How Human Resources Leads a Coaching Culture

I've always defined HR as the bridge between the Company and employees. HR is the glue that holds the company together. Coaching is one tool used by HR professionals to help their company in setting and achieving goals through people.

Of course we know that the term coach started on the field in sports. But, would you be surprised to hear that the same theory of coaching on in the field was later adapted to serve the professional world?


Human resource management is the process of managing an organization's employees to include people management to effectively meet an organization's goals, (SHRM). I've always defined HR as being the bridge between the Company and employees. HR is the glue that holds the company together.


HR representatives present tools and resources to stockholders, managers, and employees to ensure they are engaged in their workplace and continue to build up the Company. Coaching is just one tool that HR managers can use to help a company and the staff to set and reach goals.


What role does HR have in creating a coaching culture? The short answer, the largest role possible.


Company culture is how things get done around an organization. OR the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company's employees and management interact and handle outside business transactions - Source: Investopedia. OR Culture is a set of relationships working toward a shared goal - its not something you are, its something you do - Source: The Culture Code, Daniel Coyle.


Culture can be steered by an intentional coaching plan. Already culture and coaching share many attributes: How. Interact. Relationships. Goals. All within actionable purpose at every institution.

Nearly 33% of employees in the U.S. are considering quitting their jobs, while 25% have actually resigned over the past six months, citing "toxic company culture" as their No. 1 reason for leaving. - CNBC April 2022.

So, how do we, as HR professionals and leaders within our organizations set the tone for a coaching culture?


These were my approaches

Strategic Coaching Approach

  1. I align myself with the stakeholders/senior management. - gain trust

  2. Carefully choose my approach when bringing up problems within the organization.

  3. I present not only the problem but a solution to the problem.

  4. When a member of management start down a path of judgement or criticism, I repeat the main issue and suggest a different approach, a coaching approach.

  5. Goals are the cornerstone of a coaching culture. I encourage stakeholders to look at short and long term goals. And ask them to bring in the right members of the team who exhibited strength and passion for certain areas of the project.

  6. And I encourage management to provide feedback to the main players that are appropriate.

Personnel Coaching Approach

  1. I practice coaching on upper, mid-management, and supervisors when it came to personnel issues:

  2. For instance, when a problem is brought up (depending on the problem) I echo back things like I wonder what it would look like if.... or, what could be the root cause to the problem?...

  3. Many times I encourage the manager to look at the personnel issue with a different lens. Be mindful in their approach when speaking with their staff.

  4. I always check in on the manager after the conversation to ensure they reached a resolution.

HR is in a position of great influence when trust is gained by the stakeholders and management.


Don't underestimate your impact and be fruitful with your resources. Your job is not always to solve the problem. That is the number 1 thing that coaches learn - it is not your job to solve the problem. Be aware of your feedback and how you respond to a situation. If you start to see yourself providing solutions in areas that solutions are not being solicited, stop yourself. Instead wonder how you can open up the conversation for more exploration with open ended questions.


To learn more about how you can incorporate a coaching culture at your institution, click below.