Coaching is not a punitive act. If coaching is only done when there are performance issues – it will create distrust around the process and undermine any benefits that other employees can get from coaching conversations.
Coaching in the workplace must be deployed both as a development tool and when needed as a part of the disciplinary performance improvement process.
Coaching is not a training session but should certainly be a technique to support what an employee learns in training courses. In fact, employees that receive reinforcement coaching after a training delivery are much more likely to remember and implement the lessons learnt from training.
Coaching is not counselling, though at times coaching conversations can venture into personal issues since people’s personal and professional lives are interdependent. For example, an employee who is going through a divorce may also experience a decrease in performance at that time as one situation impacts the other. Helping the employee to realise this impact and plan actions to keep work performance on par while sorting out personal problems should be a key part of the discussion. On the other hand when problems are more serious such as, drug and alcohol abuse or mental health issues it is important to refer the employee to a professional that can provide the professional counselling they need.