How to Build an Effective Coaching Program at Your Organization

5 September 2023 | Workplace Challenges | 4 min read

Coaching is a positive opportunity for growth, learning, and support – and it is a powerful benefit that your organization can offer to its employees. The proof is in the data:

  • 80% of people who receive coaching report increased self-confidence
  • More than 70% benefit from improved work performance, relationships, and more effective communication skills
  • 86% of organizations report that they recouped their investment on coaching, and more

However, building a coaching program to empower effective leaders at every level of your organization requires careful planning and consideration of various factors, including employee perception.

Common Misconceptions Around Coaching

While the concept of coaching in the workplace has been around since the 1970s, it has taken some time for it to become mainstream because some employees are hesitant to embrace it as a tool for both personal and professional growth.

One of the first steps to building a positive coaching culture in your organization is to address common employee misconceptions around coaching head-on.



“A coach will criticize my work.”

Coaching is about growth and development. Coaches work with employees to provide objective feedback and advice for improvement.

“I need coaching because I am inadequate.”

Coaching is not a reflection of incompetence! Everyone has areas for growth, and coaching is a proactive way to address those areas.

“If I participate in a coaching program everyone will know what I need to work on.”

Coaching sessions are conducted in a confidential and respectful manner. Coaches maintain privacy and trust with the employees they work with.

“I don’t have time for coaching.”

Coaching can improve efficiency, effectiveness, and overall job satisfaction in the long run.

“I’m doing fine; I don’t need coaching.”

Change can be uncomfortable, but coaching can help you to adapt and grow both personally and professionally.

“I don’t trust my organization to have my best interests at heart.”

If your organization doesn't value learning and development, employees may perceive coaching negatively. Foster a culture that promotes growth, learning, and continuous improvement.

“What’s the point?”

Unclear objectives foster uncertainty. Make sure employees understand how coaching aligns with their personal and professional growth.

Understanding employees’ perception of coaching within your organization will help you to meet them where they are at and alleviate any concerns they may have.


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Key Considerations for Building a Coaching Program

A true coaching culture fosters an environment where learning, collaboration, and continuous improvement are valued and encouraged. Open communication, transparent information, and demonstrating the tangible benefits of coaching can help foster a positive attitude toward coaching within your organization.

But you also need a plan.

While every organization approaches their coaching program differently, here are some things you may want to consider:

  1. Define the Program Objectives: Determine what outcomes you want to achieve, such as developing specific leadership competencies, enhancing performance, or supporting career transitions.
  2. Assess Current Leadership Capabilities: Analyze skill gaps and areas for improvement. These insights should help you to determine the target audience for your coaching program. This could include high-potential leaders, newly promoted managers, or individuals identified for succession planning. Coaching is even a useful tool to support career transitions.
  3. Determine the Scope and Duration of the Program: Consider whether it will be a short-term intervention or a longer-term developmental initiative. Determine the frequency and duration of coaching sessions and the overall program timeline. Looking for buy-in from your executive team? Think about building out a small pilot program to prove out the effectiveness of your coaching program.
  4. Develop Coaching Framework: Provide coaches and participants with a consistent and structured approach. Include guidelines for confidentiality, goal setting, progress tracking, and evaluation.
  5. Create Individual Development Plans: Collaborate with participants to identify their specific goals, areas for development, and desired outcomes. Ensure alignment between individual development plans and organizational goals.
  6. Match Coaches with Participants: Match coaches with participants based on their expertise, experience, and compatibility.
  7. Evaluate and Measure Program Effectiveness: Collect feedback from participants, coaches, and relevant stakeholders. Measure outcomes and compare them to the program objectives. Use the evaluation results to make improvements and adjustments for future iterations.
  8. Monitor and Track Progress: Provide regular feedback and support to ensure accountability and progress toward your goals.

Building a coaching culture in your organization goes beyond individual coaching sessions; it shapes the very fabric of your business by promoting learning, growth, collaboration, and adaptability. It’s an investment that pays off in the form of enhanced performance, innovation, and a more engaged and motivated workforce.

But you have to approach your coaching program like you would approach any other initiative – with a clear plan in place. Need more information? Skillsoft Coaching experts can help.