Two people talking in an office, representing professional development coaching

What role should professional development coaching play in your L&D strategy?

Tips for leveraging professional development coaching to enhance employee skills and drive business success.
Mike Jeavons, Content Writer

In recent years, online learning has become more and more accessible and affordable. While this is a fantastic tool that businesses can utilize for personalized learning at scale, where does this leave professional development coaching?

In the modern business landscape, coaching still plays an important role in many L&D strategies. Coaching provides the support and guidance employees need to develop in a way that benefits both themselves and the organization.

So, we’ll explore why coaching should still be part of your organization’s learning and development plan, including how it can benefit your business, and how you can successfully implement professional development coaching. 

Understanding professional development coaching

Professional development coaching, also referred to as career coaching, is a way for businesses to support the development of their employees by offering one-on-one coaching. A professional development coach works with individual employees to help them identify what they want to achieve, when they want to achieve it, and how they can enact that plan. In the process, they learn valuable new skills and knowledge that push your business forward.

You can utilize coaching across your entire workforce, from entry-level employees who are still trying to work out their desired career path, to senior managers who know their goals but want to continue upskilling. Coaching is a collaborative process that requires a proactive approach from employees seeking to further their knowledge and skills. A coach is simply someone who will guide employees using a series of techniques, such as setting goals, encouraging self-reflection, and setting skill and knowledge-building exercises.

Coaches will help employees upskill in a range of areas, such as communication, time management, leadership skills, emotional intelligence, and decision-making. Each of these skills allows employees to grow, while also contributing to the overall success of your business.

While coaching is a one-on-one process, individual employees undertake most of the legwork. That means a coach can support a large organization with many employees looking to develop.

The importance of professional development coaching

Coaching can be a fantastic way to improve your organization’s learning and development plan. The benefits of coaching include:

  • Developing key skills such as leadership, decision-making, and communication
  • Ensuring employees feel valued and motivated
  • Improving confidence
  • Increasing engagement
  • Lowering employee turnover rates
  • Improving productivity
  • Improving performance
  • Encouraging employees to embrace change and be more flexible

From this, your organization will be in a better position to promote from within, which will prevent the need to recruit as regularly, saving you from long and expensive recruitment processes. It’ll also help you attract and retain top industry talent.

A coach will help build a learning culture in your organization, pushing your employees to be the best they can be. They will also encourage continuous learning, so employees never lose their enthusiasm and drive to learn and develop.

Pull quote with the text: A coach will help build a learning culture in your organization, pushing your employees to be the best they can be

Of course, without utilizing a professional development coach as part of your L&D strategy, your employees can still use online learning and other tools to develop. However, a coach will guide employees to overcome challenges, improve their self-awareness, and get the most out of their learning and development. Coaching will help employees reach their potential and drive your organization to success.

For more information, read our post on why professional development is essential for future-ready organizations.

How professional development coaching enhances L&D

Coaching is a fantastic way to boost your organization’s learning and development strategy to ensure your employees develop in the most effective ways possible. This includes:

  • Personalized learning so employees can take control of their journey.
  • Application of learning so employees can utilize what they learn to increase retention.
  • A greater level of sustained engagement.
  • A shift in mindset across the organization as you introduce a culture of continuous learning.
  • A greater level of accountability.

Implementing professional development coaching in your L&D strategy

To implement professional development coaching at your organization, consider the following steps:

  1. Understand the goals you hope to achieve by implementing coaching. For example, do you want to improve communication throughout the organization, or focus on leadership development?
  2. Ensure your business has the infrastructure to support coaching. Can you dedicate the resources necessary for it to be effective?
  3. Speak to qualified coaches to find one that aligns with your goals, industry, experience, and values.
  4. Identify which employees are most likely to benefit from coaching. 
  5. Develop learning strategies that align with the overall goals of your organization.
  6. Roll out the strategy and communicate the benefits to your workforce.
  7. Provide the resources employees need so your L&D strategy can be as effective as possible, such as offering relevant online training courses to help employees upskill.
  8. Ask employees for feedback so you can continuously tweak and improve your strategy.
  9. Use metrics to measure the effectiveness of the strategy and ensure the goals you identified are closer to being achieved.

Real-world success stories of coaching in L&D

78% of LinkedIn’s top US companies utilize coaching to support careers, succession, and performance goals. One such company is Verizon, which found that: “99% of managers agree that coaching has improved new directors' impact on communication, executive presence and influence, resilience and change, team performance, and strategic thinking.”

Pull quote with the text: 78% of LinkedIn's top US companies utilize coaching to support careers, succession, and performance goals.

LinkedIn’s data also revealed that Alphabet (Google’s parent company) offers a coaching strategy that prioritizes learning and development, which resulted in a 200% increase in participation in just two years.

Upskill your workforce with online courses from Go1

At Go1, we have a huge database of online courses to support your L&D strategy and upskill your workforce. For more information, download our free L&D playbook, or speak to one of our experts to find out how we can help you create a culture of continuous learning.

Go1 helps millions of people in thousands of organizations engage in learning that is relevant, effective and inspiring.
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