Case Study 5 – Creating a coaching culture
Utility company: Debt Management Operation. In common with many organisations during a period of economic turmoil, budgets and work-force were being pruned at the same time as workload was increasing. The pressure on leaders to deliver performance (which met high standards of customer experience, employee engagement and productivity) was building and coaching was identified as a core capability in achieving this
What was needed was more than a skills training. Building a coaching culture was the target which involved a shift in perception and mindset, as well as in skill and capability. This was achieved through a programme which worked dynamically and in tandem with internal resources and leadership to catalyse a change that would be permanent and comprehensive. This involved an extensive design phase to ensure synergies with other programmes of change; working with stakeholders to ensure the critical success factors were in place and remained so; and deep, experiential learning interventions which sought to transform perspective and expectations in participants so new behaviours could emerge. All supported by light-touch, targeted embedding and reinforcement activities
Because this programme had to cause an experiential shift, measuring ‘understanding of coaching’ was identified as critical. This was measured before the training and again 6 weeks later and a 58% improvement was reported. This is a significant shift given that participants were mainly experienced coaches, the majority of which have received coaching training in the last 2 years.
In terms of relevance of the learning, 100% of participants were able to see direct and immediate opportunities to apply learning directly into the workplace. This has lead to some very impressive early indications of performance/engagement improvements
This programme was designed to return its initial investment within 6-12 months. However, some performance improvements were apparent immediately and easily covered programme costs e.g.
• 100% improvement in monies collected over 3 months, achieved through effective coaching interventions
• Sickness reducing from 8.6% to 2.1% in one part of the business
• 7 point increase in engagement scores in one team over the course of a quarter
This meant that the programme was cost neutral within 3 months