Development opportunities are an integral part of professional and personal growth. Finding programs, as well as participating in them, can be daunting, especially when we’re not sure what to expect from the experience. Employee development in the workplace often comes in training opportunities, but if HR Departments are looking to deepen that growth, they should consider personal coaching for employees. While the two experiences can address some similar issues, there are several differences between personal coaching and staff development training.


A half day training can be an efficient way to educate a large group within a company, but does the programming speak to individuals on a personal level?

A workshop is an excellent jumping off point, but if you want to invest in your team, consider offering personal coaching for employees. While it can’t speak to the group, coaching can be tailored to individuals, making maximum impact. In personal coaching, the participant sets the agenda, giving employees a sense of agency in their career trajectories. Unlike half-day training where the program is set and many participants are passive, personal coaching is a purely active experience.

Giving employees an opportunity to experience personalized growth in the workplace shows your investment in their progress. Also, it gives team members a sense of control in their workplace journey--how do they want to grow to improve themselves and the company? There is a multitude of types of employee training, but coaching will always be a one-of-a-kind personal experience.


With personalization in coaching comes a commitment to change and improvement. A half-day staff training can lead to takeaways and to-dos, but personal coaching instills a sense of obligation that large-scale training can’t replicate.

When an employee works with a coach, there’s an understanding of the amount of work involved. The two of them can set a cadence with which to meet, which is likely more frequent than the occurrence of staff trainings. Personal coaching is repeatable, requiring employees to invest in it.

Unlike a half-day training, personal coaching requires commitment and some goal setting on the part of the employee. Additionally, the goals and methods of achieving said goals can evolve over the course of individualized coaching sessions based on what has and hasn’t worked. With the limited time-frame half-day trainings have, it’s difficult to accomplish the same thing.

Work & Play

Coaching can provide employees with the keys to a work/life balance that’s harder to replicate in the workshop setting. With personalized coaching, employees will look at their career in a more holistic way.

Providing employees with the means to better create a work/life balance means happier teams, more productive days, and a potential for higher retention. Through coaching, employees will share more personal information and work through issues that touch on work and life. The benefit of working with a personal coach is recognizing patterns and behaviors in both your personal and professional life.

For companies hesitant to bring life into the workday consider this: With the advent of technology, work is carried into life through emails and telecommuting. Doesn’t it make sense, in this case, that life can be brought into work in the same manner?

Any development or learning program will be an asset to the workplace, on and off the clock. However, all experiences should not be treated equally. Personal coaching is different from development training in that it’s much more personal, personalized and requires a level of commitment from the participant. While it doesn’t look the same as traditional staff development, personal coaching is an invaluable tool that’s improved the professional and personal lives of many.

Interested in learning more about how personalized one-on-one coaching can help your employees grow and develop in their careers? Explore Ace-up's Business Extension program for more details.

See How Ace-up Increases Employee Retention