Looking for Coaches to Boost Employee Development? 6 Qualities Every Professional Coach Needs

March 12, 2024 | New Workplace Leadership | 5 min read

In the dynamic landscape of today's workforce, professional coaching has emerged not just as a strategy, but as a game-changer. Organizations committed to propelling every team member towards peak performance understand the transformative power of unlocking employee potential through coaching.

A professional coach works with employees to create a personalized plan tailored to fit their unique needs, goals, and circumstances. And with a coach by their side, employees can navigate their career paths more effectively, equipped with strategies and techniques that accelerate their progress.

Yet, the benefits extend beyond mere strategy; having a coach instills a sense of accountability and motivation in employees. Knowing there's someone to report progress to and to provide unbiased insights can be a powerful motivator, pushing employees to achieve their goals and commitments.

Coaching is a win-win for employers and employees – but it must be implemented effectively.

How do you ensure the effectiveness of your coaching program? Let's explore the crucial qualities every professional coach should possess and how your employees can choose the right one for their unique journey.

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The Purpose of an Effective Coaching Program

First, we have to dispel a common misconception about coaching. Some may view coaching as a tool for underperformers or those facing disciplinary action, but the truth is, coaching is equally valuable for high performers seeking growth and development. Clear communication and education about the purpose and benefits of coaching can help employees embrace it as a valuable resource for their professional development.

How to Choose a Professional Coach

The success of coaching relies heavily on the relationship built between the coach and the employee. When searching for a professional coach within your coaching platform, consider these characteristics:

1. Credentials and Experience:

Look for coaches with relevant certifications or qualifications in coaching. Beyond coaching, finding someone with experience as a leader can also be beneficial. Finally, it can be helpful if your coach has coached others in your field or industry.

Did you know? Skillsoft’s coaches are all ICF/EMCC certified, and each has more than 10 years of professional leadership experience themselves. This experience comes through with a global average session rating of 4.9 out of 5.

2. Compatibility:

No two people are the same, and neither is the career path they walk. A good coach should be someone your employee feels comfortable with and can trust. They should look for a coach who understands their values, goals, and communication style.

Did you know? Any coaching partnership with Skillsoft begins with understanding your organization’s priorities, goals, and objectives. Our team partners with you to ensure that your coaching initiatives and programs achieve your objectives – and most importantly, the objectives of your employees.

Assessments, onboarding paths, and metrics are tailored to each employee to ensure that each coaching engagement meets their unique circumstances – and those of your organization. In the coach selection process, Skillsoft provides 10 recommended coaches to choose from based on your organization's unique needs and from input from the learner. We’re pleased to have a 98% coach match success rate.

3. Empathy and Supportiveness:

A great coach is empathetic and supportive, providing encouragement and motivation while understanding your employee’s challenges. A coach should be an active listener, able to understand your needs and goals without judgment.

Did you know? Some of your employees are naturally more coachable than others, and this might impact their responsiveness to participation in a coaching program. Discover key indicators of coachability in this 15-minute webinar with one of the leadership and development coaches that Skillsoft works with, Grace Samson-Song.

4. Effective Communication:

Clear communication is essential for coaching sessions to be productive. A coach should be able to convey ideas and feedback effectively. Encourage your employees to interview potential coaches to see if their style and approach align with their needs and preferences. They need to trust their instincts and choose a coach who they believe can help them achieve their goals effectively.

Did you know? Skillsoft’s coaching platform facilitates human connection that drives results and fosters growth while our generative AI (Artificial Intelligence) resources provide a personalized and meaningful experience. Skillsoft’s generative AI coach, Skillosft CAISYTM, simulates scenarios that create a safe space to practice new skills

5. Feedback and Accountability:

Transformation requires more than just training, and coaching is the engine of behavior change. A good coach provides constructive feedback and holds employees accountable for their actions and commitments. A coach should help them set specific, achievable goals and develop a plan to reach them.

Did you know? Here at Skillsoft, we believe in actionable insights, not just data. Monitor the development and progress of your people with meaningful metrics that measure ROI (return on investment) at the individual, team, and organizational level.

Skillsoft uniquely partners across all areas of workforce transformation, working with you to assess and benchmark your employees, provide learning, application and a safe space to practice that ensures that your initiatives are easy to administer and measure.

6. Continuous Learning and Improvement:

Look for coaches who are committed to their own professional development and stay updated on the latest coaching techniques and practices. This background readies them to equip you with relevant knowledge and skills.

Did you know? Skillsoft’s coaching engagements incorporate world-class learning content, personalized by our coaches and AI to develop expertise and facilitate growth and transformation in your employees.

As you embark on the journey of unlocking employee potential through professional coaching, remember that the right coach can make all the difference. By choosing a coach with the six traits listed above, your employees will be well on their way to reaching their full potential. Empower your team, invest in their growth, and watch your organization thrive.