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How to increase training ROI with coaching

From strengthening performance to developing leadership potential, coaching offers a range of benefits.

Coaching can also be used to increase training return on investment (ROI).

At BiteSize Learning, we often use one-to-one and group coaching to complement our leadership development programmes. Enabling participants to work towards their goals, apply their learnings in the workplace, and continue their learning journey.

Coaching improves learning outcomes

Anyone can benefit from structured coaching conversations (to get managers coaching read our blog) Embedding or wrapping sessions around training is a good way to make sure learning sticks. One study found that productivity improvements increase to 88% when training is backed up by one-to-one coaching sessions.

Coaching reinforces training goals

Participants can transfer learning into practice by working through current problems in coaching sessions. It is also a good way to signal an expectation of implementation and change at an individual level. There can be one or two that stay quiet in a training course, but coaching challenges everyone to take action.

For example, in our programme for Aspiring Talent, our coaches work with participants to identify coaching objectives related to the training, understand the specific issues they’re facing. They then build and implement a plan to overcome them.

We regularly involve the participant’s manager to ensure that goals are aligned and the employee is supported to continue their journey after the sessions come to an end.

Coaching amplifies the impact of training

Coaching provides participants with reflective space to absorb, digest, and revisit the training content through longer and deeper conversations. In the case of group coaching, this is amplified by shared discussions in the cohort.

We work with a team of experienced and qualified coaches many of whom are subject experts who design and deliver training. Everyone on our team has seen the impact that blending coaching with training can have on individuals and organisational culture.

“It’s easy to associate coaching with remedial issues like communication problems or personal challenges, but it has the power to do so much more,” says Flora Mac Donald, one of BiteSize Learning’s coaches.

“The benefits of coaching are wide-ranging. Coaching can lead to improved performance, happier employees and even help with challenges such as diversity and inclusion.”

“Pairing coaching with training makes a lot of sense. You can re-enforce the learning from a group training session and help individuals overcome their specific challenges tailoring their support.”

Here is an example of a Leadership Development Programme with Coaching sessions built-in.




The following examples show how coaching and training work effectively together.

Example 1: Management Development Coaching  

A newly promoted junior manager is struggling to adapt to their new responsibilities. Her decision-making and delegating skills are under-utilised and, like many new managers, she finds it hard to give constructive feedback to peers and friends.

The L&D manager provides a series of management courses to build managerial skills. The new manager gains valuable knowledge but still feels unconfident in her role.

Running alongside the management training are four one-to-one coaching sessions. The coach works with the manager to discover what might be providing some blocks to progress. The biggest one is overwhelming imposter syndrome. The coaching work helps her challenge her critical self-view, identify strengths, previous achievements, and agree on actions to build confidence.

A few weeks later, the line manager notices a shift in how she tackles a difficult conversation with a member of staff which she would have previously avoided. Her confidence is growing as is the confidence of her boss.

Example 2: Coaching and Inclusivity

An executive leadership team plans to develop inclusive leadership behaviours to unlock talent and potential in the company.

Executive coaching sessions are scheduled to kickstart and conclude a series of learning interventions to drive behaviour change.  Leaders explore their own self-beliefs and assumptions, reflect on training themes, and commit to personal action plans in the sessions.

Coaching can also support and develop people in underrepresented groups in the workforce. But only when they have access to a diverse group of coaches, who understand the unique challenges they face.

Pharmaceutical giant Glaxo SmithKline has a goal to have at least 45% female representation in senior roles by 2025. One area it is addressing is the gender imbalance at middle and senior leadership levels through a coaching programme.

A case study of the scheme found those women who participated in individual and group coaching saw it improve self-awareness, self-confidence, self-leadership, leadership style, as well as their relationship to power, conflict, and personal life.

Example 3: Parental Leave or Family Coaching

An employee faces a significant career transition point when returning from parental leave. They’d like to change their working arrangements to allow them to work flexibly and may be considering leaving work altogether.

They are offered parental leave or family coaching alongside training to bring them up to speed when they are back from leave. The coaching sessions help the employee to address what has changed at work, to discuss any changes they wish to make, as well as adjust to the return to work. The combination of coaching and training is a powerful way to retain employees ensuring they return quickly and smoothly back to the business.

There are several examples of companies reducing staff turnover with extended programmes to assist new parents returning to work.

Want to magnify your training ROI with coaching?

Our dynamic and enthusiastic team of qualified coaches coach at all levels from Executive Board Members to Emerging Talent. Drawing on significant experience in leadership roles within learning and development functions and work across sectors including Global Finacial and Professional Service Companies, Manufacturing, Retail, Public and Voluntary Sector organisations, our coaches are credible and commercially aware.

Contact Abby Hodder on 0845 1233 757 or [email protected] to find out how coaching can help your organisation and amplify your Learning & Development programmes.








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