Coaching and mentoring skills can help managers empower their employees, improve their personal development, and reach their full potential and at the same time help reduce stress (for other ways to reduce stress in the Hospitality Industry see this article). 

Developing coaching/mentoring skills can be extremely rewarding for any manager, but first it is important to understand the difference between coaching and mentoring.

Coaching is focused on improving an individual or team’s performance through the use of questioning where mentoring is more about helping an individual through the imparting of knowledge. 

A coach does not necessarily need to have relevant experience to help someone develop, however a mentor is likely to have achieved a great deal of relevant job experience already.

The skills to be an effective coach or mentor are quite similar and some of these include:

  • Listening.  Good coaches and mentors genuinely listen to the person they are with.  They are expert at asking understanding the key issues and allowing the individual time and space to articulate their feelings and thoughts.

  • Questioning. Particularly key to effective coaching is the art of asking questions.  These can be closed or open depending on the situation and what is being discussed.

  • Facilitation.  Good coaches and mentors facilitate learning and developing by encouraging ownership of issues and generation of ]ideas and solutions.

  • Encourage.  Encouraging individuals and teams is important to ensure they are empowered to deliver personal change and improve their working environment and performance.

  • Positivity.  Coaches and mentors can achieve better results with their employees when they remain positive and open to moving things forward with a focus on improving strengths rather than reducing negativity and weakness.

How To Develop Coaching And Mentoring Skills?

As a manager in the Hospitality Industry these key coaching and mentoring skills can be developed through various ways.  The benefits for any organisation are clear with improved performance, employees more likely to achieve their goals, there is a greater emphasis on personal development and a reduction in staff turnover. 

A significant effect of creating a coaching and mentoring culture can be to greater engagement through a more positive employee experience. (For other ways to improve employees experience in the Hospitality Industry’s see this article)

A suggested approach is as follows:

Firstly look for opportunities to give feedback to members of your team.  Providing regular, frequent feedback creates opportunities to develop coaching and mentoring relationships.  

Secondly, it is important that managers  are open to employee ideas, practice your listening skills by asking for suggestions from your team and really listen to what they have to say. 

Lastly, try and create a culture where your team members are encouraged to learn from others, this will help build an approach where individuals start to coach and mentor each other.


What Coaching And Mentoring Techniques Can I Apply As A Manager Or HR Professional?

As a manager it can be helpful to use a structure when starting to coach and mentor employees.  One such tool is the GROW model for coaching and mentoring:


This part of the discussion is all about finding out what the priority is for the coachee or mentee. Ideally you as the manager will aim to draw out from your employee what they are trying to achieve or what issue they need to deal with.


This is where you will ask key questions to understand where your team member is in terms of the issue.  What exactly is the current reality?  By doing this you will ensure that you and your employee understand the starting point and have a reference point for measuring success.


By questioning your employee you will be able to get them to generate options for moving the issue forward or solving the problem.  Ensure that at least one option is chosen by the coachee or mentee so they keep ownership of the solution.


Finally the last part of the GROW model is to determine the WILL of your employee to make changes or deliver their actions to achieve the goal. This is all about commitment from your team member.  A plan can be drawn up, with the coach or mentor guiding the ideas discussed by the team member.


How Can Coaching And Mentoring Techniques Improve Talent Retention And Productivity?

When organisations develop coaching and mentoring skills in their managers it can have a significant cultural impact which in turn can help attract new talent and keep employees in the business.  In a recent article by Kavita Sahai the importance of coaching and mentoring programmes to improve staff retention is highlighted:

“Mentorship or internal coaching has proven to be beneficial to many different sizes of organizations and at all levels. One study conducted by Deloitte in 2016 found that millennials planning to stay with their employer for more than five years were twice as likely to have a mentor (68%) than not”

Kavita Sahai



How Will You Start Coaching And Mentoring Your People?

As a line manager in the Hospitality Industry you can have direct and significant impact on the short-term and longer-term success of your team by starting to coach and mentor employees in a structured way.  Use some of the tips in this article and make a commitment today to start your own coaching and mentoring journey.