5 Tips for Coaching and Mentoring Employees

Coaching and mentoring employees

Coaching and mentoring employees in the workplace helps team members develop new skills, so they can deliver the results you’re looking for. But it’s also a challenge when you’re barely able to snatch a few minutes around your busy schedule.

What is Coaching and Mentoring, and what is the difference?


Broadly speaking, coaching is a process that allows an individual or group of people to reflect and gain awareness of who they are. For example, looking at what is important to them, their strengths, challenges, options open to them, and what action to take to make the changes they want in their work or life.

People engage in coaching for a variety of reasons. For instance, it can help them make changes in their life, business, or career, improve their performance, enhance their relationships with others or develop specific skills.


Traditionally, mentoring is the long-term passing on of support, guidance, and advice. In the workplace, it has tended to describe a relationship in which a more experienced colleague uses their greater knowledge and understanding of the work or workplace to support the development of a more junior or inexperienced member of staff. This comes from the Greek myth where Odysseus entrusts the education of his son to his friend Mentor.

Mentoring is used specifically and separately as a form of long-term tailored development for the individual, which benefits the organisation.

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Here are our top 5 tips on what you should do to effectively coach and mentor your people.

1) Set SMART goals

Every coaching and mentoring session needs clear objectives; otherwise, the employees will walk away feeling confused.

A manager must know how to set SMART, measurable, and time-bound goals to make the employees accountable for the learning process.

2) Develop your communication skills

A vital skill is the ability to voice your opinion clearly and informatively for others to understand what you’re trying to say.

It also involves learning which communication styles work best for employees, such as verbal or non-verbal, or visual.

3) Ask open-ended questions

To be on the same page with your employees about their understanding and interest in the topic at hand, coaches and mentors need to master the ability to ask open-ended questions.

4) Use emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EQ) describes the ability to understand the feelings of others and adequately react to them.

Coaching and mentoring sessions can be stressful for employees, and managers must have the skills to calm them down and make them feel confident in their abilities.

5) Make sure you follow up

A coach/mentor’s job is not done after the training has been completed.

They should be available to monitor their employees’ understanding and implementation of the new skills in order to ensure it was a success.

If you would like any help developing your skills to enable you to become a more effective coach or mentor or you would like to help setting up a more structured programme for your organisation get in touch with us we would love to have a chat.

Lisa Trent is our HR guru

There really isn’t very much to do with people that she doesn’t know about! Whether it’s furloughing, HR Environmental sustainability, or people management, she’s on hand to listen and help.


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