7 Coaching Techniques for Managers to Ensure Business Growth

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89% of L&D professionals agree that employee skill development and coaching can significantly help them navigate the rapidly changing future of work.

This is why companies must invest in effective coaching techniques for managers, as they are mainly responsible for motivating their staff to give their best daily.

The good news is that management practices are improving in UK-based organisations, with an average score of 0.57 in 2023 (compared to 0.51 in 2020). The report also showed a 1% increase in labour productivity for every 0.01 improvement in management scores. It’s an absolute win-win, isn’t it?

This blog dives into seven effective coaching techniques in the workplace to help managers grow their staff, improve team performance, and ultimately drive organisational success.

TL;DR – 7 Coaching Techniques for Managers

In this blog, we’ve covered seven effective coaching techniques for line managers to balance employee well-being and business growth, which are as follows:

  • Send pre-session questionnaires
  • Set SMART goals
  • Highlight the strengths
  • Accept failure
  • Explore new ideas
  • Coach individuals and teams (optional)
  • After each session, reflect

Want to improve your coaching skills at work? Start by mastering the fundamentals of management. Enrol in our Management Skills 101 course at TSW Training today, and give your managers the tools, resources, and training to become better leaders!

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What is Considered Effective Coaching in a Workplace?

Effective workplace coaching is a collaborative practice that helps employees achieve their professional goals.

It is a two-way information exchange: coaches listen to their employees’ needs and provide expert help, while employees receive direction through active listening, insightful questions, and practical guidance.

Internally, managers can adopt this dynamic as a leadership style and conduct both official and informal coaching sessions. Alternatively, leaders can engage in targeted development by hiring a specialised coach as an external intervention.

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Importance of Effective Coaching Techniques

By 2030, projections indicate a significant skills gap in the UK, with around 6.5 million workers lacking the required qualifications for their job roles.

Tip: Want to know where to start? Consider a skills gap analysis.

This is where effective coaching techniques for managers come into play. They give employees the right direction and motivation to diversify their skill sets and grow professionally.

Effective coaching creates a results-oriented culture, which leads to higher productivity, innovation, and business growth.

As evidenced, organisations with an active staff training culture witness a 24% higher profit margin than others.

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Core Coaching Techniques

Are effective coaching techniques important for organisations to follow? In short, YES.

Here’s why: according to a study, 80% of employees who participated in coaching reported better self-confidence. Furthermore, more than 70% stated it has improved several aspects of their lives, i.e., relationships, communication, and work performance.

That said, here’s a step-by-step list of core coaching techniques for managers for best results:

  1. Send pre-session questionnaires: This helps the manager gather information ahead of time and personalise the coaching session to the employee or team’s specific needs.
  2. Set SMART goals: Clearly stated goals lead the coaching discourse and ensure the manager and employees aim for the same objectives throughout the session.
  3. Highlight the strengths: Build on the employee’s abilities, as it raises their confidence and motivation. Managers can help employees work more efficiently by helping them recognise and use their talents more efficiently.
  4. Accept failure: Look at setbacks as learning opportunities. These teach employees resilience and a growth mentality so that they can recover from past failures and improve their performance over time.
  5. Explore new ideas: By asking open-ended questions and providing a safe space for brainstorming, direct the session towards creative thinking and problem resolution; it leads to innovation and better performance.
  6. Coach individuals and teams (optional): Use effective coaching strategies for both individual employees and teams. By customising the approach to their demands, managers can establish a more high-performing team environment.
  7. Reflect after each session: Set aside time at the end of each coaching session to review key lessons and future steps. This provides accountability and allows for long-term progress measurement.

Businesses that use these coaching techniques for managers can motivate their teams, promote a healthy work environment, and achieve sustainable growth.

So, are you ready to take the first step? With TSW Training, you can start training your managers to be the driving force behind your company’s success—enrol in our specialised Management Skills 101 course today.

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Specialised Coaching Strategies

“We have found that leaders with the best coaching skills have better business results,” says Tanya Clemens, V.P. of Global Executive & Organisational Development at IBM.

That being stated, let’s look at four specialised business coaching strategies for managers to follow:

1. Career-growth Coaching

First and foremost, this specialised technique prepares managers to help their people advance professionally. 

Managers can support employees in identifying their career goals, creating action plans, and learning any required skills to advance in their careers. This boosts employee satisfaction and retention and builds a future-ready talent pipeline within the organisation.

2. DEIB Coaching (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging)

57% of UK employees reportedly face discrimination at work every day, while 20% believe their current organisation is severely lacking in inclusivity.

That said, DEIB coaching helps managers create an inclusive and supportive work environment for all employees. These specialised coaching sessions can help establish a welcoming culture of tolerance for other backgrounds and viewpoints, address unconscious bias, etc.

Reports further show organisations with solid gender and ethnic diversity are 39% more likely to financially surpass targets than their less diverse counterparts.

3. Communication Effectiveness Coaching

Surprisingly, more than a third of UK-based small/medium-sized business employees cite poor communication as their biggest reason for stress. That said, providing tools and coaching opportunities can greatly improve their public speaking, presentation, written communication, and relationship-building skills.

Prioritising communication effectiveness helps your team become more confident and impactful communicators. A 2024 study revealed that employee retention increases by 4.5 times when teams communicate and collaborate well.

4. Peak Performance Coaching

Did you know that nearly one in four UK employees quit their jobs every year?

Retaining great talent is a challenge for British organisations, with a shocking 35% annual turnover rate! That said, peak performance coaching is an effective way to ensure your best employees continue growing their careers within the organisation.

Through this specialised coaching, top-performing employees can improve their goal-setting strategies, develop emotional resilience in the face of workplace adversities, and expedite their professional progress.

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Innovative Approaches to Coaching

Should managers be more innovative while coaching employees? Well, let’s see.

28% of employees refuse to work for organisations that aren’t proactively invested in their training and development.

On that note, here are four approaches managers can use to coach their teams for greater performance:

1. Establishing KPIs

As we know, effective coaching and performance analysis go hand in hand. 

That said, establishing clear and measurable performance indicators (KPIs) helps managers provide continuous monitoring and feedback.

Here’s how it works:

  • Identifying measurable indicators closely linked to the set objectives
  • Continually reviewing progress against KPIs to identify areas of improvement
  • Using KPI data to provide targeted and actionable feedback for employees.

Setting KPIs is also useful in recognising and celebrating employee achievements and successes.

2. The “Three Cs” to Success

This coaching style emphasises three key areas: clarity, confidence, and commitment. 

Managers can use this approach in the following way:

  • Clarity: Walking the employee through the clear goal-setting process through open communication.
  • Confidence: Inspiring them to take on challenges and seize growth opportunities by highlighting their skills and prior achievements.
  • Commitment: Addressing the “why” behind specific goals to increase employee commitment and ownership.

Done right, it helps employees feel empowered to take charge of their development and success.

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3. The “Five Whys” Method

As per NHS England, the “Five Whys” method is a proven problem-solving strategy managers can use for effective coaching. Put simply, managers can go deeper into the issue’s root cause by asking “why” repeatedly.

This is how it works:

  • An employee notices a performance issue or roadblock
  • The boss asks “why” the problem occurs, prompting the employee to respond
  • This process repeats itself five times, gradually revealing deeper underlying issues

Once the fundamental cause is found, the manager and employee can collaborate to create targeted solutions that address the core issue.

4. The “Unpacking-Priorities” Approach

Many employees struggle with task prioritisation, leading to work-related stress and missed deadlines. As per reports, 48% of projects don’t finish on time ― pretty concerning, if we may.

Through this approach, managers walk their employees through the process of “unpacking” their priorities by:

  • Identifying all ongoing tasks and responsibilities
  • Sorting work into categories based on priority and urgency
  • Creating an effective and attainable action plan
  • Reviewing and changing priorities as needed

Employees can focus on high-impact activities and improve their time management skills.

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Motivational Techniques That Drive Success

Now, let’s explore four key motivational techniques managers can use to motivate their workers to push past their limits:

Employee Recognition

As unfortunate as it is, more than 70% of UK workers believe their efforts should be acknowledged more.

Recognising employees is a great way to inspire them, and managers who constantly recognise and value a job well done can motivate their employees to surpass their performance standards.

This doesn’t always have to be a grand gesture — sometimes, even a simple “thank you” or publicly mentioning their efforts during team meetings does the job.

Asking for Employee Input

Nearly 25% of UK employees feel voiceless at work, claiming their employers do not encourage or respect their opinion and rarely act on it.

That said, employees who believe they have a say in decision-making processes are more committed to the organisation’s success. Managers should use techniques that encourage open communication, e.g., actively seeking employee feedback on projects, strategy, and even company culture if necessary.

Employee Incentives and Benefits

Well-designed incentive programs can significantly increase employee motivation. 

Here are some examples to follow:

  • Performance-based bonuses
  • Employee commissions
  • Additional paid time offs, etc.

Companies that offer incentive programs to recognise and celebrate employees’ efforts and successes are generally more likely to succeed. Besides, data shows that 75% of workers prefer organisations that offer significant employee benefits.

Conflict Resolution

Over 9.7 million UK employees face conflict at work every year, which costs organisations £28.5 billion in management and resolution.

As evidenced, conflict (if not managed) can severely undermine morale and hamper employee productivity.

Effective coaching also means giving managers the tools to identify conflict and resolve it amicably. Prompt intervention and open communication are essential for resolving conflict, maintaining a positive work atmosphere, and driving success.

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Life Coaching Skills for Managers

Here are four major coaching skills managers must have to maintain employee well-being and drive major business growth:

Skill 1: Active Listening

Did you know this? A shocking two-thirds of UK businesses fail to actively listen to their staff, while over 50% of employees believe their ideas are often disregarded or neglected.

Another 2023 study found that around 40% of workers felt poor communication is the reason they’re losing trust in their leadership—this is where active listening plays a major role.

This creates a safe space for open communication, where employees can voice their opinions. Managers can use it to find underlying problems or concerns that employees might be reluctant to bring up directly.

Skill 2: Powerful Questioning

53% of UK employees feel their employers don’t care about their well-being.

That said, managers should know how to ask more open-ended, thought-provoking questions to know what their staff is going through at work. Surface-level questions and responses can limit the understanding they need for real-time solutions to combat employee well-being-centric issues.

On the other hand, powerful questioning helps dig deep into the root causes of such issues or challenges. It also helps workers find confidence in leadership and improves the manager-employee relationship.

Skill 3: Goal-setting and Accountability

According to a Gallup study, about half of employees are unsure of their responsibilities. This can make them feel disengaged at work, with many eventually turning to silent or loud quitting.

There can be many reasons, including a lack of purpose in their jobs to motivate them. 

Managers should be skilled at setting SMART goals. They can lead the organisation towards sustainable growth by collaborating with team members to define clear, achievable goals aligned with professional goals and core business objectives.

Skill 4: Constructive Feedback

Reports show that 85% of employees feel motivated to take initiative when receiving constructive feedback.

That said, offering specific, actionable, and timely feedback is another important coaching skill for managers.

By providing frequent, well-structured 360 feedback, managers can help their teams find areas for growth and celebrate their achievements. This continuous cycle keeps people engaged with their jobs and motivated to succeed.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Before we wrap up, here are the frequently asked questions about coaching techniques for managers:

What is Team Development Coaching?

In team development coaching, the coach helps a team grow and become more effective by focusing on communication, collaboration, goal setting, and conflict resolution.

As a neutral guide, the manager/coach helps the team pinpoint its strengths and weaknesses, set objectives, and develop plans of action to achieve those goals. 

Coaching for team development can tackle numerous issues, such as:

  • Silos and info-sharing breakdowns
  • Wasteful conflict and interpersonal problems
  • Lack of clear roles and responsibilities
  • Low morale and disengagement

What are the Different Coaching Styles in the Workplace?

Apart from career growth, communication effectiveness, and peak performance coaching, here are the five most common coaching styles in the workplace:

  • Democratic coaching: Promotes cross-team collaboration and group decision-making.
  • Holistic Coaching: Aims to help team members develop personally and professionally.
  • Autocratic Coaching: Focuses on the coach’s expertise and directive style.
  • Laissez-Faire Coaching: Offers little guidance and gives the team a lot of autonomy.
  • Mindful coaching: Builds emotional intelligence at the workplace and in-the-moment awareness within the team.

Is there a List of Useful Coaching Activities in the Workplace?

Absolutely, here’s a brief list of useful coaching activities to follow at work:

  • Actively listening to employee concerns
  • Identifying performance-related issues
  • Highlighting the value of continuous development or change
  • Getting the employee’s point of view
  • Figuring out barriers to growth
  • Offering constructive feedback regularly
  • Working together to solve problems

Conclusion

Still, viewing effective coaching approaches as just a feel-good exercise? Remember, it’s an investment in your organisation’s future.

By following the techniques mentioned above, managers can help their staff develop a growth mentality, create a culture of continual growth, and lead the company toward success.

Ready to get started? At TSW Training, our Management Skills 101 course is designed for growth-minded line managers and middle managers to learn about effective coaching approaches. 

Sign up today and learn how to lead your teams toward individual and corporate goals.

Picture of Matthew Channell
Matthew Channell
Matthew is TSW Training’s Commercial Director. He writes about performance focussed learning, leadership, and management approaches that have real-world, sustainable impact.
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