The Different Types of Coaching and How to Make Them Work

1 minutes

In today’s always-on and ultra-competitive society, businesses know they have to invest more than money into their employees. A highly productive and proactive workforce results in higher profit margins – but an ill-equipped team could cause huge issues for any company.

With Business Mole reporting that employee turnover rates have increased by 9% from 2019 and a lack of training and support being one of the top reasons people quit their jobs, workplace coaching isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity.

Although coaching others might seem daunting, it’s easier if you know what you’re doing and how to choose between the different types of coaching.

That’s what we’re here for.

So, sit back, relax and read on – because we’ll teach you about workplace coaching and how to make it work.

What is workplace coaching?

In simple terms, coaching in the workplace is giving an employee the skills, tools and training opportunities needed for them to become a productive team member. However, it’s important to distinguish between life coaching and workplace coaching.

While life coaching takes a more holistic approach, workplace coaching can be considered a dynamic leadership strategy, where management teams actively encourage professional development and monitor an individual’s performance.

Coaching can take place in-house, with leadership and management teams delivering sessions to individuals and groups – but many companies also choose an external coach.

External coaches can be beneficial because they have an in-depth knowledge of coaching techniques and know to identify areas for improvement.

🎙 For more on the importance of coaching, listen to our podcast 🎙

Workplace coaching is essential. Here’s why

To understand the importance of workplace coaching, we need to look at its many benefits and outcomes. They include:

  • A more engaged workforce.
  • Being able to define and convey a positive company culture.
  • Higher retention rates.
  • Better customer service.
  • Healthy competition between employees.

📖 Find out more about the benefits of coaching vs mentoring in our guide 📖

A mentor and mentee in session.5 different types of coaching you need to know about

So, now you know what workplace coaching is and its many benefits, it’s time to look at which types of coaching are most effective in a business setting. The type you choose will depend on the needs of your employees as a whole.

Executive coaching

As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day – and neither are strong leaders. To be great coaches, leaders and managers must learn the necessary techniques.

Executive coaching equips top-level employees to identify performance weaknesses and develop their leadership skills.

Once a top-level executive understands how to assess the needs of each team member, they can offer support and work towards the far-reaching objectives of the business.

📖 Find out more about why coaching is essential for leaders in our guide 📖

Performance coaching

Performance coaching should be available to all employees, and its primary goal is to help people perform their job roles more effectively. Managers or even high-achieving co-workers can be performance coaches and teach valuable skills to others.

Effective performance coaching can improve employee satisfaction, boost productivity and ensure each employee builds a skillset that helps them achieve their goals.

Team coaching

Every business knows its success lies with the employees that make things happen, and team coaching can facilitate effective communication and collaboration between employees.

In many cases, the coaching is for management teams, who are responsible for ensuring workplace synergy.

Team coaching can also be for general purposes, or a professional coach can help a group when dealing with challenges at work.

Virtual coaching

Virtual coaching is pretty self-explanatory and takes place in a remote setting. For example, a coach could deliver sessions to an entire team or an individual through video conferencing software.

As long as the sessions are well thought out and the coach has experience in remote sessions, virtual coaching is just as effective as in-person sessions.

Peer coaching

You may have heard of peer learning, but did you also know that you can benefit through peer coaching too?

Peer coaching, as the name suggests, involves receiving coaching from someone in your peer group. Whether that’s due to a shared level of seniority or job level, your peers can give you coaching that’s targeted to your career stage.

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What are the different coaching styles?

Coaching can only be effective if all parties are on the same page and agree on potential outcomes. There are four styles of workplace coaching:

  • Autocratic
  • Democratic
  • Transformational
  • Holistic

Each style is different in its own way, but the one you choose depends on the needs of each individual or team.

Autocratic coaching

Autocratic coaching is popular in business settings because the coach takes control of each session. 

Professional clients who prefer routine and structure always respond well to autocratic coaches – but it’s also beneficial for addressing specific challenges.

Democratic coaching

Unlike autocratic coaching, democratic coaching is about giving the participants a say in the coaching style they receive and what they want to achieve from the sessions. The coach aims to offer support and motivation to ensure the client meets their objectives.

Democratic coaching is ideal for managers or individuals who know their goals from each session.

Transformational coaching

Transformational coaching offers even more flexibility than democratic coaching and is essentially a form of life or perspective coaching. This form of coaching can be highly beneficial for change management, confidence building and teaching leadership skills.

The participant and coach form an alliance where each party understands their role in the sessions.

Holistic coaching

While many workplace coaching forms are about improving an individual’s business performance, holistic coaching looks at all elements of a participant’s life. These include their personal goals, challenges, societal place, and work/life balance.

The idea is to address numerous areas of the participant’s life to develop their self-awareness, make better decisions at work and learn how to support others.

📖 Find out more about the difference between coaching and mentoring with Guider 📖

How do I know what to choose?

When choosing which form of coaching is best, there are many factors to consider. The important thing to remember is that each coaching type offers distinct benefits for organisations and individuals.

If you’re scratching your head wondering which is best, have no fear; here’s what you need to know.

Are you looking for team or organisational coaching?

Teams or entire businesses respond well to autocratic and democratic coaching because each offers a goal-orientated approach and is customisable. 

However, transformational coaching can also be great – especially if effective leadership skills are a top priority.

Are you an individual?

Individuals can choose any form of workplace coaching – because they’re all beneficial. Autocratic coaching could work if you want to reach specific goals and enjoy structure. However, democratic coaching offers more flexibility and can be empowering.

Transformational and holistic coaching are popular if you want to practice self-care, change your mindset and address other areas of your life.

Coaching can bring about sustainable changes to your business – and for each employee. Investing in a coaching and mentoring programme shows your team that you care about their development and are willing to invest in their futures.

More productivity, employee loyalty, and the ability to attract top talent… What could be better?

Want to find out more? Guider can help. We connect people worldwide for coaching and mentoring. Talk to our expert team today.

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