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How Workplace Coaching Can Boost Organizational Performance

  • POSTED ON AUGUST 30, 2023
Employees at all levels engaging in a workplace coaching program

In the contemporary business landscape, investing in the development of executives and senior leaders is universally recognized as the highest leverage point for promoting performance and engagement within an organization. However, as crucial as this top-down approach is, it merely scratches the surface of what can be achieved through broader workplace coaching initiatives.

There are three key dynamics influencing the need to expand beyond executive coaching to more inclusive workplace coaching:

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Broad, increasing commitment to D.E.I.B. initiatives has unlocked new demand for developing employees at all levels and representing infinite value and perspectives in the workplace. Inclusive coaching programs boost engagement and retention by helping employees feel heard, seen, and valued. 

Increasing Change

Amid the ongoing whirlwind of change that organizations face today, all employees, from the C-suite to the shop floor, grapple with multifaceted challenges. A more democratized approach to coaching can be a powerful tool to boost your organization's agility, resilience, performance, and overall effectiveness at all levels of the organization.

More High-Quality Coaches

In the last 30 years, the coaching profession has grown significantly to include well over 50,000 credentialed coaches. With more qualified and high caliber coaches available, the cost of coaching engagements has shifted to accommodate delivery at all levels.  Where a good executive coaching program may start at $30,000, there are now more affordable options for individual, group, and team coaching.  When costs go down, accessibility goes up.

What is Coaching, and Why is it Essential?

The International Coach Federation (ICF) defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. This process often uncovers untapped sources of imagination, productivity, and leadership.”

Workplace coaching has seen significant shifts recently. The 2022 Worklife Coaching Report highlighted that big disconnects between employees and organizations are fueling resignations and costing businesses millions of dollars in lost productivity and talent. New research shows businesses grappling with retention challenges may find a solution in expanded employee coaching programs.

  • 99% of employers see coaching as having a positive or very positive impact on the wider business.
  • 93% of employees feel open and receptive to new job opportunities. This holds true across generations, gender, and geography.
  • 85% of employees say an employer-funded coaching program shows their employer cares about them.
  • 93% of employers would offer coaching to ALL if money or resources were no object.

The Transformative Power of Coaching on Performance

Coaching is a remarkable tool with transformative potential. It not only equips individuals with strategies to optimize their performance but also induces changes at the fundamental level of thought processes and behaviors. It enables individuals to break through self-imposed limitations and embrace growth. Organizational training provides the support and guidance individuals need to excel in their roles and contribute to business success.

Boosting Behaviors

Coaching has the power to stimulate change at the behavioral level. By highlighting the gaps between current actions and desired results, coaching supports individuals in aligning their mindset and actions for success. Coaching helps individuals recognize unproductive habits, develop alternatives, and implement these strategies to create more productive routines and practices.

Navigating Change

In today's fast-paced business landscape, change is the only constant. This constant state of flux can be overwhelming and challenging to navigate, often leading to resistance and setbacks.

A coach can play a crucial role in supporting this change journey. They provide a safe space for individuals to express their anxieties, fears, and doubts related to change as well as their hopes and dreams.

Coaches help individuals strategize and find their footing amid change, thereby minimizing resistance, maximizing resilience, and strengthening commitment. Coaching enhances individuals' adaptability, agility, and, consequently, their overall performance by facilitating smoother transitions to new ways of working. 

Improving Workplace Wellbeing

Coaching can be instrumental in promoting workplace wellbeing. When people feel anxious or depressed, the quality, pace, and performance of their work tends to decline (The U.S. Surgeon General’s Framework for Workplace Mental Health & Well-Being).

Coaches help individuals develop strategies to manage stress, handle adversity, create connection, and maintain a positive outlook. This ability to cope with challenges enhances personal well-being and promotes career longevity and success.

Expanding Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a critical factor in any professional setting where humans are driving work. It includes the ability to communicate effectively, navigate conflict, handle generational differences, and manage emotions.

While training programs can lay the foundation for enhancing emotional intelligence, coaching can offer a more personalized approach to growth in this area. A coach can help individuals identify their unique emotional strengths and areas for development. They can support positive and productive strategies and actions to integrate emotional intelligence into daily routines.

Unlocking Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is the bedrock of personal and professional development. It involves a deep understanding of one's strengths, weaknesses, and the impacts—both intended and unintended—of one's actions. This heightened self-awareness is the first step towards real and sustainable behavior change.

With a coach, individuals have a supportive and objective partner who can help them introspect and gain a clearer understanding of themselves. This relationship encourages open discussions about areas of strength and areas for improvement, thereby setting the stage for targeted personal growth and improved performance.

Coaching prompts individuals to explore their values, purpose, and passion, inspiring them to strive for a career and life that align with their true selves. In doing so, individuals are empowered to realize their full potential and achieve a deep sense of fulfillment.

Building Engagement

One of the most profound impacts of democratizing coaching is the boost in employee engagement. When employees feel seen, heard, and valued, their connection with the organization deepens. They become more committed to their roles and the organization's mission.

By investing in their growth and development, organizations show employees they are valued contributors to collective success. This feeling of being appreciated not only boosts engagement but also improves retention and drives performance. By nurturing a coaching culture, organizations send a clear message: every employee matters and their growth and development are of paramount importance.

The Ripple Effects of Coaching: Building a Coaching Culture

Once employees receive coaching, they often begin to appreciate the value of adopting a coach approach at work. This perspective opens the door to building a coaching culture within the organization founded on a coaching mindset and skillset. Like the art of creating a cocktail, establishing a coaching culture requires a thoughtful mix of training, strong values, personal coaching experience, and skills to coach others. The result is a strategic approach that permeates all levels of the organization, enhancing overall performance, resilience, and success.

The transformative power of coaching and its profound impact on employee performance should not be underestimated. By boosting behavior, navigating change, improving workplace wellbeing, expanding emotional intelligence, unlocking self-awareness, and building engagement, coaching sets the stage for transformative professional and personal growth. It refines skills, promotes accountability, enhances decision-making, unlocks creativity and innovation, and optimizes productivity.

The journey to building a coaching culture is not a sprint but a marathon. It requires a deliberate investment of resources, time, and effort. But, the business results make it a worthwhile endeavor. As more and more organizations embrace this democratized approach to coaching, they are not only setting themselves up for success in the present but also building the resilience and adaptability they need to thrive in the ever-changing business landscape of the future.

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Barb Van Hare
Written By

Barb Van Hare  

Barb has 28+ years of experience as a Leadership Coach, Talent Development Leader, and Organization Change Consultant. As the Founder and President of Kinetic Clarity (, Barb helps leaders, teams, cultures, and crowds find more range, resiliency, and meaning in their work. She loves helping her clients navigate the increasing complexity of our world with coaching, assessments, training, and consulting. She has extensive business consulting experience with Accenture, IBM Global Services, and regional firms, as well as corporate HR leadership experience. Barb currently works on a joint task force between the ICF (International Coach Federation) and ACMP (Association of Change Management Professionals) exploring the intersection of Change Management and Coaching. Barb loves the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains she calls home. She lives with her husband, 2 boys (admittedly they are now young adults), and extended family where she enjoys using her Co-Active skills every day.  

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