Coaching & Mentoring Workplace Programs: Differences & Impact

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Coaches and mentors can play significant roles in the lives of employees, but how do you choose which is best? In this lesson, you'll learn more about the two and the differences that set them apart.

Coaching vs. Mentoring

Imagine yourself as the CEO of a busy medical supply company. Two situations have presented themselves and you need to decide whether a coaching program or a mentoring relationship is a better fit for the employees involved.

In the first scenario, your chief financial officer has retired abruptly, leaving you to hire internally to fill the role quickly. The employee you select, John, is more than capable, but will need some help to adjust to his new job.

In the second scenario, your chief marketing officer has also announced her retirement, but has said she will stay on with the company for the next six months to help the incoming CMO become acclimated.

Which situation warrants a coach and which is best left to a mentor? In the first instance, a coach who can help John set and achieve goals to learn the necessary skills for his new job might be the best choice. The second scenario, however, would be ideal for a mentor, that retiring employee, who can shape and guide the new CMO's journey.

Coaching and mentoring are similar in many ways, but also different. Coaching is a formal relationship between a coach and an employee designed to enhance job performance and learn skills necessary for particular tasks. Mentoring, on the other hand, is a more informal relationship built on advice and professional development over a longer period of time.

Each can have an impact in helping employees develop and acclimate in the workplace, while growing a positive work environment and strengthening loyalty to the company. Both can help people excel at tasks in their current roles as well as long-term in their careers.

Now, let's take a look at the key differences between the two.

Differences in Coaching and Mentoring

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