The Challenges of Employee Coaching


A “manager/coach” works under someone, perhaps a supervisor or the business owner.  They have been entrusted to instruct, guide and inspire those that they oversee.  It is what their job description states, and it is what is expected.

Three small words, but three difficult tasks for several reasons;

1. Instruct:  Not all people learn the same or at the same speed.  Communication during training may require different teaching methods to get everyone on the same playing field and understanding what the game plan is.  Some players may catch on quickly and others may take longer.  Instructing is not a “one size fits all” task.  Managers need to understand this and also be trained on how to teach the same tasks in many different ways.

2. Guide: Once they have learned the basic methods of their job positions, the manager will need to continue to guide the employee on the path that they need to stay on for the business to be productive.  Each employee will react to being guided differently; some people accept that this is what needs to take place as the manager learns what they are capable of learning.  Others will reject being guided, and want to step out on their own once their instruction is done.  Again, one method will not work for all employees.

3. Inspire: This is probably the hardest of the three tasks to execute and continue to carry out.  What inspires one person may not another (are you surprised?).  It takes getting to know people under your supervision and understand what it is that makes him or her “Tick” so that you can continue to light the fire to keep them going strong.

Coaching employees can be a very difficult task and one that takes understanding, patience and commitment to your team players.  Too often managers/coaches will get frustrated with their staff members because they are not responding as quickly or as they would like them to in one of the areas listed above.

When this happens managers/coaches make incorrect judgments and let employees go, when they really just needed to be coached in a different way in order to understand and respond better.  But there are times when an employee is set in their ways and is not open to any coaching their manager may need to give.

How do you know if an employee is open to coaching or not?  Here are a few ways that you can tell

Coachable:                                                                                                     Uncoachable:

  • Welcomes contrary ideas                                                     Is on the defensive
  • Likes to incorporate changes                                              Does not want change
  • Likes additional training or development                       They do not want further training
  • Interested in new ideas                                                         Does not want any new ideas right now

Employees who become uncoachable usually will end up leaving the team either on their own or by their manager’s request (your fired).  They become an outcast on the team because of their unwillingness to adapt and change which is necessary to keep any business alive and productive.  Below is an article by Entrepreneur with some excellent coaching tips.

Coaching Employees to Success

5 thoughts on “The Challenges of Employee Coaching

  1. Absolutely Tina, on Instruct – the differing modalities that people have means a good trainer will notice the language use when voicing questions or confusions and alter their instruction accordingly. I wish I’d known more about this when I was managing people. 🙂


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