Core Coaching and Mentoring Practices that Create a Base Internal Capability for Employee Enrichment.

Top creators

Wowledge Expert Team
Principal level
127 Wows earned

This guide is part of a progression set comprised of Core, Advanced, and Emerging Coaching and Mentoring practices.

What it is

Core Coaching and Mentoring involves creating an interpersonal relationship-based form of employee development focused on providing highly tailored guidance to individual learners. It requires articulating the purpose and strategy for leveraging a formalized development program and process, including a clear statement of the expected business and talent value as outcomes. It clarifies the types/topics of coaching and mentoring to be offered and who will be eligible to receive such services. It also involves the definition of structured models that can be applied or followed consistently and routinely across the enterprise, such that all delivering those development services follow the same methodology and principles for coaching and mentoring. The strategy clarifies the types, applications, and topics of coaching that will be offered to ensure that the business focus is maintained and the specified purpose is achieved. 

At this level, a consistent set of coaching and mentoring skills and approaches are offered in training and development programs primarily designed for people managers and leaders. Internal resources that provide coaching and mentoring are chosen through formalized criteria and selection processes to ensure the consistent quality of those delivering such services. The training and development programs are based on formal and accepted professional coaching standards, as well as additional leading practices in mentoring. Post-training, ongoing development is offered to all coaches and mentors to strengthen the pool of internal providers continuously. Similarly, an ongoing evaluation of the coaches and mentors is established to identify skill gaps and assess the impact of the offerings as development vehicles.

Why use it

Creating a core coaching and mentoring program provides highly individualized development to leaders and employees, resulting in expert learning tailored to each person's strengths, weaknesses, preferences, and development programs aligned with business requirements. The value lies in the subject matter that the development takes on, as each engagement is based on an agreement between the leader and coach and addresses feedback and development needs identified by both the organization and individual leader. Having robust selection criteria and processes, plus performance evaluation and tracking, helps ensure the quality of each coach/mentor as a positive and constructive guide for developing key leaders and contributors and establishes a level of credibility and confidence in them as guides. Additionally, as the leader can both participate in selecting the coach or mentor and create the agenda for such development, there is a personalized relationship based on trust, candor, and openness that uniquely meets the leader's needs. 

Developing a consistent and structured approach to coaching and mentoring skill development ensures reliable delivery across managers and leaders as those employees progress throughout their careers. This will ensure that each employee experiences a similar type of relationship and coaching approach based on leading practice and professional standards. The development of existing leaders and managers as coaches will also begin to establish newer and higher standards for managers as effective guides for individual and team performance and employee development.


Adopting these practices provides a solid foundation to build an organization-wide coaching and mentoring capability that can be leveraged to meet the tailored development needs of leaders at all levels. It produces a formalized strategy that articulates the purpose and value proposition that such an approach will offer and codifies the types of coaching to be offered and the employee segments to be targeted for development using this methodology. It creates a standardized and structured approach to coaching that will drive a consistent methodology designed for real and lasting attitudinal and behavioral change. It establishes standards for coaching behavior that emphasize ethical, constructive, prepared, and trustworthy delivery of coaching and mentoring as development methods. It establishes standardized criteria and selection methods/processes for coaches and mentors to help drive consistency in the background and capabilities of those selected for further development. It creates standard training, ongoing development, and evaluation programs for those selected.

Practice guides at this level

Defining the purpose and strategy of coaching for clarity and alignment.

Clarifying the specific goals and desired outcomes of the coaching and mentoring programs, with a focus on the types of subject matter covered in such relationships.

Deciding on the framework, elements, and model for effective coaching and mentoring application consistency.

Articulating the skills and methods used in the coaching and mentoring relationship, the standards to be applied, and the models or approaches that best fit the organization’s requirements.

Selecting and developing employee coaches and mentors as internal resources.

Planning and structuring internal coach and mentor selection and training processes to ensure that the right people are in place and that they are properly prepared and managed.

Developing internal coaching and mentoring capabilities through structured learning and development.

Creating an approach to selecting coaching skill development content and vendors, as well as planning the implementation of the training.

Access practice guides

Become a member

Enjoy access to stage-based practices, step-by-step guides, and tools to build strategic HR programs.

      Get started for FREE