What is coaching?
Thankfully, coaching in the workplace has fewer whistles than that of sports coaching. But like sports coaching, the intent is to strengthen knowledge in a particular topic while moving people to achieve a goal.
The aim of coaching is to improve a person’s/team's knowledge and performance in a task by reinforcing learning and development practises. So courses, learning paths, even conventions, can be followed up by coaching.
How to coach
Coaching can take many different forms, especially now that remote working is prevalent. Usually coaching is relatively short-term (as there’s a goal to reach) and lets a team think about answers/solutions to questions a coach poses. It’s not about giving someone an answer, it’s about helping them find their own. An example of this would be to follow-up a course with a session between the learners and coach to apply what was learned in the course via questions and use cases.
Coaching can be one-to-one, group-based, online (through an LMS/LXP) or impromptu - like helping a learner find a solution on a new task. Overall, it’s not just about reinforcing newly-gathered information, it’s also about allowing improvements to happen through constant feedback.
More information on how to be a successful coach can be found here.
Who can be a coach
Usually, the managers of a team are coaches. Since they have (hopefully) the most experience and knowledge, not to mention responsible for getting the team to reach their goals, it makes sense that managers are coaches. A situation that also helps Heads of HR and L&D rely on managers to be their ambassadors when it comes to implementing learning strategies.
However, fellow colleagues can be coaches too. For example, if a new hire has a skill that the rest of the team doesn’t possess, it makes sense to give that new colleague a coaching role. Not only can this strengthen the team in terms of communication and teamwork, but it can grow the new hire’s presentation, management and analytical skills.
What’s the difference between coaching and mentoring
Eh, it depends... there’s a lot of differences but also a lot of similarities, and of course, as every person is different, how they coach may seem more like mentoring or vice versa.
Also, even if the methods differ, both are about helping people achieve their goals by leveraging the experience of the coach/mentor.
But in terms of concrete differences, there are qualifications available if a person wants to coach, unlike mentoring. Also, coaching is often carried out in a shorter period of time (as it’s more goal-dependent. Lastly, since coaching is more goal-oriented, measurements are necessary to ensure the courses are being taken, that the results from the courses are good, and the team is getting closer to reaching their goal.
How to help coaches
With that in mind, giving coaches the tools to train and track learning software is essential. You may already have an LMS or other software within your company, but if you want your coaches to have a seamless experience, an LXP like myskillcamp is ideal.
Myskillcamp is an all-in-one system (both training courses and analytics in one place) and offers team managers and coaches a ‘Team view’ where they can easily view all their learners’ progress - aka their ‘Learning Health’ breakdown.
Coaches can organise follow-ups during or after training to reinforce what was learned, or if they identify an area where a learner may be struggling. Our platform allows for public and personal interactions with one-to-one conversations (chat or email) and the Team Newsfeed.
This Team View is the perfect way to assist coaches and managers as it’s allowing them to combine eLearning technology with coaching, allowing them to be more present, effective, and hands-on.
Is coaching right for your business?
Of course! It increases team working, communication, employs a strong learning-based culture, fosters knowledge-sharing and is a strong motivator. Deloitte even found that companies that implement coaching are 33% more effective at engaging their employees and are 30% more likely to have better business results.
So if you’re thinking coaching is right for your business, identify the coaches, give them the tools they need, and set their goals.