We get it, mentoring and coaching are easy to confuse.
Given that they both relate to personal development and involve working with others to achieve goals, there are a lot of shared elements to coaching and mentoring.
Luckily, we’ve already covered the differences between coaching and mentoring in a previous article. Read it here if you need a refresher!
But what about the benefits of both practices? It’s one thing to know the differences but that doesn’t always tell you which one your workplace needs. That’s where we’re here to help!
Find out the top benefits of mentoring vs coaching below to help you make the right decision for your people.
What is coaching?
First, let’s define coaching. Coaching is the act of a trained coach working with a person, known as a coachee, on specific performance objectives, skills and goals. Sounds similar to mentoring, right?
Well, a key difference in coaching is that the coach doesn’t need to have direct experience in the industry or job function of the coachee. Instead, they use tools and techniques learned through training to develop them. They will not share their personal experience throughout the sessions, which means that learning is often more structured and focused in coaching.
“Everyone needs a coach. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a basketball player, a tennis player, a gymnast or a bridge player. We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.”
Bill Gates (Source)
What are the benefits of coaching?
Reports show increased confidence, greater productivity and ability to work towards goals after coaching. In fact, as many as 80% of people who receive coaching report increased confidence. This has to be the biggest benefit of coaching; the huge impact on confidence. On top of this, coaching gives your people dedicated time to work on their skills and behaviours.
Coaching can lead to…
✅ Increased confidence
✅ Better communication skills
✅ Greater self-awareness
✅ Unlocking potential
Coaches work on areas such as communication, confidence, and career planning. It’s all about unlocking people’s potential through targeted sessions that challenge limiting thoughts or beliefs.
What’s best about this tool is that it’s so focused on the individual. Through questions, exercises and other techniques, coaches work on the underlying issues that affect your team. Another bonus is that you can find trained coaches easily, confident in the knowledge that they are accredited and ready to help your people develop.
📖 Find out more about the different types of coaching in our guide 📖
How can my organisation benefit from coaching?
The benefits of coaching on an organisational level are vast.
Offering coaching to your people shows your investment in their development. It’s a great way to up-skill your workforce and address the underlying issues that hold people back at work. As well as confidence, coaching can benefit mental health too.
On top of this, 86% of companies report that they recouped their investment in coaching and more. Coaching can benefit talent retention, employee engagement and productivity. It also provides an attractive workplace benefit for any organisation.
By hiring coaches from outside your organisation, or training individuals internally, you can provide targeted support to develop your people.
Further benefits of coaching for your organisation include:
✅ Identify high-potential employees
✅ Improve individual performance
✅ Create targeted learning and development
✅ Improve retention, engagement and productivity
✅ Benefit mental health and job satisfaction
Coaching is the kind of benefit your employees are asking for. By providing them with 1:1 support from a trained coach, you’re investing in your talent and helping them to grow. This has lasting impacts on employee engagement, satisfaction and retention, as well as your bottom line.
📖 Find out more about the importance of continuous learning such as coaching and mentoring in our guide 📖
Mentoring is the act of helping another person through support and guidance in their personal development. There are many different types of mentoring that can support people in different ways and at different times. For example, mentoring has powerful benefits when used in onboarding.
Find out more about the different types of mentoring in our guide.
Similar to coaching, mentoring involves targeted support for individuals looking to grow. However, in mentoring, mentors are there on a voluntary basis and will use their direct experience to guide their mentees. These relationships can last for a short time or a lifetime.
It’s a practice that’s been around since the age of Socrates and shows no signs of disappearing anytime soon!
What are the benefits of mentoring?
For both the mentor, mentee and the organisation, mentoring has a wide range of benefits.
Participating in mentoring can increase self-confidence, self-awareness and help your people to practice communication and leadership skills. By learning from other people’s perspectives, or sharing your own, cultural competency will improve at your organisation.
It’s also a great way to support diversity and inclusion initiatives, boost employee mental health and create a culture of knowledge sharing. The best part about mentoring is that great mentors already exist in your business. By tapping into your people’s expertise and sharing it, you can amplify learning and development.
As well as this, organisations that have mentoring programs see improved engagement, retention and productivity. In fact, 67% of businesses reported an increase in productivity due to mentoring and 55% felt that mentoring had a positive impact on their profits.
The top benefits of mentoring include:
✅ Widening perspectives
✅ Creating support networks
✅ Progressing careers
✅ Building personal networks
Find out more on the benefits of mentoring in full here.
Given that it’s voluntary, long-term and based on personal experience and connection, it can be easy to get started in mentoring. Whether through an informal mentoring relationship or using mentoring software such as Guider, there are many routes to mentoring.
The benefits of both coaching and mentoring include…
As you can see, both practices have major benefits for your people and your organisation. They both involve building trust and unlocking potential.
The common themes are:
- Personal growth
- Employee engagement
- Skills development
- Employee bonding and connection
- Improved retention
- Leadership development
- Takes the burden off line managers
With all these benefits of running a mentoring or coaching program, which one should you choose?
Which do I need, coaching or mentoring?
Whether it’s for you personally or for your organisation, deciding whether you need to find a mentor or a coach is tricky.
If you’re looking to build lasting, long-term connections between your employees then mentoring could be right for you. It’s great for creating a culture of social learning and draws on the expertise of your existing employees – meaning less training is needed!
To find out more read our guide to starting a mentoring program.
However, if you want to up-skill and develop your people with a more targeted approach, coaching could work better. Coaching is great for providing structured development programs that hone in on core skills and objectives.
The first step is to consider the problem you are trying to solve, what resources you have and consider whether coaching or mentoring is the right solution.
Once you understand the problem or need you are addressing, it should be clearer which one you need. From there, the only way is up! Setting up a coaching or mentoring program is easy with Guider.
If you’re looking for help setting up a mentoring or coaching program, we’re here to help! Talk to one of our expert team today and get going with Guider.