Online coaching has quickly become one of the hottest markets in the online corporate world. Companies that own certain coaching platforms have hit revenues into the billions, with several preparing to go public.

Recent news reports state that other companies just received tens of millions in investment, pointing to backers’ faith in these platforms. Why is so much money going into this area?

Why Online Coaching Is So Hot

With Functional Benefits, They Prove to be Worthy Investments

That’s easy – the demand is high, and the business model works. Think about how these networks function: vendors attract and train hundreds to thousands of coaches; the organization builds an AI-driven matching system, and corporations buy subscriptions.

It’s kind of similar to Uber: the vendor is a sales or technology company, and the cost of service is taken care of by the coach.

For HR and leadership teams, online coaching has proven to be a high-value investment. For example, Bravely wants every employee in their company to have a coach. Others want to integrate coaching into leadership development programs.

Coaching company BetterUp offers a personality model, plus dedicated sales leadership, GM options, and well-being support. There is also the option for assessments, 360s, and other feedback systems.

The gasoline company Chevron has begun using BetterUp for all of its management across the globe. Nearly 100% of them have found high value in the program.

By using Coaching Circles (employees meeting to discuss perseverance, change, and productivity),  a manager has made five new connections solely through this element.

Zendesk, which uses Torch, began using coaching and mentoring within its management program. Results are even better than Chevron’s – 93% enjoyed the program and felt it helped boost their leadership qualities and capabilities while on the job.

It’s not uncommon for individuals to be skeptical initially. However, this has become a crucial part of corporate training.

Valuable for Individuals, Leaders, and Organizations

The corporate learning circle is filled with several ideas. Today, companies like Murison provide solid solutions for leaders. Harvard Publishing and LinkedIn Learning provide online self-study options for working at your own pace. Many new startups are incorporating live programs and workshops for a new online experience.

Beneath all this is the fact that leadership, management, and behavioral issues are often personal and more private to each user. Everybody experiences change at work, and the biggest challenge is self-awareness.

Why didn’t that meeting go well?

Was it me?

Did everyone understand the questions?

Am I just stressed out?

How can I improve next time?

These are all critical questions, demonstrating how leadership development is an intimately personal journey. We are all leaders in some fashion, and sometimes we need an individual to talk about our own challenges. At the core, this is how coaching is defined.

Coaches are trained and certified, and most of them have held executive positions in the past. They’ll understand how you ask questions, listen, and guide people toward the right answers. Coaching isn’t anything like going to a training course.

In a traditional training program, you digest information or advice. When you’re in a coaching session, you are engaged, stimulated, challenged, and this allows you to be more vulnerable.

This is what makes these programs so popular. We all need specific types of help and well-being support in our lives, and these programs can offer unique services for different individuals.

Coaching can also be self-directed, personalized, or assist in development. It may be strategic, or business-focused. Certain companies focus their coaching investments on different strategies. Chevron, for example, used its program to reinvent its performance management process, improve agility, and let managers build better internal networks.

Coaching Designed into Leadership Programs

Many programs focus heavily on the use of coaching in a formal development program. This boosts and enriches the leadership journey and learning process. It also creates a new form of self-discovery.

Traditional leadership programs can take multiple years. They include training, seminars, executive training, job rotation, assessments, and feedback. Coaching will be used to smooth over specific problems.

Thanks to the online coaching model, companies can integrate coaching into a formal program for everyone.

Traditional leadership development is a multi-year program that includes training, expert seminars, executive education, job rotation, 360 assessments, and feedback. Coaching is often used to smooth over problems.

The company Torch specializes in how coaches approach situations. FICO is a customer of Torch. When using the Torch platform, FICO integrated coaching and mentoring into its curriculum.

The Democratization of Coaching

Large companies hire specially selected and trained coaches for developing executives, performance improvement, and problem-solving.

The new market fixes this situation. Each employee, supervisor, and manager can now act as a coach. When you do business with the companies listed above, per-session costs might be as low as $200. This allows companies to let everyone invest in coaching for the whole group.

There is an important industry behind this market. This is the world of coach certification (International Coaching Federation), coach development, and support from vendors. AI improvements are quickly approaching as well.

BetterUp and SoundingBoard have tools that monitor each session to assist the coach in identifying issues and make the sessions more efficient. This type of AI is becoming more sophisticated. On other platforms, AI will give a nudge during the actual coaching session to provide tips.

So Much More to Come

This is still huge, and it’s only the beginning. Coaching programming is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the training industry, but companies can even use these platforms to find psychologists and mental health experts. This type of marketplace can be used for stress reduction and mental health intervention in the workplace.

Imagine what things will look like when the Metaverse rears its head. One thing is for sure – the online training space looks incredibly bright and is only gaining traction every day.

If you haven’t decided yet, you may want to give one of these new coaching programs a try. Any company with multiple managers and HR departments has lots to gain and very little to use. Who can’t stand to have better leadership work more efficiently?