.


What are the 4 C's of Coaching?

The 4C’s in coaching refer to competence, connection, confidence, and character. Inspired by research from Jean Cote and Wade Gilbert, each ‘C’ means the following:

  • Competence: Refers to skills that the mentee is developing, and how this will translate to their performance.
  • Connection: Refers to how the mentee can develop positive work relationships.
  • Confidence: Relates to how confident the mentee feels in their abilities and skillsets.
  • Character: Relates to the soft skills of the mentee, such as integrity and empathy, in the workplace, and their self-awareness of this.

What are the Boundaries of Coaching?

Like everything, workplace coaching should have boundaries put in place to ensure that it remains effective for both the coach and mentee. This is done by setting expectations for what the workplace coaching sessions will achieve, as well as the boundaries for maintaining a healthy and respectful environment in which the coaching is conducted.

What are the 4 Types of Workplace Coaching?

Typically, there are four types of workplace coaching which can be adopted depending on the learning style of the mentee. These are:

  • Autocratic: The coach leads the session.
  • Democratic: The mentee chooses the coaching style and outlines what they want to gain from the session, whilst the coach helps to support this. 
  • Transformational: The coach and mentee work together to understand the roles that they play in the coaching session. This is likened to life coaching.
  • Holistic: Takes into consideration all aspects of the mentee’s life, even outside of work.


Coaching is an effective tool that plays a considerable role in supporting your employees and your business to grow and succeed. If you’re not already coaching within your business, or you feel like you could benefit from implementing workplace coaching, then you must look into this as a matter of priority.

If you’re looking to implement a coaching program in your workplace, we offer a specific 'Coaching’ online course which can teach you the skills needed to effectively coach other people and help them be their best professional selves.