an employe sitting at a desk participating in an eLearning course on their laptop

Coaching and eLearning: A Blended Approach to Career Development 

Last year, learning and development departments adjusted swiftly as the realities of the pandemic’s effects on the workplace set in. Many departments experienced budget cuts while also expanding offerings to support a workforce that became remote overnight.  

Some organizations expanded development offerings though eLearning. For years, experts have predicted that eLearning would be integrated into nearly every company by 2020 and the pandemic did not stand in the way. 

As we emerge from a crisis state, learning and development teams are reassessing and planning career development programs. Development programs have an impact on retention rates, but the quality determines how significant the impact is. According to Training Industry, coaching results in a 65% higher retention rate than training in the long run. eLearning has its place, but to see results and show employees you’re invested in their career, it’s best to use coaching supported by eLearning. 

Challenges of eLearning 

eLearning has transformed the corporate training landscape. The convenience of on-demand training is attractive, and no doubt breaks down barriers like access for employees looking for continuous learning. However, there are some drawbacks that organizations have to overcome. 

Short exposure. Whether it be a microlearning session or a 6-hour course, learning takes place within a relatively short period of time. Short exposure to new material with no opportunity to practice in a psychologically safe environment can be a challenge for individuals needing to apply what they learned and truly become proficient. 

Prioritization. Adopting an eLearning platform and effectively integrating eLearning into the learning culture of your organization are two different things. Without specific and realistic expectations for continuous learning along with time and resources for completing courses, your eLearning program will not be effective. Employees need clear expectations and time to carry out the expectation. 

Lack of Interaction. Asynchronous learning courses can leave employees without opportunities to discuss with a trainer or peer. Discussion helps learners achieve deeper knowledge and clears up common misconceptions with the new information.  

Benefits of using eLearning in coaching engagements 

Employee coaching is an effective strategy for developing specific skills that will allow employees to excel within the organization. Completing eLearning courses at the direction of a coach can help individuals overcome the challenges of eLearning and support the goals of the coaching engagement. 

AccountabilityWhen involved in a coaching engagement, there is dedicated time for development. Coaches drive the relationship by developing and following a learning plan. Coaches give coachees assignments between meetings and follow up, building on what was learned. With the commitment to a coach, the course has more purpose and its more likely the information will be retained.  

Application. During the highly focused coaching engagement, coachees learn new information and have the opportunity to apply newly acquired skills with support. eLearning courses can help get the information to the individual, while the coach clears up misconceptions and helps the coachee apply their new learning. 

Reinforcement. An eLearning course is usually completed within a short period of time while coaching engagements often last around 6 months. Part of learning and implementing new practices is overcoming challenges. Coaches support individuals through this phase of learning, making the experience more effective and efficient. Leaving the coachee feeling confident and proficient in their newly acquired skills.  

How to use coaching software to support a blended approach to career development 

  • Bi-directional integrations between Insala’s coaching software and your organization’s eLearning platform or LMS create a seamless experience for coachees, coaches, and program administrators. 
  • Connect skills and competencies within your coaching platform to relevant eLearning courses. Individuals can easily find online courses that will support the goals of the coaching engagement.  
  • Track completion of LMS courses in learning plan. After completing a course assigned by the coach, the progress is visible in the coachee’s learning plan. 
  • Report on progress of individual coaching engagements including learning plan status. 


We’re ready to apply our 25 years of experience to help you implement coaching platform that truly makes a difference for your employees. Book a demo with our team to see how we can help you achieve your coaching program goals. 

Through innovative web-based SaaS technology, Insala partners with organizations to accelerate performance and drive evidence-based decisions for organizations and their people.

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