This article is part of The Ascender, the Highrise platform for articles and resources.

Feeling Stuck at Work? How Workplace Coaching Can Help You Get Unstuck

Andrew Langat
May 29, 2024
Professional coach guiding employees in a collaborative session to boost skills and productivity.
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Evidence suggests coaching improves performance and makes good, better. A study by the International Coaching Federation (ICF) established that 80% of people who receive coaching report an improvement in self-confidence. Moreover, 70% reported improvement in communication skills, workplace relationships, and workplace performance.

This is particularly important in situations where effective coaching helps address skill gaps, leadership weaknesses, personal development and growth, and in attaining career goals.

Below we will review the key essentials of workplace coaching and why it's an invaluable tool to foster employee growth and meet changing business demands.

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What Is Workplace Coaching?

Workplace coaching, also known as employee or business coaching, is a process where employees collaborate with coaches – which may, in some cases, include managers or other higher-ups – to develop their skills and grow personally or professionally. However, it is sometimes more helpful to work with a certified, professional coach alongside mentoring an employee may receive from others in the organization.

Any professional helping relationship can help employees or teams achieve professional goals, enhance performance, and foster individual development and behavioral change. Mentor-based leadership and coaching fosters a culture of continuous career development and high performance.

Unlike executive coaching, which is typically aimed at C-suite leaders and executives, workplace coaching targets employees at all levels of the organization.

Through an empowering, solution-oriented approach, workplace coaching clarifies situations, can help employees explore different workplace examples or issues they may find challenging, development management skills, and provides a plan of action for resolving problems.

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What Are the Types of Workplace Coaching?

Here is an overview of the types of workplace coaching:

Types of Workplace coaching.

1. Performance Coaching

Performance coaching aims at improving individual performance and addressing specific challenges or improve skill development. The coach sets goals, provides feedback, and offers guidance to enhance employee growth, overall productivity and effectiveness.

Best suited for: Employees at all levels experiencing performance challenges or needing to improve specific skills for optimum performance.

2. Leadership Coaching

In an organization, many employees dream of rising to a higher management level. Employees often want to become career self reliant, remain competitive, and accelerate their growth. To foster engagement and motivation, the organization should create a culture of growth and development for valued employees. This is possible through leadership coaching.

The objective of leader coaching is to create a coaching culture where successful managers and individuals with leadership aspirations can improve their management skills and modify inefficient behaviors. Training includes coaching on communication, executive presence, managing conflict, and providing actionable feedback.

Best suited for: New and aspiring leaders as well as high-potential individuals identified for leadership roles.

3. External Coaching

Organizations can welcome the expertise of an external coach to work with their employees. This brings an objective approach from a professional without prior interactions with the employees.

External coaching sessions can offer valuable insights, address complex challenges, further organizational goals, provide training, and facilitate leadership development.

Best suited for: Individuals or teams needing specialized expertise or an outside perspective.

4. Peer Coaching

This type of workplace coaching differs from other forms. Employees at a similar level are paired for peer coaching, where they interact and mentor one another.

Employees who can provide distinct viewpoints and solutions with varying issue areas may benefit from this kind of mentoring. The coaching sessions will help employees build a collaborative environment where individual effort and teamwork are championed.

Best suited for: Employees seeking support and development from colleagues with similar experiences or expertise.

5. Skills Coaching

Skills coaching enhances specific skills or knowledge areas relevant to an employee or employees. It can involve training, mentoring, and ongoing feedback to help individuals improve their competencies and performance.

Best suited for: Employees needing to develop or enhance specific skills or knowledge relevant to their roles.

6. Team Coaching

This coaching focuses on improving team dynamics, communication, collaboration, and overall performance. It helps teams identify strengths and weaknesses, develop strategies for overcoming challenges, and achieve common goals.

Best suited for: Teams facing challenges with communication, collaboration, or performance.

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Why Are Workplace Coaching Skills Important?

Workplace employee coaching is important for several reasons. Some gains after successful employee coaching include:

1. Sustaining a Continuous Learning Culture

The cornerstone to individual and organizational success is the ability to learn and adapt to change, and the framework needed to create a continuous learning culture is workplace coaching.

Successful organizations have recognized that such a culture enables them to:

  • seek out and development new abilities.
  • advance theoretical theories through practical applications.
  • welcome change.

Workplace coaching creates an environment where curiosity is valued and employees can collaborate to learn new concepts.

2. Developing Leadership Capabilities

When leaders motivate their teams to improve and advance their position, performance, morale, and loyalty will rise within the organization.

Through workplace coaching, employee confidence improves. Employees will feel comfortable making decisions, leaning on leveraged creativity, and internal feelings of success, yielding a higher job satisfaction rate. Also, leaders will feel more comfortable delegating responsibilities in a trusting environment.

Establishing coaching as a fundamental component of leadership development programs helps organizations create leaders who are visionary in their thinking. This creates a foundation for long-term success for many organizations.

3. Employee Empowerment

Workplace coaching as a transformative activity goes beyond guiding and empowering employees only. It also involves providing resources for ongoing employee growth.

By encouraging empowerment, coaching transforms professional helping relationships from a support system into a driving force behind career and personal development, enabling people to reach their full potential and succeed in their personal and professional lives.

Workplace coaches can play a key role in adjusting the leadership style of an organization, as it allows entirely new models and sufficient resources for employees to achieve maximum performance.

4. Increased Return On Investment (ROI)

Investing in workplace coaching programs can deliver a significant return on investment. A Harvard Business Review study shows that companies that have invested in coaching are assured an 88% return on Investment.

Increased ROI is achieved through improved employee performance, enhanced innovation, and reduced turnover ratio.

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How Can a Workplace Coach Unlock an Employee’s Potential?

Workplace coaches act as catalysts for employee and organizational success. Here are a few ways this occurs:

1. Encouraging Self-Awareness and Goal Setting

Coaching sessions can help employees identify their unique strengths and areas of improvement. Through research-backed self-evaluation techniques, employees learn to understand where they can leverage their strengths and how they can tackle their challenges.

Coaches can also help an employee grow by assisting in goal setting. A coach can guide employees to set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goals. These goals will give an employee a sense of direction and a roadmap to growth.

2. Developing Essential Skills

To achieve growth and development, you must develop key essential skills, especially in a professional working environment. Coaching and training in the workplace will help you to:

  • Identify Skill Gaps: the coach will conduct an assessment to identify skills or knowledge gaps.
  • Create Learning Strategies: together with the coach, an employee can create customized learning plans that include training programs or mentorship opportunities to bridge the skill gaps.
  • Build Accountability: an effective coach will hold employees accountable for their learning journey. Through regular performance reviews and progress discussions, they will gauge the actual performance and ensure that they stay committed to the journey.

3. Enhancing Collaboration and Communication

The success of an entire organization is usually tied down to a few matters; key among them is communication, including processes, procedures, and quality of communication. To create connections, communication has to be improved.

Workplace coaches model their coaching on active listening, a skill that employees can use once they've received coaching in the workplace. Coaches encourage and model open communication during the coaching sessions.

An open communication channel builds trust and transparency, and it allows coaches to give honest feedback. Proper communication will help navigate challenging environments, leading to stronger team effectiveness and collaboration.

4. Enhancing Innovation and Creativity

When coaching occurs internally, it creates an environment where employees can share their ideas and take calculated risks. This fosters an innovative culture within the team.

The best workplace coaches ask powerful questions that require you to think critically, analyze a particular situation, and make innovative solutions. They don't give answers, but rather give employees space to practice thinking on their feet to solve daily challenges.

5. Motivation and Building Confidence

For an employee to grow they must learn from any issues that caused disappointing performance reviews as well as address any self-limiting beliefs they hold about their potential.

A workplace coach helps employees develop a mindset of curiosity and possibility, where they can step out of their comfort zones, which in turn helps employees perform highly consistently.

Good coaches recognize and reward progress to keep the employee motivated and engaged throughout the growth process. Through coaching and consistency, an employee can reach maximum potential.

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Key Considerations for Implementing Workplace Coaching

Organizations with defined workplace coaching programs achieve sustained success over time. For those looking to implement a coaching culture or a coaching style, there are some key considerations to make:

1. Identify Coaching Needs For Employees and the Organization.

Do this by evaluating employee unique requirements and company objectives.

This way, coaching sessions and programs are designed to meet the objectives set. The following are some of the ways to identify coaching needs:

  • Performance appraisals, for example, a employees with a disappointing performance review might improve with coaching in the workplace. Coaching can help implement feedback tools such as start, stop, continue feedback as well, which can be an excellent tool for this situation.
  • Observing work behaviors and styles, for example, are there employees who never contribute to meetings or who need to improve communication processes? A company might provide coaching to address these issues.
  • Understanding employee career goals. Helping employees meet their goals not only helps individuals, but in the long term will help the company itself remain competitive.

2. Select the Right Coaches.

Select qualified coaches with relevant experience and coaching skills. Organizations can blend the expertise of both internal and external coaches.

For example, Phil Jackson, the famous Chicago Bulls and La Lakers Head coach, was a right fit for both organizations. He managed to create a culture where the teams remained competitive for a long time. Both the coach and employees of the organization, including the players, bought into the culture and they continued winning. From the individual basketball player to the coaches and support staff, having alignment on culture is key.

A reputable service provider like Highrise Coaching has experienced coaches who can help create effective coaching cultures.

3. Create a Coaching Culture

Create a culture of support where professional helping relationships are encouraged and maintained. Adopting employee coaching styles at all levels of the organization will help employees grow and adapt, from the needs of the business today and for the long term.

For managers, trying a coaching leadership style that assures psychological safety and entrenches regular feedback conversations assures performance improvement in the long term. Usually a manager will coach employees in specific assignments or skills and ensuring managers have proper training can help with employee development and retention.

4. Set Clear Objectives (Specific and Actionable).

Identify the objectives of the coaching session and program and have a success barometer that aligns with the goals set for your organization.

The performance review would gauge whether the coaching session is making an impact.

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Selecting a Workplace Coach

Coaching in the workplace can be daunting, but with the right personnel who can coach employees, success can be achieved. The most important thing to keep in mind is that coaching employees will create value across the organization. Prioritizing coaching in the workplace is an investment in the future.

Here are the criteria you can use when selecting a workplace coach:

1. Define Your Objectives.

You want a coach who develops strong leaders, upskills employees in certain areas, and improves team communication. Define workplace coaching for your organizing and use that to target the goals of the coaching sessions.

Select a workplace coach or HR manager who will deliver on the objectives of the organization to ensure the success of coaching in the workplace.

2. Confirm Credentials and Experience.

The coach has to have experience in the industry and a proven record of success. Confirm that all their credentials are in order, and double-check with reputable organizations such as the International Coach Federation.

Select a coach who can incorporate a robust coaching style, either a facilitative or action-oriented approach.

3. Find the Right Match.

Compile a list of potential coaches and then evaluate their suitability. This process will help you gauge their abilities and how best they can help employees gain and improve their skills. Schedule one-on-one meetings, call them, or request trial sessions. 

When interacting with them, assess their approaches, styles, and personalities to gauge how they match the organization's needs. Also, clarify some essential information like their fees, availability, and expectations for the coaching process. 

4. Choose the Right Coach

Ensure they are a perfect match and fit regarding approach, personality, and communication style traits, which are crucial for a good match and a successful coaching process.

Also, remember that finding the right workplace coach may take time, and you must choose someone with the necessary expertise and who understands your unique needs and challenges. 

Inspiring, isn’t it ? Want to learn more about connecting self-awareness to professional development? Get in touch today.

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Let a Highrise Coach Unstuck Your Career

Feeling stuck in your career is normal. While coaching in the workplace can be a remedy to alleviate this, getting the help of an outside coach with a fresh perspective might be what you just need to re-energize your career.

At Highrise, we have experienced coaches, who work with tools like the DiSC Framework, Positive Intelligence, & the Five Behaviors that will help you understand, among other things, what holds you back and how to bring out your core strengths.

Schedule a discovery call today and start the journey of understanding yourself so that you can better understand others.

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Andrew Langat
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Andrew Langat is an experienced content specialist in Leadership, Productivity, Education, Fintech, and Research. He is an avid reader and loves swimming as a hobby. He believes that quality content should be actionable and helpful.