BEST COACHING PRACTICES, PLAN & GUIDE
for Coaching Managers, Employees, Leaders, and Supervisors


Complete Guide | Best Coaching Practices, Plan, Templates & Samples for 2020-2021

The best coaching plan is a plan that covers all aspects of coaching in the workplace. This includes team coaching, 1-on-1 employee coaching, leadership coaching, mid-to-senior level supervisor and management coaching, and change management transformational coaching for a business change.

Depending on the coaching role and skills you are seeking, this coaching plan should meet all your needs.

Effective coaching training to enhance management coaching skills for leaders and managers is a critical component for driving change within a group, team, department, or business organization.

Based on decades of studies by Prosci and other change management agencies, most managers know that they need to coach their employees or peers through a change or to help their employees increase performance, but they lack a true coaching plan that provides them with the best coaching skills, templates, and tools for effective employee and group coaching.

“As a Sr Change Management Lead and Coaching Manager, I have implemented large scale business change that impacted thousands of employees, managers, and leaders across the Federal Reserve Bank, Intel, HSBC, Apple, Capital One, Accenture, AIG, State Street, Cisco, and Deloitte. Throughout my years of experience in coaching and mentoring managers and employees through business changes and culture shifts, I have discovered that applying the best peer and leadership coaching practices described below increases your success in implementing long-lasting change by over 88%.”

Ogbe Airiodion
Senior Change Management Consultant


This free, simple-to-use coaching plan provides you with a step-by-step overview of everything you need to know for effective mentoring and coaching in the workplace and will help increase your coaching skills and qualifications, and your understanding of best coaching processes.

Included in this coaching plan are:

  • Best coaching techniques
  • Coaching tips
  • End-to-end coaching process overview

We also reference the key benefits of coaching, as well as best coaching plan templates and tools that you can use for effective coaching training and mentoring.

What is coaching - Leadership coaching plan and tools

What is coaching? Everything you need to know with coaching plan templates, examples, and tools


Table of Content | Best Coaching Guide for Employees & Leaders

Below is the list of topics reviewed in this top coaching plan. You can continue scrolling down, and reading each section one by one, or you can click on the coaching topic that is of greatest interest for you and go directly to that section.

  1. What Makes a Great Manager? (Top Trait is Being a Great Coach)
  2. What is Coaching?
  3. What are the Benefits of Coaching?
  4. Who is This Coaching Guide Designed For?
  5. Coaching Plan for Managers
  6. Coaching Plan for Employees
  7. Change Management Coaching Plan

Let us know if you have any questions or comments about this guide for coaching and mentoring employees in the workplace, as well as other managers and leaders.


What Makes a Great Manager? (Top Trait is Being a Great Coach)

A few years ago, Google wanted to know what made a Manager great at Google, and so the company conducted an extensive research study. After surveying, and spending countless hours interviewing employees and firm leaderships, below is what they identified as the top traits for what made a great manager.

A great manager: 

  1. Is a good coach
  2. Listens, shares information, and is a great communicator
  3. Empowers team and is not a micromanager
  4. Is productive and oriented around results
  5. Creates an inclusive team environment

The research conducted by Google revealed that one of the most important behaviors of top-performing Google managers was that they were effective coaches.

By going through annual employee surveys and performance reviews, the Google team that conducted the research found that being a great coach was a common behavior across high-performing Google managers.

Effective Coaches - Coaching Management and Process-min
Leadership coaching survey


Definitions – What is Coaching?

Before we continue, let us define the various types of workplace coaching, and also provide an overview of what a business change coaching plan really is about.

What is Coaching in the Workplace?

Workplace coaching involves mentoring any employees or managers to improve that individual’s job performance or to help that individual successfully coach others, increase productivity, enhance communication, decrease stress on the job, or to adopt new business changes and skillsets. Coaching is designed to help make a person better at what they do.

These are just a few examples of why effective coaching is needed in the workplace. There is a wide range of other examples for which you may be seeking to learn more about the best coaching approach and practices.

Coaching Plan for Managers

A coaching plan for managers is focused on the activities, tips, and steps that need to be taken to increase a manager’s performance or the manager’s effectiveness in coaching their direct reports and employees through a business or group change. Managers are often who employees look to the most for guidance during a change, thus they need to be coached to facilitate a change project.

We provide a detailed coaching program for managers in the sections below – with templates and examples for you to use to improve coaching skills for one or more managers within your organization.

Coaching Plan for Employees

It is normal human nature not to like change, especially because developed habits are difficult to break, and employees get accustomed to particular ways of doing things. Some of these habits often lead to poor performance, lackluster skill sets, stress or difficulties in adopting a workplace change.

And so developing and executing a multi-pronged employee coaching plan goes a long way towards increasing your ability to successfully implement a performance or business change with one or more employees within your organization.

We provide a top employee coaching template with examples and best practices in the sections below that you can leverage for your needs.

What is a Change Management Coaching Plan?

A coaching plan for change management involves the set of steps, activities, strategies, and approaches that will be used to coach business leaders, managers, supervisors, and employees to help them successfully transition through a change. Change management coaching also involves working with managers to train them on best coaching tips and techniques for coaching their employees through a transformational change.

We provide a detailed review of a change management coaching plan in the sections below – with templates and examples for you to use for your needs.


What are the Benefits of Coaching?

Key purposes and benefits of coaching and mentoring in the workplace include the following:

  • Improved employee performance
  • Increase in adoption and acceptance of a business, organization, or technology change
  • Successful change in a group’s culture
  • Effective learning of new skills, new processes, or new systems
  • A decrease in the tendency of some employees to exhibit stressful or unproductive behaviors
  • Increase in employee morale and productivity
  • Successful behavioral changes
  • Enhanced employee loyalty 
  • and many more.

At a firm-wide level, the benefits of coaching and mentoring in an organization involves enterprise-wide cultural receptiveness to change, increase in productivity, and innovation.

The purpose of coaching in the workplace is to increase employees’ and managers’ potential to maximize their own job performance. In a nutshell, coaching in the workplace is the process of providing people with the knowledge, and capabilities that will empower them to successfully change their behavior.


Who is This Top Coaching Guide Designed For?

This best management coaching guide is designed to be used by Change Management Practitioners, Human Resources Managers, Business Leaders, Program Leads, HR Leaders, Project Managers, Career Coaches, Executive Coaches, Performance Coaches, Skills Coaches, Employee Relations Managers, and anyone interested in coaching roles, techniques, and qualifications.


Coaching Plan for Managers

This section outlines the coaching program for managers that you can leverage to increase performance and coaching skills for targeted managers.

Coaching Plan Step #1: Identify Managers that Need Coaching

If you are a manager and are looking for a coaching plan to coach your employees, then skip this section and go to the Coaching Plan for Employees below. This section is for people that are looking to coach managers.

For those practitioners seeking to train and coach managers, the first step in implementing an effective coaching program for managers is to identify the list of managers that need to be coached.

If you already have an existing list of potential managers and leaders that need coaching, that’s great. In addition, you can follow the steps below to identify more managers and leaders that need to be coached:

    • Work with HR or other stakeholders to identify additional managers
    • Identify groups with poor employee productivity, low morale, and higher resistance to change. Managers for such types of groups make prime candidates for coaching
    • If you have a firm-wide culture change business initiative, then you will want to identify the key managers and supervisors for all impacted groups
    • If you know of any groups within your organization that are expressing a tremendous workload, then managers for such groups can also be considered

We generally refer to all these managers as Mentees.

Coaching Plan Step #2: Enter the Managers’ Information Into a Coaching Database

Enter each manager’s information into a Coaching Template. This is essential as it will enable you to effectively track the implementation and success of your manager’s coaching program.

Sample Manager Coaching Template

Leadership coaching tools and template

Click below to obtain AGS Cloud’s best Coaching Management Toolkit, which includes a streamlined, easy-to-use coaching plan template that you can use to input and analyze information about the managers that need coaching.

This tool is an online change manager that is designed to help you plan, manage, and execute a successful change project. Choose from a cloud or Excel version that includes real-time analytics, as well as simplified templates for gathering your coaching information. 

Coaching Management Template

Template for entering and analyzing managers that need coaching

Coaching Plan Step #3: Schedule Initial Meeting with Each Manager Mentee

The next step in your leadership coaching program will be to schedule initial meetings with each manager (Mentee). The goal of this first meeting is NOT to provide coaching. The goal of this initial meeting is a basic “meet and greet” to connect and build rapport.

Start the meeting by setting that expectation that this is just a quick meeting to get to learn more about them, and also to introduce yourself. During the meeting, you can discuss the factors that are driving the need for coaching, as well as the roadmap for which the coaching will be implemented. But it is critical to your coaching success that you don’t use this first meeting to start coaching.

People need to connect with you first on a personal level before they can trust you enough to accept coaching from you. This is why the first coaching meeting is often spent on just building rapport.

When you schedule a meeting with a manager, it is important that you immediately send the manager a heads-up email letting them know that you have scheduled a meeting with them.

Even though the meeting’s agenda information will be included in the meeting calendar invite that you’ve sent, sending a heads-up email is considered a “velvet glove approach.” This approach allows you to start building connection and rapport even before meeting the person.

Note: If you have already met or are already engaging the person, then you can skip this heads-up email strategy.

Sample Meeting Agenda

Email Subject:

Hi <Name of Manager> | Heads-up on Meeting Invite I Just sent

Email Body:

Hi <Name of Manager>,

Happy <Insert Day>. Quick heads-up that I just sent you a meeting invite for a quick meet and greet. I am the <Insert Your Title or Who You are> for <Department or Function>, and I am driving a leadership coaching and mentoring program. The agenda of this first meeting is to introduce myself to you, and also learn a little bit more about you, and answer any questions you might have.

I hope you can accommodate it. Looking forward to meeting and speaking with you.

<Your Name>
<Title>
<Contact Information>

Define coaching plan example on how to how to be a good coach

Example of pre-1st meeting coaching email

Coaching Plan Step #4: Conduct First Meeting with Manager (Goal: Meet & Greet, and Provide Awareness)

Sample Meeting Agenda

  1. Conduct introductions (if this is the first time you are meeting this person)
  2. Provide an overview of the change/program/project/business transformation that is driving the need for the coaching
  3. Provide a brief overview of the key roles that a manager, leader, or supervisor plays during a time of change. More on “key roles” below
  4. Provide an overview of your role as a potential Coach, and how you plan to support the manager during the coaching process
  5. Provide an overview of the importance of coaching and mentoring in the workplace
  6. Ask subtle questions that will allow you to gauge whether the manager is the type that is receptive to change or the type that will quickly resist any kind of change or influence

For additional agenda topics, check out: AGS Coaching Toolkit.

Coaching Plan Step #5: Enter Additional Information Into Your Coaching Template

Based on your initial meeting with the manager and what you have learned about the manager, enter additional information into your Coaching Template including the manager’s receptiveness to change, level of experience with change management practices, and level of coaching activities that will be needed to support this person.

Coaching Management Template

Template for entering and analyzing individuals that will be coached

Coaching Plan Step #6: Schedule 2nd Meeting (Goal: Manager & Leadership Coaching)

The next step is to schedule the second meeting, which will be the first official coaching session for the manager.

The level of coaching provided during this first coaching session (and also subsequent coaching sessions) will depend on the manager’s experience with coaching and also exposure to best behavioral and change management practices. A manager with little to no coaching qualifications will require more frequent meetings and support than a manager with some coaching skills.

Coaching Plan Step #7: Conduct the 2nd Meeting with the Manager

Implement your manager coaching plan, and provide coaching to the manager. During this 2nd meeting, you should focus on the best coaching strategies and tips. If interested, you can obtain our Coaching Management Tool, which includes a detailed step-by-step Manager & Leadership Coaching Guide.

Manager and Leader Coaching Guide - Min

Readiness Guide for Managers and Leaders (Coaching Plan)

Coaching Plan Step #8: Conduct Multiple Follow-ups with the Manager

After your second meeting, you should schedule and conduct additional follow-ups. Coaching leaders is not a one-time exercise. Effective coaching practices involve multiple touchpoints. To ensure that the new behavior is reinforced and maintained, it is essential that you follow up with the coached leaders and managers on a periodic or regular basis to see if they have questions or new additional help/support.

During your 3rd or 4th touchpoint, you will want to discuss an “Employee Coaching Plan” with the manager, which will guide them on how to coach their employees and direct reports to increase change adoption, productivity and facilitate behavioral changes. See the section below for an overview of the AGS’ Employee Coaching Plan.

In conclusion, don’t forget to follow up with each manager throughout the implementation of your leadership coaching program, and position yourself as an available coaching resource that they can always turn to whenever they need additional or immediate coaching help.

Such an approach pays huge dividends in the long run as these managers will come to consider you as a valuable resource. And in return, you will be able to depend on these managers to help with your change activities, as well as coaching other leaders.


Coaching Plan for Employees

This Employee Coaching Plan section outlines the interactions managers and supervisors can have with their direct reports to help their employees embrace and adopt a change.

As mentioned above, the purpose of employee coaching involves increasing performance, adopting new skills and solutions, and enhancing productivity. Read more here: Key Reasons Why coaching is Important.

Coaching employees takes place on two levels:

  1. Individual employee coaching: one-on-one coaching interactions between a supervisor and an employee to help that individual through his or her change process
  2. Group coaching: coaching interactions and activities between a supervisor and his or her team

Decades of change research conducted by Prosci and other change management research institutions have identified employees, as well as end-user resistance, as a top obstacle to change.

The influence that a leader or manager has on employees is immeasurable for increasing an employee’s acceptance of a change.

Engaging effectively with employees during a time of change provides a venue for one-on-one and group meetings between employees and the people they trust the most: their immediate supervisors.

Click below to read about the AGS Coaching Toolkit, which includes a detailed employee coaching plan, templates, and also coaching employees examples.

AGS Coaching Management Tool With Employee Coaching Plan for Managers to Use

Employee Coaching Through Business, IT, System and M&A Integration

    Coaching Plan Templates for Managers


Change Management Coaching Plan

This section is for Organizational Change Management Managers and Project Leads that are implementing a business change, and who need to coach managers.

Apply the change management coaching plan below to effectively coach business leaders, company managers, employees, supervisors, and change champions to empower them to be effective agents of change through any type of organizational change.

Change Management Coaching Process:

  1. Identify Managers that Need Coaching (Mentees)
  2. Enter Mentees Information into Coaching Database
  3. Schedule Initial Meeting with Each Mentee
  4. Conduct First Meeting (Goal: Meet & Greet and Awareness)
  5. Enter Additional Information Into Coaching Database
  6. Schedule 2nd Meeting (Goal: “Manager & Leadership Coaching Guide”)
  7. Conduct 2nd Coaching Meeting
  8. Schedule 3rd Meeting (Goal: “Direct Report / Employee Coaching Plan”)
  9. Conduct 3rd Coaching Meeting
  10. Conduct Ongoing Touchpoints with Mentees

(Step #1) Identify Individuals that Need Coaching (Mentees)

If you already have an existing list of potential managers and leaders to coach, that’s great. In addition, you can follow the steps below to identify more managers and leaders that need to be coached:

    1. Conduct a stakeholder assessment to identify the groups and departments that will be impacted. Managers within these groups will be critical to the organizational change program, and often will need to be coached on being effective “change agents.”
    2. Work with program team members (project managers, program managers, leads, and key program resources) to identify additional managers and leaders that might need coaching.
    3. Meet with key stakeholders and program sponsors to identify any other potential Mentees.

In general, managers and leaders within impacted organizations, as well as executives, leaders, and managers who are outside of the impacted groups but who are needed to support the program, are all potential candidates for coaching. We refer to all these individuals as Mentees.

(Step #2) Enter Mentees’ Information Into Coaching Database

Enter the Mentees’ information into a Coaching Template Database. Click below to obtain AGS’ Coaching Management Tool, which includes a Coaching Template Database that you can use to input and analyze information about the individuals that will be coached.

Coaching Management Template

Template for entering and analyzing individuals that will be coached

(Step #3) Schedule Initial Meeting with Each Mentee

The next step will be to schedule initial meetings with each Mentee. The goal of this first meeting is NOT to provide coaching. The goal of this initial meeting is to “meet and greet”, discuss the business change that is driving the need for coaching, assess their organizational change management (OCM) competencies, as well as their desire to support or resist the transformation, and lastly to discuss the next steps. 

It often helps to also send each Mentee a personalized heads-up or a follow-up email letting them know that you have scheduled a meeting with them.

Even though the meeting’s agenda information will be included in the meeting calendar invite that you’ve sent, sending a heads-up email is considered a “velvet glove approach.” This approach allows you to start building connection and rapport even before meeting the person.

Note: If you have already met or are already engaging the person, then you can skip this heads-up email strategy.

Coaching Leaders and Managements for Business Cultural Change

(Step #4) Conduct First Meeting (Goal: Meet & Greet, and Awareness)

Sample Meeting Agenda

  1. Conduct introductions (if needed)
  2. Provide an overview of the change/program/project/business transformation that is driving the need for the coaching
  3. Provide a brief overview of the key roles that a Mentee (manager, leader or supervisor) plays during a time of change. More on “key roles” below
  4. Discuss and understand the Mentee’s change management experience and their understanding of best organizational change management practices & methodologies
  5. Provide an overview of your role as a potential Coach, and how you plan to support the Mentee. The level of support will be based on the Mentee’s level of change management expertise and how experienced they are with being change agents during a time of change

For additional agenda topics, check out: AGS Coaching Management Tool.

(Step #5) Enter Additional Information Into Coaching Database

Based on your initial meeting with the Mentee, enter additional information into the Coaching Template Database including Mentee’s receptiveness to the change, level of experience with organizational change management practices, and level of coaching activities that will be needed to support this person.

Coaching Management Template

Template for entering and analyzing individuals that will be coached

(Step #6) Schedule 2nd Meeting (Goal: “Manager & Leadership Coaching Guide”)

After documenting the Mentee’s Change Management competency and receptiveness to the Program, the next step is to schedule the second meeting, which will be a coaching session.

The level of coaching information shared with the Mentee will depend on the Mentee’s experience with organizational change management best practices. A Mentee with little to no experience will require more frequent touchpoints and support than a Mentee with experience.

(Step #7) Conduct 2nd Coaching Meeting

Implement your detailed coaching plan, and provide coaching to Mentees. If interested, you can obtain our Coaching Management Tool, which includes a detailed Manager & Leadership Coaching Guide.

Readiness Guide for Managers and Leaders (Coaching Plan)

(Step #8) Schedule 3rd Meeting (Goal: “Direct Report / Employee Coaching Plan”)

In your 3rd coaching session, you will be introducing the “Direct Report / Employee Coaching Plan” to Mentees, which will guide them on how to approach change management coaching with those personnel that they manage or supervise.

(Step #9) Conduct 3rd Coaching Meeting on Change Management Coaching Plan & Strategy Implementation 

During your 3rd coaching session, you should aim to coach the Mentee using the Direct Report / Employee Coaching Plan outlined below. This Direct Report / Employee Coaching Plan outlines the interactions managers and supervisors can have with their direct reports to help them embrace, adopt, and use the target state solutions.

Coaching direct reports and employees takes place on two levels:

    1. Individual coaching: one-on-one interactions between a supervisor and a direct report to help that individual through his or her change process
    2. Group coaching: interactions between a supervisor and his or her team to share key messages about the change

As discussed above, coaching is a vital part of successful organizational change management. Decades of change research conducted by Prosci and other change management research institutions have identified employees, as well as end-user resistance, as a top obstacle to change.

The influence that a leader or manager has on frontline employees and impacted end-users is immeasurable for reducing resistance and increasing end-user acceptance of the change, which is why change and program management practitioners need to implement the best change management coaching plan.

Engaging effectively with end-users during a time of change provides a venue for one-on-one and group meetings between employees and the people they trust the most: their immediate supervisors.

Click below to read about the AGS Coaching Tool, which includes a detailed employee coaching plan.

AGS Coaching Management Tool With Employee Coaching Plan for Managers to Use

(Step #10) Conduct Ongoing Touchpoints with Mentees

Coaching is rarely ever a “one-time-and-it’s-done” exercise. To ensure that the new behavior is reinforced and maintained, it is essential that you follow up with the coached leaders and managers on a periodic or regular basis to see if they have questions or new additional help/support.


Conclusion

Coaching managers, employees, and leaders in the workplace is a critical exercise that needs to be conducted to increase the success of a organizational transformation, employee productivity and performance, and a culture change.

As mentioned above, assessing each manager’s change management competency is an important exercise as it allows you to identify the number of managers that need to be coached and supported based on their individual exposure to, and knowledge of best change management practices. 

Employee performance coaching template

Employee & manager coaching best practices – analytics dashboard

For those managers with low- and mid-level change management competencies, your coaching plan should include an in-person and heavy coaching training strategy. You will want to meet with these managers in person (if possible) on a regular basis, and coach them using the leadership coaching plan that you will develop.

You can leverage the information on this page to develop a top change management coaching plan that best meets your coaching needs. In addition, or alternatively, you can obtain a Coaching Management Tool from Airiodion Global Services (AGS) which provides you with templates, defined change management coaching plans, and samples.

For those managers who have a high level of change management competencies, your coaching plan should involve implementing a light coaching program strategy. Follow up with them on a periodic basis to see if they need any change management support or additional coaching sessions to boost their coaching skills.

Best practices show that a best change management coaching plan should outline the role that the change management practitioner will play, as well as the strategies he or she will implement to coach and support managers and supervisors during the change.

Your role as a change practitioner will be to coach and enable managers and supervisors to perform the functions outlined above.

If you have any questions about this coaching article, please send me a message. I wish you the best of luck in your coaching activities and efforts, and I hope this coaching guide has been useful to you. 


AGS Cloud: Coaching Management Tool

The AGS Coaching Management Tool includes a best-in-class coaching database template, samples, a 360-degree analytics view of mentees being coached, and much more that you can leverage to simplify and optimize your coaching activities.

AGS Cloud is a full-featured cloud platform to help you plan, manage, and execute a successful change project, end-to-end, whether this is your first change project or your one-hundredth.  You can choose all nine modules in the tool or just choose the Coaching Management Module. 

Click below to purchase this tool and for instant access that will allow you to get started right away.

Coaching Management Template

What is a coaching plan?

A coaching plan for managers is a plan used to coach managers and supervisors to increase their performance, while a coaching plan for employees is a plan for coaching employees through a change or to adopt new behaviors.

What is coaching?

Coaching is the process of mentoring individuals to adopt a change or to improve performance. Effective coaching helps to increase productivity, decrease work-related stress, and increases how effectively people adopt new changes and skill sets.

How do you write a coaching plan?

The best ways to write a coaching plan is to start with the end objectives in mind including what you want the Mentee or Coachee (the person or group being coached) to get from the coaching. After determining the coaching objectives, the next step is to draft a coaching plan using a multi-prong approach that is outlined on this AGS article.

What is the purpose of coaching in the workplace?

The purpose of coaching in the workplace is to improve an employee, manager or a group's ability to maximize job performance, increase productivity, change a behavior, or to effectively adopt a new business change.


Note: Content on Airiodion Global Services (AGS)'s Airiodion.com website is copyrighted. If you have questions, comments, or tips about this Airiodion Global Services content or product, please contact Airiodion Global Services today.

External sources: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/coach-tutor-business-mentor-work-407290/, https://pixabay.com/illustrations/consulting-training-learn-knowledge-2045471/, https://pixabay.com/photos/manager-businesswoman-executive-454866/, https://s3.amazonaws.com/images.seroundtable.com/google-my-business-manager-1544444240.jpg, https://www.ls.graphics/free/free-pixel-4-and-pixelbook-go-mockup, https://pixabay.com/photos/application-request-ipad-tablet-1883453/