What is the difference between training and coaching? Which one is better for your business? Please continue reading below as we explore this topic in more detail.
When most business owners are thinking of ways to improve the efficiency of their business and boost staff morale, they think of training courses for their employees. Training is extremely useful as practical skills are a must.
However, training only goes so far. Sometimes, it’s the ‘softer’ skills that need a boost. That’s where coaching comes in.
Business coaching can be performed in a number of ways. Some businesses choose to bring in external coaches who can offer impartial team development and work with employees in a dispassionate way.
Having an external coach offer advice and suggestions can work well for a lot of companies since it is less personal than having someone within the company say the same things.
Successful managers can often offer coaching as a part of their day to day duties, however. A good manager knows that simply “telling people what to do” is not an effective long term strategy.
It is far better to use coaching and development strategies to empower your staff so that they do not need constant management.
Every workplace has a culture. Even if you have not put a lot of effort into cultivating a specific culture in your workplace, there will be one that has evolved.
Depending on the size of the organisation, that culture could be beneficial or it could be a fractured, cliquish one where there is a lot of “us vs them” thinking.
The foundation of any good firm is the values that the firm shares. Many companies develop a “Mission, Vision and Values” statement as a part of their business plan.
If you have written one, be honest, do your employees know what it is, and do they let it guide their daily work?
If you want to make coaching a part of your normal business operation then you should start by building communication, trust and teamwork into your company culture.
This is something that even big companies can struggle with, but when it works, it can help the company thrive.
Ikea is a good example of this, having implemented a Train the Trainer scheme that allowed the company to develop skilled employees at every level, increasing KPIs and improving management ability ratings across all of their stores.
Training is useful, but workplace coaching has a lot of benefits because it is a form of “incidental” learning. When you send an employee on a training course, they have to take time out of their day or week to attend.
You pay money for the course and pay again in short term loss of productivity.
While some dedicated training is unavoidable, especially for new hires, recertifications, or when you are bringing new employees into the business, there are many other areas where you can lead by example and provide “incidental” training through using workplace coaches.
This is clear in the rise of the workplace coach. Today, many businesses have discovered the benefits of using coaches to guide their fellow team members and help them to develop not only the skills they need to do their current job better but also the skills that they need to further their careers.
Workplace coaches guide by example, through techniques that are similar to those employed by mentors but in a more focused capacity.
Coaching works because:
Traditional training works by teaching people how to perform a task and is used as part of the business and continuous improvement process.
If a company gets a new piece of software then training could end up being in a classroom, with people being told “Click here to access this feature” and “If this happens, select Y”.
This type of training gets the job done, however, it is boring and time-consuming. In addition, it offers little value. The employee has learned a new skill that is applicable only to the job they do today.
It does not help them develop their career much further. Train the Trainer takes the basic skills training and adds to it with some personal development coaching.
The trainer will train the employees but at the same time will also teach them how to train others.
Train the Trainer helps people to understand effective communication, how people perceive them, and how best to deliver messages to a group.
These skills are useful not just for the specific skill development that they are working on right now, but also for day to day life and for other areas of operation in the business.
If you want to grow your business then having a coach work with you or with key members of staff is a good option. Practical training may be a priority with your budget, but there is a lot of value to coaching too.
Remember that coaching does not have to be a long term relationship.
Coaches often come in and work with a business with a specific goal in mind such as helping them attract new clients or working on the challenge of ‘managing difficult conversations’.
Even a few sessions with a good coach can offer massive returns.
If you can find a coach that can identify the pain points in your business and work with you to help you identify realistic and actionable solutions, then the end result will be a more sustainable and confident business with happier employees.
Think of coaches as a skilled and focused sounding board that will offer unconditional support for your business. That kind of resource is invaluable.
At High Velocity Business Improvement Coaching, we are able to help you improve a vast number of areas across your business through our coaching programs.
We can coach your business to understand your problems, the size of the problems and how to solve the true root cause of these problems.
Please contact us today to book a free consultation or for more information.