Introducing Coaching into Your Organisation?
Coaching has grown in popularity in organisations during the last couple of years, as it is a recognised effective employee development method (CIPD, 2020). In a survey by the CIPD (2015), more than ¾ of organisations offered either a coaching or mentoring programme. However, just because coaching may be available in organisations, it does not necessarily mean that it will be a successful intervention (Clutterbuck & Merrick, 2014). Before launching any development activity, including coaching, there a few factors to consider which contribute to success.
We will explain some of these considerations (Knights & Poppleton, 2008) and help people that oversee development activity decisions, whether in a Human Resources (HR), Learning and Development (L&D), Organisation Development (OD) department or the Senior Leadership Team to decide if coaching is the best intervention for their organisation.
This factor relates to long-term strategies and short-term necessities that the organisation has set. Coaching offerings should be integrated into the wider L&D, HR and business strategy. At this stage, organisations may want to consider:
- Current organisational priorities (strategies and imperatives)
- Integration into areas like talent and performance management, succession and workforce planning and personal development. This will ensure a coherent people framework.
- Implications of current business priorities on any coaching offer and how the latter would support these priorities.
The coaching offer within an organisation needs to be compatible enough with the current culture so that it does not get rejected but also challenging enough to make a difference. Additionally, it should be adequately reinforced e.g., professional supervision, additional recourses, etc. Key considerations are:
- What works well and less well in the specific culture?
- What difference will coaching/mentoring make to the culture?
- How can coaching/mentoring offers be integrated into the culture?
- Current structures, processes and systems that work well and how coaching / mentoring could be modelled on these
Organisations should be clear about the overarching purpose for coaching using SMART-type (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed) objectives at a company-wide level. The purpose should also link with business priorities to make it a relevant intervention. Some key considerations:
- The overarching purpose of coaching – What is the role of coaching as opposed to other interventions?
- What are the implications of that purpose for the elements of the coaching system?
- What is the definition of coaching for this organisation currently?
There is no ‘one size fits all’ model of coaching, so organisations should carefully consider what the best type may be weighing the benefits and cons e.g., external coaching vs. internal.
L&D and HR Climate
It’s important to consider how the business perceives L&D or HR and therefore the buy-in that will occur if coaching and mentoring were offered. Conversely, there is a wide variation of understanding about the utility of coaching and mentoring across people professionals. For initiatives to succeed, people professionals (along with line managers) should be champions of coaching e.g., providing support and having relevant skills and knowledge.
Degree of Sponsorship
Senior management support is integral to the success of coaching activities. When there is a high degree of support offerings can be high-profile, however, if senior members do not endorse coaching, any offerings of this nature will be low-key and experimental. Therefore, it is worth considering:
- Senior members experience and understanding of coaching
- The role the senior team are willing to play
- How to build their sponsorship
- Making the most of their support
- Identifying the key leaders and influencers within different parts of the organisations
How can Impact help you?
- Develop awareness of the current context by designing and carrying out surveys, focus groups and 1-1 interviews to understand the appetite for coaching.
- Help the organisation determine an action plan. This involves selecting key coaching models to be developed/applied and providing access to our knowledgeable and experienced team of coaches. In conjunction with the senior leadership team, HR, Impact coaches and new coachees, we will create a coaching programme and a list of resources needed to support both parties, including inter-session tasks.
- From step 1 and 2, we will identify measures and key metrics to establish what success looks like.
- Implement the coaching programme.
- Evaluate the success of the programme against the chosen metrics and feedback from the different stakeholders involved.
Click here to contact Impact and find out more.
CIPD. (2015). Learning and development-Annual survey report [online]. Available: https://www.cipd.co.uk/Images/learning-development_2015_tcm18-11298.pdf
CIPD. (2020). Coaching and mentoring, Factsheet [online]. Available: https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/fundamentals/people/development/coaching-mentoring-factsheet.
Clutterbuck, D., and Merrick, L. (2014). What every HR director should know about coaching and mentoring strategy [online]. Available: https://davidclutterbuckpartnership.com/what-every-hr-director-should-know-about-coaching-and-mentoring-strategy/
Knights, A. and Poppleton, A. (2008). Developing coaching capability in organisations. London: CIPD.