Employee Coaching: Meaning, Definitions, Objectives, Types

06/04/2021 0 By indiafreenotes

Coaching in a business environment is a training method in which a more experienced or skilled individual provides an employee with advice and guidance intended to help develop the individual’s skills, performance and career. Coaching is distinguished from similar HR competencies of mentoring and counseling (as a step in a progressive discipline system). Coaching may be one of the means used for management development, but it is broader in application than just management training.

On the job, coaching by a superior is an important and potentially effective approach, if superior is properly trained and oriented, the supervisor provides feedback to the trainee on his performance and offers him some suggestions for improvement Often the trainee shares his thoughts, views and apprehensions about the duties and responsibilities with the boss and thus gets relief and also relieves him of his burden. But limitation of this method of training is that the trainee may not have the freedom of opportunity to express his own ideas.

Coaching is a form of development in which an experienced person, called a coach, supports a learner or client in achieving a specific personal or professional goal by providing training and guidance. The learner is sometimes called a coachee. Occasionally, coaching may mean an informal relationship between two people, of whom one has more experience and expertise than the other and offers advice and guidance as the latter learns; but coaching differs from mentoring by focusing on specific tasks or objectives, as opposed to more general goals or overall development.

Business coaching is a type of human resource development for executives, members of management, teams, and leadership. It provides positive support, feedback, and advice on an individual or group basis to improve personal effectiveness in the business setting, many a time focusing on behavioral changes through psychometrics or 360-degree feedback. Business coaching is also called executive coaching, corporate coaching or leadership coaching. Coaches help their clients advance towards specific professional goals. These include career transition, interpersonal and professional communication, performance management, organizational effectiveness, managing career, and personal changes, developing executive presence, enhancing strategic thinking, dealing effectively with conflict, and building an effective team within an organization. An industrial-organizational psychologist may work as an executive coach.

Business coaching is not restricted to external experts or providers. Many organizations expect their senior leaders and middle managers to coach their team members to reach higher levels of performance, increased job satisfaction, personal growth, and career development. Research studies suggest that executive coaching has positive effects both within workplace performance as well as personal areas outside the workplace, with some differences in the impact of internal and external coaches.

In some countries, there is no certification or licensing required to be a business or executive coach, and membership of a coaching organization is optional. Further, standards and methods of training coaches can vary widely between coaching organizations. Many business coaches refer to themselves as consultants, a broader business relationship than one which exclusively involves coaching. Research findings from a systematic review indicate that effective coaches are known for having integrity, support for those they coach, communication skills, and credibility.

In the workplace, leadership coaching has been shown to be effective for increasing employee confidence in expressing their own ideas.[20] Research findings in a systematic review demonstrate that coaching can help reduce stress in the workplace.

Compensation Legal Coaching is generally remunerated by private law agreement on remuneration, subject to any special legal rules (such as on attorney remuneration). A legal coach, similar to a specialist lawyer, is considered specialized and can usually charge an increased hourly rate of at least Rs 20000/-.

Training Post graduate training in legal coaching for lawyers, like any other training in professional coaching, is based on the quality standards for coaching trainings. On the one hand, the respective national legal rules and regulations for coaches, coaching trainings and the practice of coaching have to be complied with, and on the other hand, the professional regulations for lawyers. Legal coaching trainings are based on the quality standards for coaching trainings


  • Improved team functioning.
  • Increased engagement.
  • Increased productivity.
  • Improved employee relations.
  • Faster leadership development.

Techniques and Tools

At its best, coaching is about partnering rather than about one person being “the expert” and lecturing the other. The client is the expert in the organization; the coach helps the client develop a higher level of expertise. The coach can use a variety of methods to facilitate the coaching process:

  • Using data from anonymous 360-degree surveys or climate analysis surveys to identify objective behaviors that can be linked with business outcomes. CEOs are very often shocked at the disparity in their rating and their subordinates’ ratings of them. This might be the first awareness that they are out of touch.
  • Using personality and behavioral assessments to diagnose which traits and behaviors are dominant or lacking, and which might be easy or difficult to change.
  • Listening actively; the coach does not solve the client’s problems—the client solves his or her own problems.
  • Helping clients distinguish what is important from what is not.
  • Leading clients outside of their comfort zone.
  • Acknowledging the client’s accomplishments and empathizing (not sympathizing) when the client is down.
  • Providing perspective based on the coach’s own experiences.
  • Helping the client set goals, develop an action plan for moving ahead, and anticipate and overcome potential obstacles.
  • Recommending specific books or other sources of learning.
  • Encouraging journaling to gain awareness of emotions and behaviors and to track progress toward goals.
  • Participating in role-playing and simulations to promote skill practice.
  • Meeting on a regular basis, with on-the-job “homework” assignments between meetings.
  • Managing the confidentiality of the coaching partnership. In most cases, the official client is the organization paying the coaching invoice, yet the true client is the individual being coached.
  • Designing systems to track the return on investment of coaching.


Executive development

Executive coaching, sometimes introduced to address senior leadership’s disruptive or ineffective behavior, can also help a capable executive perform at an even higher level. It is also useful for developing high-potential prospects for purposes of succession planning. Many organizations are looking toward the future and considering global expansion, which has brought into focus the need for new global leadership skills and more deliberate and structured pipelines of future leaders.

Potential executives

Many individuals who currently hold executive-level positions are nearing retirement. Organizations want changes in leadership to occur with as little disruption as possible. To increase the chances of a smooth transition, companies are using coaching as a means of developing the next generation of leaders. Factors such as an individual’s outstanding achievement of development objectives, positive assessment from the coach, and the coached individual’s ability to take on new tasks are also recognized benefits of executive coaching. In light of this looming change in executive-level positions, the funding traditionally directed toward senior leaders has begun to shift to first- and mid-level management.

Management development

Supervisors and managers are on the front lines of organizational performance and need to develop skills to motivate collective effort. Sometimes, supervisors and managers lack necessary people skills, such as skills in setting goals, delegating, providing accountability, delivering effective performance reviews and even coaching itself. Coaching can help them develop such skills.


Cross-cultural coaching

As the business world continues to evolve in a global marketplace, executive coaching takes on a new dimension: cross-cultural perspectives. Whether company leaders are dealing with cultural changes through mergers or acquisitions or working with a workforce of different ethnic and national viewpoints, values and expectations, coaches can be effective in helping executives navigate cross-cultural environments.

Health coaching

In this age of consumer-directed health care, health coaching is taking on a more prominent role in educating and empowering employees to make smart health care purchasing decisions and smarter decisions about their own health. Studies show that individuals who participate in health coaching are better able to navigate health care services and ultimately reduce health care spending

Diversity coaching

Coaching can also be an effective tool to support an organization’s diversity initiatives, although organizations must take care that such efforts do not amount to unlawful discrimination. Diversity-based coaching activities might focus on:

  • Awareness and inclusion. Coaching can be used to sensitize individual employees who may have exhibited or been accused of inappropriate, discriminatory or harassing behaviors. The objective would be to help them see things through the eyes of persons who are different from them in terms of gender, race, religion or other characteristics and to respond effectively in a business environment.
  • Generational differences. Coaching can assist older and younger workers in understanding the differing world views and skills of the various generations, learning how their different experiences affect the way they view the workplace and discovering how they can most effectively work together to achieve organizational goals. Coaching can also help identify and eliminate generational stereotypes.
  • Behavioral and personal styles. Coaching can help individuals better understand how their business counterparts are similar and different from them and how to interact effectively with individuals with different styles.

Transition Coaching

Coaching can also be applied to a variety of other situations, including internal transitions such as:

  • An employee’s first international assignment.
  • An expat repatriation.
  • After an employee’s promotion.
  • Following a merger or acquisition.
  • After an employee’s role has changed significantly in scope or scale.
  • After an employee is assigned to a task force or key initiative.
  • Accelerating a high-potential employee’s development.
  • Part of succession development and/or development of the organization’s leadership pipeline.