Get your employer to pay for coaching

If your employee benefits includes coaching, take advantage of it. Even if they don’t, you may have employer-funded resources to draw on.

There are three ways you may be able to do this. The first two help you pay for the private-practice coach of your choice; the third is how your employer may provide a coach for you.

  • With professional development or learning funds
    Many employers budget for professional development for each employee, often under “learning and development.” Most people think to use these funds for educational workshops or conferences, but they can typically also be used to pay for one-on-one private coaching. Even if it’s not allocated in your budget, you may be able to include coaching in your own professional development plan for the next year during your annual review or planning process.
  • With wellness dollars
    Similar to professional development funds, many employers provide a wellness stipend for each employee. Sometimes these are more restricted, but often they may be used to pay for private one-on-one coaching.
  • Through your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or mental health benefit
    Many employers are now offering a number of free coaching sessions to all their employees through a generally available mental health benefit. You may already have 6, 10, or even more coaching sessions available to you through your benefits package.

Comparing private coaching and workplace coaching

I coach in both venues. I coach individuals and teams through my private practice (Gray Bear Coaching), and I also contract through an EAP mental health provider to provide coaching to their customers’ employees.

Both models have tremendous benefit, and both have their place in helping people grow and thrive. But there are big differences, in my experience.

Private coaching allows for more in-depth, intense, and personalized service. My private sessions are longer, and I have more flexibility to support my clients outside our session time. My clients get a far greater benefit from my extensive life and work experience, and we can customize each session for my client’s individual needs. This means I can provide a broader range of support, can help with a broader range of topics, and engage with my client on a deeper level.

Workplace-provided coaching is limited in scope. You have a limited selection of coaches, and not all the coaches have the extensive life and work experience necessary to provide the depth of insight and perspective that many clients need. Sessions are shorter (typically 30 minutes), and coaches typically do not provide much support (if any) outside the 30 minute session. This is because they don’t get paid for it, and the hourly rate is so low for each coaching session that it’s simply not a good investment of the coach’s time and effort.

Workplace-provided coaching makes coaching available to many people who otherwise would not know about it or have access to it. It’s a wonderful benefit for many workers, and I’ve helped scores of employees with personal and professional development, career direction, life choices, and much more.

Private-practice coaching is where profound growth can happen. Both you and your coach are more deeply committed to the results you want. You can design the coaching experience that will be best for you. And you can find the best coach for you with the right mix of experience, perspective, and credentials you’re looking for.

If you’re ready for change and eager to reach your goals, set up some time to talk. The first session is always free, without obligation.