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Mehmet Mutlu17.04.202412 min read

What is online coaching? Why is it better than traditional training?

What is online coaching? Why is it better than traditional training?

In today's fast-paced corporate environment, training for employees carries far more significance than it did 10-15 years ago. The search for effective learning and development strategies has become crucial for companies that want to remain flexible and competitive in today's rapidly changing business environment.

Learning and development experts are in continuous search to find the most innovative approaches to empower employees' skills and boost company efficiency in an era when businesses navigate more and more towards digitalization.

Thanks to this increased pace of digitalization after COVID-19, online coaching as the new training method has enabled learning to become a flexible and dynamic environment that knocks down barriers standing in front of learning and transforms the way employees learn new competencies.

With today's article, you will learn crucial details about online coaching and understand the advantages it holds over traditional training to improve the performance of your employees.

Key Insights
  • An organization will see an 88% boost in production if it uses online coaching and training concurrently.
  • Online coaching provides employees the flexibility to take their learning materials anywhere in the world, anytime. This, in turn, provides sustainable training which improves performances.
  • Thanks to the immediate and improved data-driven approach online coaching provides, L&D managers can observe the detailed results quickly to target employees' weaknesses.

Table of contents

What is online coaching?

Online coaching is an innovative form of training that employs a digital platform to provide remote, personalized training and guidance to employees of organizations. Online coaching, as opposed to traditional in-person training, takes advantage of technology to create dynamic and engaging learning experiences. Examples of this kind of technology include interactive modules, scenario-based training, and AI-driven use cases.

This type of coaching is accessible to employees from any location with only an internet connection, which provides flexibility and convenience.

Since online coaching incorporates features like real-time feedback and customized learning routes, it allows for a dynamic and successful approach to skill development, performance enhancement, and continuous learning.

Advantages of online coaching for employees

According to a Deloitte report [1] , employees who work in a company that has an established learning culture have 30-50% more training engagement and retention rate compared to peers who don't.

There are many advantages of online coaching in the modern workplace. These advantages benefit different parts of an operation such as employees, L&D managers, and the company itself overall.

Perhaps the most important advantages happen for the employees. Since employees are the key part of an operation, it is important to make sure they receive the best and regular coaching to improve their performance and overall work motivation.

To understand the benefits of online training for employees, let's take a more detailed look at the individual factors:

Accessibility and flexibility

Online coaching offers unrivaled accessibility and flexibility. The accessibility and flexibility eliminate the hardships associated with traditional face-to-face-based learning. From the comfort of their homes, in quiet places, or even during business trips where they need to learn materials in an emergency, employees can engage in coaching sessions thanks to ease of access. This eliminates the need for commuting or sticking to tight schedules for all parties involved.

This flexibility is especially beneficial for remote workers all around the globe who may be located in different time zones or might have varying work hours.

At the same time, online coaching gives employees the ability to effectively utilize their time by giving them access to training materials and learning sessions at all times. This allows them to balance job obligations with professional development opportunities.

Additionally, because online coaching is flexible, businesses can reach a larger number of employees, such as geographically scattered teams or workers with different kinds of learning inclinations and needs.

Employee taking online coaching in her home in front of computerFind out how to implement AI coaching into your L&D program to support employees in reaching higher positions and creating a culture of lifelong learning. 

Personalized learning

Another one of the crucial advantages of online coaching is the ability to deliver personalized learning experiences. Unlike traditional training methods, online coaching can be unique to each employee based on their qualities.

Advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence allow for the customization of coaching programs to match the skill gaps of each employee. Beyond traditional one-size-fits-all training materials, this personalized approach makes sure employees receive the necessary training that is consistent with their own responsibilities along with their career goals.

Especially, an AI-based online coaching platform can make recommendations for personalized learning routes and adjust the pace and complexity of learning modules in order to optimize learning outcomes. This is done by analyzing behavioral data on individual performance and competency levels.

Continuous feedback and improvement

Online coaching paves the way for a culture of continuous feedback and improvement. Doing so provides employees with real-time insights and guidance to improve their skills and performance at work.

Unlike traditional training methods which offer occasional assessments or delayed feedback, online coaching usually enables feedback and check-ins throughout the learning process.

Employees receive instant feedback on their performance and process. It allows them to make necessary adjustments in the areas where they have learning gaps. They can also support the newly learned skills on time.

This continuous feedback process not only accelerates the development of many different skills but also promotes a mindset of improvement among employees which encourages them to look for constant improvement in their workplace.

What's in it for companies?

Based on research [2] made by International Society for Performance Improvement, coaching can generate a whopping 221% return on investment(ROI).

The advantages of online coaching extend beyond individual employees, it also benefits the entire company and its components. In today's business landscape, companies always look for different ways to boost productivity and workforce performance.

Online coaching provides an opportunity for companies to achieve these goals effectively. To understand it better, let's take a look at how companies benefit from online platforms through cost-saving, scaling effectively, and creating customizable learning paths for their employees:

Cost-effective solutions

When we look at it from a cost perspective, online coaching presents a cost-effective alternative to traditional training programs by offering significant savings for companies while delivering high-quality learning experiences to employees.

Through utilizing online platforms for coaching, companies can eliminate expenses related to physical aspects such as printed materials, traveling, and even accommodation.

This reduction in overhead costs means more savings in training budgets which allow companies to allocate resources more efficiently and invest in other strategic steps that promote employee development.


Companies usually face the ongoing challenge of scaling training programs to meet the evolving needs of a growing and diverse workforce. One of the benefits online coaching offers is a scalable solution by utilizing digital technologies to deliver training content and coaching sessions to a large number of employees simultaneously without the worry of organizing scary big events.

The scalability provided by online coaching ensures that management and L&D managers can effectively reach and engage employees across different departments and geographic locations without compromising on training quality.

Whether a company is expanding globally or undergoing fast growth, online coaching provides the capacity to scale training sessions efficiently.

In addition, because online coaching is scalable, L&D departments can modify training plans to suit different job responsibilities and skill levels within the company. This promotes a culture and philosophy of ongoing learning and skill development for all employees.

Customizable learning paths

Online coaching enables L&D departments to create highly customizable learning ways that align with organizational goals and strategic priorities. It also aligns with employee needs. Especially with AI-powered platforms, companies can design and deploy customized training materials and assessment methods to specific job levels within the organization.

This customization ensures that employees receive targeted and impactful training that aligns with their specific learning objectives and organizational requirements. Besides this, customizable learnings also benefit individual employee development by taking their career aspirations into account.

In addition, companies can continuously refine and adjust learning paths based on employee feedback and performance metrics in order to ensure that training initiatives remain relevant and effective in driving both employee growth and company success.

Manager looking at laptop screen while smiling
Every manager should improve themselves on motivating their staff members. Online coaching assists managers with the materials for employee encouragement. Check out the 6 best ways to boost employee motivation.

How can it assist L&D managers?

According to expert Francis Coetzee [3], a company that makes use of both training and coaching at the same time will experience an 88% increase in productivity, whereas the number is 23% when it is training alone.

The role of Learning and Development managers is crucial in shaping the training and growth strategies within companies. They are usually tasked with important challenges such as optimizing training strategies, improving employee development, and driving performance.

Online coaching emerges as a transformative tool that enables L&D managers to achieve these objectives effectively.

Here are some of the ways online coaching benefits L&D managers:

Improved data-driven approach

The integration of AI and data analytics in online coaching allows for valuable data-driven insights for L&D managers. Such a platform may collect and analyze a number of data related to employee performance, learning patterns, knowledge retention rates, etc.

Managers can then utilize these data-driven insights to gain a comprehensive understanding of the learning behaviors and preferences of their employees. Upon identifying these trends and patterns in the data, managers can make informed decisions regarding training content and the personalization of learning methods.

Data-driven insights also enable L&D managers to estimate the impact of coaching programs, track learning outcomes, and assess the return on investment(ROI) of training initiatives.

This data-driven approach empowers departments to optimize training strategies to allocate resources effectively and continuously improve the quality and relevance of learning materials for employees.

Retorio's dashboard for managersRetorio's AI-powered coaching platform provides the necessary data in order for managers to identify the strengths and weaknesses of employees.


Agile market adaptation

Agile market adaptation is another crucial advantage that online coaching brings to companies to enable quick and swift responses to evolving market trends and business needs.

Unlike traditional training methods that may require lengthy development cycles and stiff content delivery, online coaching offers flexibility and agility in adapting training content as well as learning experiences to align with changing market dynamics.

With this, L&D managers can utilize real-time data analytics and AI-driven insights to understand emerging industry trends and competitive environments. This agile approach allows companies to deploy targeted training initiatives and address evolving business challenges effectively.

When gaining this agility with online coaching, companies can ensure that employees are equipped with the latest knowledge and competencies needed to stay competitive in the dynamic market environment.

Online coaching versus traditional training

Finally, it is important to make a direct comparison between traditional training and online coaching to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each method.

The comparison table below aims to highlight factors such as accessibility, customization, consistency, and scalability which are some of the most crucial keywords in choosing the method of learning and development.

Criteria Traditional training Online coaching
Consistency When compared to online coaching, traditional training can occasionally be less consistent because of practical issues including inconsistent instructor skills and scheduling conflicts. Employees might be able to take more training material in a calendar year compared to conventional training since online coaching would not require the challenges of traditional training courses.
Personalization Traditional training usually employs a one-size-fits-all philosophy which might conflict with the certain requirements of specific employee needs. When it comes to online coaching, it is easier to tailor the necessary training for the particular needs of employees which targets the specific areas that need improvement.
Accessibility While they are very valuable in many ways, attending workshops and traditional training can be quite time-consuming and draining. Sadly, this makes the workplace less accessible to employees. Employees might access personalized online coaching with just a mouse click, anywhere. Managers and employees could use the saved time by using online coaching, elsewhere.
Scalability The scalability of traditional training may be limited by physical space and other resources. Scheduling more sessions and the requirement for larger spaces are just a few of the logistical requirements that come with scaling traditional training programs. These arrangements can be expensive and time-consuming. Thanks to its digital nature, online coaching is more scalable than traditional training. It allows for the simultaneous training of a large number of participants regardless of geographical locations


Best practices for online coaching

A variety of practices are included in finding the best practices for online coaching in order to maximize the online learning environment. These practices include using and utilizing an interactive platform to provide personalized feedback.

As technology continues to evolve, AI coaching is now seen as the next big breakout in learning and development and the best type of practice for online coaching.. By harnessing Behavioral Intelligence, Retorio's AI-powered coaching platform offers advanced data analytics, personalized learning strategies, and real-time performance insights to track the performances of individual employees.

With these performance insights provided by Retorio's AI-powered online coaching, companies can take necessary actions to take the efficiency of their operations to the next level in today's highly competitive market.

For example, our peers at NÜRNBERGER Versicherung expressed their struggles with hardships to motivate their employees to train due to the fact that it would get boring for them.

With Retorio's AI-powered platform, we implemented virtual video simulations for employee immersion in relevant real-time scenarios in order to improve their training morale and performance. After the initial rollout, our partners at NÜRNBERGER Versicherung reported:

  • A mentally stable setting where trainees can get unbiased feedback,
  • Increased motivation for training thanks to efficient and fully online training design available for employees on-demand 24/7,

  • Higher numbers in sales and new habits of successful sales patterns,
  • Increased L&D effectiveness,

  • Overall measurable training improvements backed by data collected by employee performance in training sessions.
Results of Retorio's AI-coaching platform for NÜRNBERGER

Are you interested in reaping the same benefits of AI-powered online coaching for your company? Retorio is here to do exactly that for your company as well. So click on the link below to start your journey now.


Try for free


Online coaching should offer a comprehensive and personalized learning experience tailored to individual needs and learning styles. This includes access to a range of learning resources such as interactive modules, video tutorials, assessments, and real-time feedback mechanisms.

The coaching should be adaptive, it should allow employees to progress at their own pace and focus on areas of improvement. Additionally, data and analytics should also be integrated into the coaching process to track progress.

The market for online coaching is expanding quickly. It has grown significantly in recent years due to technological developments such as Artificial Intelligence and a shift towards remote work and learning environments. Many businesses in a variety of industries are noticing more and more the advantages of online coaching for many factors such as employee growth, skill improvement, accessibility, cost advantages, and more.


Mehmet Mutlu

I specialize in writing educational and compelling narratives that explore the transformative impact of AI-powered coaching within sales, customer service, and leadership. I focus on creative writing to share my insights on Artificial Intelligence and the future of L&D.