Training and coaching are oftentimes considered synonyms to one another. They’re used interchangeably, and although both words may seem like they refer to the same thing, the two are quite different in nature. 

Sure, they both speak to teaching someone for learning purposes, but the way information is taught, the content of information, and to whom the information is being taught can quickly change what type of program your company needs at the moment. 

While some people have their opinions about either training or coaching being superior to the other, they actually both have their merits. The success that each one can bring to your workplace depends mostly on the reason for implementing one in the first place. 

While both are great, training and coaching work best in different settings, and if applied to the wrong type of scenario, your company could be wasting a lot of time, effort, and funds. Read closely below for a more in-depth look at the nuances between training and coaching, and which one is the right fit for your company.


The idea of training is to teach something new to a large number of people at one time. Some examples would be during orientation for recently hired employees, when a new company-wide policy or program is being implemented, or any other instance in which the same level of instruction is given to many employees.

Training programs can be a one-time session or they can be a series of sessions. Either way, they are made for the masses and have a limited amount of one-on-one time. The information is often standardized lessons being taught to everyone in the same format. 

Some of the ways in which training is executed is by using classroom methods in which one or more instructors are teaching the information. Other formats include workbooks, videos, and readings. A more hands-on approach would include activities, projects, and presentations either done individually or with a group of participants. 

Not all training programs result in a test or final completion at the end of the process, but in many cases, employees will walk away with some form of certification. 

Overall, training is all about the “new.” You’re can be a new employee or a long-time employee learning new information, but training programs aim to bring to light concepts or skills that were previously untaught to the given audience. Training is often a one-and-done gig, rather than a continuous process of progress and reports, which leads us to coaching…


Personal development is one of the main focuses of coaching. An overall topic is not being taught by your coach, but rather a plan for progress and improvement, individualized to you. Your coach analyzes your strengths and weakness and is therefore able to set up a specific execution to meet your needs and help you enhance necessary skills.

Rather than being a part of a group instructed by one teacher, your coach works with you in one-on-one settings. Although a coach may have more than one client, your meetings with your coach will be specifically about you. Because coaching is so personalized, more room for flexibility is available, and meetings can be scheduled as needed. Coaching is a process that continues and develops over time. 

When being coached, most of the content will be tailored to your specific needs as a learner and where your areas of weakness are. While worksheets and assigned reading may be less common, coaches can still recommend reading and other materials that will help with your specific progress. Setting short-term goals and receiving periodic reviews of your performance are also more suited to coaching, rather than a certification or final exam.

Coaching encourages employees to self-reflect, ask questions, and welcome constructive criticism so as to improve their effectiveness as a worker. A more holistic approach is brought to you through coaching companies. 

Training and coaching programs are both necessary in the workplace, but at different times for different reasons. As The Business Journals sums it up, training is more structured with a focus on learning, while coaching is focused on development with an informal style. Both programs are absolutely essential to making your company and employees informed, effective, and self-aware. For more information about both training and coaching, take a look at some of the products iGenCo offers!

Re-Humanizing The Workplace

Professional development engagements designed to provide practical skills that enhance personal and work performance.

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