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Coaching to enhance learning and engagement and reduce turnover

Paul Lyons (Department of Management, Professor Emeritus, Frostburg State University, Frostburg, Maryland, USA)
Randall Bandura (Department of Accounting, Frostburg State University, Frostburg, Maryland, USA)

Journal of Workplace Learning

ISSN: 1366-5626

Article publication date: 1 November 2021

Issue publication date: 9 March 2022




The purpose of this paper aims at manager-as-coach applying experiential learning processes to aid an employee to learn and improve performance ultimately resulting in a more skilled, work-engaged employee. The action guide presented offers activities for: positively influencing employee retention in the organization and improving the learning and performance of both manager and employee.


The methodology was directed to the study of the manager-as-coach, employee job engagement, performance and engagement, turnover intention and actual turnover and experiential learning processes. Analysis and coordination of these areas gave rise to an action guide for both practical use and experimentation.


The action guide provided presents a practical, phased approach (experiential learning process) to learning and change, grounded on conceptual and theoretical domains that encompass job engagement, commitment to the organization and the downplay of turnover intention. Activities (phases) included in the action guide promote learning opportunities for both participants.

Practical implications

Presently, there is clear evidence in empirical research that finds employee work engagement positively related to work performance, commitment to job and organization and job retention. The action guide presented in this essay is intended to involve the manager and employee in activities (such as, negotiation, feedback, reviews of progress, reinforcement of achievement) that should positively influence their relationship. A positive, growing relationship is helpful in stimulating future learning experiments.


At the present time, little research is available that directly addresses manager-as-coach deliberately working to increase or build employee job engagement and/or commitment to job or organization. This essay aims directly at how engagement and commitment may be enhanced while diminishing employee interest in turnover intention and actual turnover. The focus on employee and manager-as-coach working together in the development and reinforcement of engagement is somewhat novel and may provide some direction for further research.



Lyons, P. and Bandura, R. (2022), "Coaching to enhance learning and engagement and reduce turnover", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 34 No. 3, pp. 295-307.



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