ENTREPRISES & STRATÉGIES — Services & Conseils

Setting up a company coaching program

Marie-Anne Salier - Présidente d’ICF Luxembourg Crédit photo: ICF Luxembourg

Marie-Anne Salier - Présidente d’ICF Luxembourg Crédit photo: ICF Luxembourg

Today, companies are increasingly offering coaching to their executives, managers and even professional-level staff. This should be accompanied with a proper, fair and well-managed process regarding the coaching engagement. When this is not professionally managed, it can create more damage than benefit. 

For companies to experience the best benefit, it’s important to have clear guidelines and systems around access to coaching, the roles of the participant, manager, HR, and coach.

In this article, Amy Amann will share with us a case study on the best practices for managing resources wisely and for increasing the success rate of the coaching. 

Amy is People and Organisation Development Consultant, Trainer and Coach, ICF Luxembourg member.

Case Study: international technology services company in growth and transformation

Here is a short example of a robust process I set up with one company, working with the HR and the Executive teams.

The business case: As part of a business growth and transformation initiative, the Executive team requested development for leaders and new team leads. They wanted current leaders to be equipped to manage the transition, and they wanted a new generation of leaders prepared for a more agile workplace. In this two-pronged approach, the objectives were measured against results from climate surveys, staff retention, client accounts and revenue.

Set up for success

The HR team set a process for how the program would function. It was important that this was simple, clear and transparent, and was well implemented. With so many ongoing changes, the Executives didn’t want to risk disenfranchising staff with ill-communicated and validated processes.

The HR team laid the foundations with the Executives, including determining budget, approvals and cost allocation. They selected, vetted, and briefed a pool of external ICF-qualified coaches on the project jointly with the trainers for the team leaders. They defined an administrative flow with a dedicated HR manager as a single point of contact.

The program structure

The HR team prepared an induction for the coaches and for the participants so that everyone knew the process and the roles during the program. They established baseline KPI’s, including current retention, revenue, and conducted an engagement survey and 360 profile of the program participants. This helped to provide guidance and define effectiveness. 

The current leaders could access 100 coaching hours in the year, which was meant to augment other internal organisation development measures. This ensured they received personal assistance to effectively manage the change, and ensure their teams sustained desired performance according to the KPI’s. The leaders not only received their own coaching, but learned how to coach so they use these techniques with their staff. 

The new team leaders participated in a formal training program covering people and business leadership. Their direct managers were involved at stage-gates to help set goals and to provide specific feedback on their development.  A part of the overall program included 1:1 coaching with an external coach to reflect on the learning. They also learned coaching techniques and engaged in peer coaching amongst themselves for the program duration. 

These two development components served to create an internal coaching culture. It ensured that leaders were equipped to handle daily situations and involve team members in the transformation, not just impose it. HR managers were also trained in coaching skills in order to provide better support. With the help of the external coaches and trainers, leaders learned to support and challenge themselves and their staff, thereby evolving the leadership style.  The programs created a new sustainable leadership culture and identity that allowed the leaders to work in tandem with HR to develop people and help them find their way in the new structure. 

Results achieved

Feedback on the program was that it was helpful, and easy to use and benefit from due to its fairness, clarity and purpose.  The Executives and HR could correlate and connect it to ongoing succession and leadership effectiveness, revenues and client satisfaction during the transformation process and beyond.

The post-program survey results showed that both the current leaders and new team leads were more inclusive, open for ideas, and integrated career wishes of the staff. The company atmosphere improved, becoming more collegial, more resilient to change, and open to dialogue with leadership. 

In sum

Remember, the goal of coaching is to improve performance, increase employee engagement and foster good work relationships. How the coaching engagement is initiated and managed can be a key to its success; as much as the coaching itself.