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Professional coaching: benefits for employees and companies

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In a year marked by global uncertainty, the theme of the 2023 International Coaching Week (ICW) was Explore Your Potential’ – an important reminder to focus on developing the one thing we do have control over: our inner selves.

Not only does connecting with and nurturing our inner selves help us find calm during tumultuous times but, according to the Inner Development Goals (IDG) framework1, it is one of the major keys to professional development – in effect, helping us become more successful in the workplace.

So what's the best way to develop your inner self? It's through working with a coaching professional. Forward-thinking organizations across the globe are increasingly integrating professional coaching into their company eco systems, as they understand the benefits it brings not only to individual employees, but to their company as a whole.

Read on to discover exactly what professional coaching is, the various ways it can improve your business, and how a recognized performance and coaching platform like Fingerprint for Success (F4S) can make coaching affordable and accessible to employees at practically every level of your organization.

Table of contents
What is personal professional coaching?
The benefits of professional coaching for your organization
When is the right time to seek professional coaching?
How to establish coaching within your organization

What is personal professional coaching?

To illustrate the role of a professional coach and why it’s important to have one on your side, it might be helpful to start with a type that most people are familiar with – a sports coach.

A sports coach helps athletes with:

  • Skill development
  • Mental preparation
  • Performance optimization and analysis
  • Goal setting
  • Guidance and mentorship
  • Leadership development

The role of a professional coach is no different. Like athletes, professionals seek coaching not because they lack skill, but because in a highly competitive business landscape, it gives you a competitive edge. A professional in the field of coaching helps bring out the best in you and your team, helping you develop work-life balance, stress management, and perform at your peak.

The popularity of coaching has risen over the years2 among C-suite executives and leaders. However, with rising reports of burnout3, performance issues and ‘quiet quitting’ among the non-executive workforce, it is clear that staff at other levels could benefit from professional coaching too.

The economics of executive coaching

A survey of top executives who received coaching found that, in the vast majority of cases, executive coaching had a powerful impact4.

  • 91% found it helped them get ready for a new role
  • 88% reported increased engagement with their work
  • 87% saw a high ROI
  • 84% became more effective leaders
  • 77% said the coaching exceeded their expectations

With such impressive results, it's clear that coaching can have a major impact on both organizations and individuals. Why, then, isn't coaching made available to everybody?

A quick look at the economics provides the answer. While costs vary, the median price for one hour of executive coaching in 2023 is USD$717, with some coaches charging up to USD$5,000/ hour for individual coaching5. Put simply, executive coaches aren’t cheap. With these figures in mind, it's clear why coaching practice may be out of reach for many within an organization – despite the fact that employees beyond the C-suite could benefit greatly from it.

Who is professional coaching for?

At F4S we believe that it should be accessible to everyone, which is why we offer free, personalized coaching delivered via AI Coach Marlee that can be accessed anytime, anywhere. And it’s a belief backed up by results: employees who receive the right coaching have been shown to improve on a range of metrics, from work processes, to improved results6.

Here are some examples of those within your workforce who could benefit from professional coaching with a platform like F4S:

Highly skilled employees

When it comes to cultivating your top talent's skills, coaching can make all the difference.

Take software developers, for example. Software development is an incredibly cognitively challenging profession. It requires the practitioner to:

  • Solve highly complex problems
  • Think abstractly, logically and methodically
  • Pay close attention to detail
  • Constantly learn new skills and frameworks
  • Focus for long stretches of time

On top of these challenges, they often also have to adapt their communication styles to effectively liaise with non-technical stakeholders. Given the demands of the profession, it's little wonder that burnout is a constant issue. In a 2018 survey, 60%7 of surveyed developers reported being burnt out at the time of the survey. In other words, the results suggest that at any given time, over half of software developers may be feeling exhausted and demotivated at work.

Given that burnout can diminish the skills necessary for complex tasks, it's easy to see that a burned-out technical workforce presents major problems.

This is where coaching comes in. Professional coaching practice has been found to help individuals8:

In short, it can help with some of the major contributors to burnout and assist individuals to leverage and develop their skill sets.

Top performers

In the midst of a labor shortage, retaining top talent is a constant challenge. Highly sought-after skilled performers often have their pick of the very best job opportunities, and regularly receive offers. In many cases, a top salary isn't enough to keep them. Offering additional benefits, like professional coaching, performance coaching, and life coaching, to help maintain job satisfaction and to continuously develop their skills is a benefit that will help you retain top talent, as well as fully optimize their abilities.

Middle management

Middle managers play a crucial role in bridging the gap between employees and upper management. To do this, they often need to wear many different hats.

On any given day, a middle manager could perform the role of:

Change agent: Playing a significant role in implementing and managing organizational changes. They communicate and reinforce change initiatives, address employee concerns, and support their teams during transition periods.

Leader: Inspiring and motivating their teams to achieve shared goals. They provide direction, set priorities, and make decisions that align with organizational objectives. Leadership is a foundational skill for middle managers. An essential part of their toolbox for working effectively with people.

Talent developer: Identifying the strengths of their employees and providing opportunities for development. They facilitate training and other initiatives to help employees reach their potential.

Administrator: Ensuring the necessary resources are available to support the team's activities and meet organizational objectives.

Coach: In many ways, middle managers also need to become coaches in their own right. This can include performance coaching employees to reach their potential, and pointing them toward training programs to further develop their skills. Without coaching skills, middle managers often struggle to get the very best out of their teams.

The ability to perform these different roles requires the middle manager to develop a broad range of skills, as well as develop the flexibility to switch between roles.

Professional coaching can be a game-changer for those in a multi-tasking, middle-management position, providing support through everything from leadership coaching, and coaching to improve their communication skills, to help with time-management.

Professional coaching for your whole team

At F4S, we believe firmly that everybody should be able to access professional coaching. That's why we offer free, evidence-based coaching programs that can benefit your skilled employees and middle managers.

The benefits of professional coaching for your organization

Returning to the comparison of sports coaching – it's hard to imagine that even the most gifted athletes could compete at an elite level without coaching. The same is true of the current business landscape. With more and more companies investing in coaching, the benefits are undeniable. Put simply, companies that don't invest in this rising trend risk falling behind.

Take Canva, for example. After adopting F4S as their platform of choice for developing their people, they reported rapid improvements in their ability to:

  • Work collaboratively as a team
  • Onboard new team members
  • Leverage team members unique strengths
  • Understand blind spots

With F4S' easy online coaching experience, Canva has ensured that the entire organization, not just executives, has access to coaching. Team members are now better able to use their unique talents, which in turn allows Canva to continue to build its reputation as an innovative, boundary-pushing company.

Read the Canva case study.

Accelerate understanding between teams

Breadth

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Motivated by macro big picture thinking, these teammates value moving quickly to connect dots between abstract ideas to 'get the gist' of things.

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Depth

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These teammates value being concrete and specific, getting into details to understand the steps or tasks required.

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When is the right time to seek professional coaching?

Professional coaching shouldn’t just be something you call in when your organization has a problem to fix. To get the most from professional coaching, it’s wise to use it at every step of your company’s journey in order to create happier, healthier and more agile teams that consistently perform at their peak.

Here are just some of the ways professional coaching can assist your business:

Developing soft skills

In many ways, soft skills are the glue that holds teams together. You might have world-class talent, but if your team is struggling to collaborate, they're only operating at a fraction of their potential.

A trained coach can work with your team to develop their:

The good news about soft skills is that, compared with hard skills, they often require less time to develop. After spending some time with a coach, anybody can develop them.

Diversity training

While a diverse workforce has been shown to increase performance9, increasing diversity alone isn't enough to reap the benefits. Without proper training, a diverse workforce can face the following problems:

  • Cultural misunderstandings
  • Inappropriate comments or ‘jokes’ being made
  • Unconscious biases and stereotypes leading to poor judgements
  • Lower group collaboration
  • Inequitable distribution of opportunities, resources, and recognition within the team
  • Diminished trust and suspicion.

This is why diversity training matters: it improves the ability of people from all backgrounds to collaborate, allowing the best ideas and practices to rise to the top.

In many cases, organizations with low diversity skills lack data on their people and are open to unconscious biases. This is why people analytics is an important tool. Not only does it decrease discrimination, but it also removes biases, and improves decision-making.

Career mobility

Career coaches who specialize in career mobility can help companies get ahead. For instance, if you’re looking to promote a skilled worker to a middle management position,a skilled career coach can assist in updating their skillset to meet the demands of their new role.

How to establish coaching within your organization

While the benefits of coaching are plain to see, implementing it in your organization may be more challenging. Establishing a coaching culture is the first crucial step. Next, choose a form (or forms) of coaching that best suits your organization’s needs.

Depending on your budget, the size of your company, and your requirements, there are a number of coaching solutions you can implement.

Hire an in-house coach

Rather than working with independent contractors, some companies are opting to hire an in-house coach to work with employees and upper management. Think of these coaches as an extension of the HR department.

An in-house coach can help with:

  • Group sessions to help employees develop their stress-management skills
  • One-on-one personal coaching sessions to improve career mobility
  • Developing the leadership skills of recently promoted middle managers
  • Team-building exercises to help teams improve their collaborative skills
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Diversity training and workshops

The benefit of having an in-house coach is that they can be more integrated within the company, and familiar to everybody. In some cases, in-house coaches have open-door policies, and are available to assist with issues as they arise.

Specialist coaches for specific roles

While some professional coaches work with all job types, others are specialists in particular fields. For instance, the practice of hiring sales coaches has been common for decades. But as coaching culture becomes more prevalent, specialist coaches for other sectors are beginning to appear, including:

These coaches are often domain experts, and can offer hard-won advice that's grounded in years of experience in the field.

Group coaching sessions

While individual coaching in a one-on-one setting for every employee of your organization may not be feasible, group coaching sessions can be a great way to leverage the benefits of coaching on a more budget-friendly scale.

This style of coaching practice has the added benefit of keeping teams on the same page by learning the same frameworks and skills. The learning process can also be easier for people who are extroverted and prefer to learn in groups.

These sessions can be conducted either online or in person, and may be for the short- or long-term.

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If you're looking to get the benefits of professional coaching for your entire team, F4S can help. Starting with a free assessment on your motivational traits, we'll match you with scientifically validated coaching programs designed to address your blindspots, and boost your career agility – and do the same for every member of your team. Take the first step to tapping into your team’s full potential today.

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Our expert coaches have designed hyper-effective programs that will help you improve your mental health, wellbeing, productivity, leadership and more.

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"I have learned how to communicate better using every tool I have in myself, especially in learning how to use my tone of voice"

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  1. (2021) ‘Inner Development Goals: Background, method and the IDG framework’. Available at Inner Development Goals. https://www.innerdevelopmentgoals.org/framework
  2. Jacobs, E. (2022) ‘Coaching is booming for CEOs’. Available at The Australian Financial Review. https://www.afr.com/work-and-careers/leaders/why-an-executive-coach-is-now-a-must-have-for-ceos-20220719-p5b2sq
  3. (2022/2023) ‘Future Forum Pulse report’. Available at Future Forum. https://futureforum.com/research/future-forum-pulse-winter-2022-2023-snapshot/
  4. Jones, J; Livorsi, E. (2018) ‘Executive Coaching: Driving Real Results for Leaders in the Built Environment’. Available at FMI. https://fmicorp.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/FMI_Executive_Coaching_Driving_Real_Results.pdf
  5. (2023) ‘Cost of Executive Coaching’. Available at Arden Coaching. https://ardencoaching.com/cost-of-executive-coaching/
  6. Finn, T. (2021) ‘‘Why Professional Coaching Should Expand Beyond Executives’. Available at Forbes.https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2021/03/31/why-professional-coaching-should-expand-beyond-executives/?sh=52fad6862a68
  7. (2018) ‘Close to 60 Percent of Surveyed Tech Workers Are Burnt Out—Credit Karma Tops the List for Most Employees Suffering From Burnout’. Available at Team Blind.https://www.teamblind.com/blog/index.php/2018/05/29/close-to-60-percent-of-surveyed-tech-workers-are-burnt-out-credit-karma-tops-the-list-for-most-employees-suffering-from-burnout/
  8. Borgstadt, T; Hurlbert, E. ‘Measuring Change: Evaluating Health and Wellness Coaching Performance, Outcomes and ROI’. Available at Institute of Coaching.https://instituteofcoaching.org/resources/measuring-change-evaluating-health-and-wellness-coaching-performance-outcomes-and-roi
  9. Yeager, K; Nafukho, F. (2012) ‘Developing diverse teams to improve performance in the organizational setting’. Available at Emerald Insight.https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/03090591211220320/full/html
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