Why a culture of coaching is a driving force behind employee training programmes

Coaching keeps your employees energised and your business on a trajectory of growth, says Kiara Williams.

Reading time: 5 minutes

What makes an onboarding experience outstanding? According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), one of the four most important elements of an optimal onboarding experience – along with role clarity, social integration at the new workplace, and self-confidence – is an understanding of the company’s culture.

Familiarising new hires with your company culture is an indispensable part of the onboarding process.

In fact, not only can understanding company culture from the get-go help employees to acclimate and integrate better, but training new employees in a way that gets them in alignment with that culture can strengthen it and help it to thrive.

Your new employees can indeed help to build and sustain your company culture.

New employees can be allies in creating an ideal company vibe

The right kind of employee training can start laying the groundwork for culture-building even before a new hire’s official start date.

A well-crafted onboarding process also increases an employee’s chances of having a long, productive and mutually beneficial tenure at the company. 

Coaching gives employees the tools they need to make more independent judgment calls and to self-correct when it’s needed

According to the aforementioned survey by SHRM, optimal onboarding processes work so well at assimilating new hires into the company culture that they result in a 69% greater rate of employee retention.

So now we’ve established that a great company culture is good for employees and good for businesses. But what is it that makes a company culture great

The most beneficial culture for any company

CEO and leadership coach John Mattone believes that the best culture for engaging and retaining employees is a coaching culture.

Says Mattone: “A successful business can thrive with a general coaching culture, plus dedicated coaching where it is needed.” And he should know.

Mattone coached the late, great Steve Jobs, helping him to achieve stellar success at Apple. Part of that success can certainly be attributed to the strong leadership culture that he inspired Jobs to create there.

Businesses that support a coaching model of employee training create an environment where employees always feel like they are evolving; they regularly learn new skills, and are given ample opportunity to apply those skills.

This constant state of evolution engages employees and creates confidence by making them feel like they are assets to your organisation.

How does a coaching culture work?

To begin with, it is supremely important that top leaders at companies wishing to promote a coaching culture walk the walk by engaging coaches for themselves.

According to Mattone, this we’re-all-in-it-together approach removes any possibility of coaching being viewed as ‘remedial help’.

Leadership coaching for CEOs not only sets a great example for the whole team, it helps leaders to feel more engaged and to lead more effectively.

For your team, the coaching culture promotes growth on both a personal and professional level, inspiring creativity and rewarding responsibility.

To make decisions on the fly, employees must be empowered to take responsibility and effectively make important decisions by themselves. Coaching gives employees the tools they need to make more independent judgment calls and to self-correct when it’s needed.

Good communication and peer support makes a coaching culture flourish

Most businesses don’t have the budget to hire individual coaches for each employee, but this kind of investment is rarely necessary. Establishing a system of peer-to-peer coaches can work very well. 

Coaching is most beneficial to employees in an environment of open communication. Coaches can facilitate open communication by creating an atmosphere where employees feel safe discussing their triumphs as well as their perceived failures.

Mattone believes a coach can guide the employee in taking a fresh look at situations by asking open-ended questions such as “How did you accomplish that?” or “What could you have done differently?”



This kind of questioning and the insights gained from it can provide opportunities for self-reflection and feedback, and then move the conversation toward future goals and aspirations.

Would that employee like to become copy director one day? A coach can help her clarify her goals and develop a strategy that will help her to accomplish them.

Use AI to help you to gauge how the coaching culture is working within your business

Sometimes, employee training that has a strong coaching component can subtly devolve into micromanagement and nit-picking.

To help avert such crises, there are artificial intelligence tools available that use natural language processing (NLP) to audit Slack interactions between employees.

Data leveraging services like Bunch measure and monitor cultural signals such as words, phrases or even sentiments to help keep you and your team on track in mutually supporting and encouraging one another.

By monitoring word usage, NLP can pick up on certain cultural cues. As just one example, it might note excessive use of words like “should” or “ought” which could indicate that employee training has slipped out of coaching mode and into micromanaging mode.

AI tools that use NLP capture the relevant cultural signals conveyed in messages, providing insights that are an invaluable aid in creating an environment where peers support each other.

Culture is the heart and soul of your business

A coaching culture is one that employees are highly motivated to work with you to nurture and promote. It’s a seamless and ingenious way to incorporate employee training into the day-to-day culture of your company. 

Coaching breeds an environment that keeps your employees energised and inspired, and your business on a trajectory of growth. And when your employees are growing in the context of your business, your business can’t help but grow along with them.


About the author

Kiara Williams is a management and branding consultant.




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