Peanut butter and jelly. Yin and Yang. Coaching and Training. Some things are far better and more effective when they’re teamed up with their complement.
Sadly, many business leaders believe a training “program” is the only tool they need to get their team up to speed and increase productivity.
But, managers who understand how to design and implement both training and coaching programs are the ones who lead their companies to far greater success. We reveal the secrets in this concise guide.
Are you sick of seeing your employees roll their eyes and fall asleep during your training sessions yet don’t understand what you’re doing wrong?
If you want your business to thrive, you must understand the difference between coaching and training and how they are complementary and equally necessary to achieve and maintain high-performance standards.
Coaching vs Training: Sharing the Same Goals but Using Different Strategies
The goals of both training and coaching are to help people develop and grow at their jobs. This is why it’s true that there are many similarities between training and coaching.
Despite this, it’s a big mistake for organizations and employees to think of the two as more or less the same thing.
In most situations, a coaching session involves a manager and one or more employees who get together in a somewhat informal meeting.
The purpose is usually focused on resolving issues that the employee might be having difficulty with. This is done by helping the employee come up with the answers through skilled questioning which triggers “ah-ha” moments and clarity about possible solutions. This helps them to improve their work performance because it builds thinking skills that involve what has been learned via both experience and training.
Training is more about teaching employees important skills that they don’t currently have. It aims to help employees expand their understanding of various concepts that they’re still learning to master. Its goals are usually external to the individual and are based on the organization’s goals.
Training and coaching are very different things. Smart managers use both in tandem to help employees improve their performance.
At the end of the day, a company should use these approaches to help it become more successful. Management should use training to teach employees new skills and use coaching to help employees learn to apply these skills to perform at their full potential.
Training and Coaching Should Both Be Ongoing
Many managers make the mistake of thinking that they just need to train or coach their employees once when they are hired.
The reality is that training and coaching should be continual processes.
A business should be constantly evolving. Competition is always evolving and technology waits for no one. If it doesn’t upskill continually, it probably won’t be in business for very long.
Because your business evolves, the roles that your employees play within it also need to evolve. Budgeting for training programs will assure that upskilling is happening at the right times and in the right ways.
You Can’t Drink from a Firehose
The human brain is only wired to take in and retain a certain amount of information within a given time frame. Consider a situation where a company’s training program for new employees lasts an entire day without giving them a break.
People who take part in this tedious program probably won’t retain everything that they’ve learned. It’s a better idea to break training programs into smaller sessions that span across days or even weeks with opportunities to apply new skills as they go.
A learn-apply-learn more cycle helps cement learning.
Think of training not so much as an event but as a journey and plan to hold post-training reviews and discussion groups focused on applying the new skills.
Coaching programs already embrace this approach by delivering programs as ongoing regular sessions over a few weeks to even years.
Coaching can be done for small groups with a more limited focus or as a one-to-one relationship between a mentor (a manager) and a mentee (an employee).
A More In-Depth Look at Coaching
An inherent aspect of both training and coaching is the sharing of knowledge that happens between a mentor and mentee.
But there is a unique role that coaching needs to play in an employee’s growth within a company which training cannot fill.
The role of coaching is to support a person’s growth by supporting them to be more engaged in their learning process. This is why great coaching programs help employees to work and live up to their fullest potential.
There is no kind of hierarchy in a coaching space.
Employees should feel safe, supported, and have peace of mind knowing that the conversations within these sessions will be kept confidential.
It’s essential the employee who is being coached has the desire to be better and actively participate in the coaching process. Some people are simply not coachable. It’s enough of a problem that we sometimes use an employee evaluation assessment to identify whether someone is coachable.
Managers must not use a coaching program to tell their employees what to do.
Instead, managers should have the goal of helping their employees learn to align what they’re doing at the workplace with the company’s desired outcomes.
The manager’s role is to help each of their employees recognize potential blind spots and achieve clarity and understanding of problems and situations. The manager’s role is to coach their employees so they develop the right steps or actions needed to achieve their goals.
However, managers are not trained to hold coaching conversations, they use largely directives “Do This”. That is why managers must become trained in the fine art of employee coaching so they have the skills to do it properly. If you are interested in a program that teaches managers how to be excellent performance coaches, we have both manager and leadership coaching training programs with high returns that you should check out.
Why Develop a Coaching Program at Your Workplace?
In business settings, people use coaching as a long-term strategy for several reasons. This includes critical goals like building happier teams and helping employees to be more proactive.
Coaching programs help employees make use of skills they have learned through training programs. Coaching will also help to change an employee’s way of thinking about problems. Employees get support and encouragement from their managers to be proactive about solving problems that come up at the workplace.
The net result is the employees solve their problems more collaboratively and proactively. The result? They work out better solutions than any one person or manager is likely to. That keeps problems from always bubbling up for management to handle.
A More In-Depth Look: Training Explained
Training is about transferring knowledge from the trainer to the trainee.
This is why it is much more structured than coaching. Training programs are usually formal and take place in group settings.
Most organizations make use of training programs to do things such as training people who have been recently hired.
A trainer’s focus should be on telling rather than on asking. It’s also a place where employees should show up to learn and to experiment with new skills.
A training program is generally very structured. It should have a clear beginning and end.
To understand how a training program should work, it’s helpful to use an example. Consider a situation where a restaurant’s new employee has very limited culinary knowledge. To improve their know-how, they’re invited to take part in a series of classes that give them training to add to their foundational knowledge.
Another type of popular workplace training program involves handling conflict at the workplace. During these programs, managers teach their employees techniques for how to work well together as a team.
These types of training programs are great ways to give somebody lots of knowledge in a short period.
The problem is that the skills the employee learns won’t be useful if they don’t apply them to their work.
This is why training programs alone usually do not offer enough to help employees get better at their jobs. It’s also why so many businesses use coaching programs to complement the training programs that they already have in place.
Improper Training Programs Hurt a Company’s Performance
The main reason that a company trains its employees is to help them develop their skills and know-how. If you don’t have the right kind of training program in place, you’ll probably see your workers making many unnecessary mistakes. They will also misunderstand their workplace-related roles and be less productive.[quotes]Your company will run less effectively and hurt its bottom line.[/quotes] It’s also possible that your workplace will be less safe. This is because employees might not know how to use equipment in the right ways, which could lead to them getting hurt on the job.
Your Workplace Coaching and Training Programs Can Work Hand-In-Hand
Even though coaching and training are very similar, there are key differences. Training is a way to help people build new skills and to learn new things. Coaching, on the other hand, is about helping people to use their new skills to define and achieve their goals.
If you’re looking to start a training or coaching program at your business, get in touch with us today to see how we can help. Our organization can help you get your training and coaching programs off of the ground.
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