How to create a coaching culture

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast”, a phrase originated by Peter Drucker and made famous by Mark Fields, President at Ford, is an absolute reality! Any company disconnecting the two is putting their success at risk.

However, while many studies show there is a direct correlation between a healthy, productive culture and a company’s bottom line, the majority of companies spend little time thinking, let alone doing anything about, this topic – even when they’re spending lots of time thinking about their business strategy.

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So, why is Coaching culture important?

Coaching culture
Survey by ILM

Create a Coaching Culture:
Establish organizational support: Position coaching as an invaluable initiative by identifying a respected leader to act as its champion. Give managers/leaders the tools, information and guidance they need to explain coaching and its value to employees.

Use a variety of modalities: External coach practitioners often come with more experience but could, at times, lack in-depth knowledge of a company’s culture. Internal coach practitioners and managers/ leaders using coaching skills often have less coach training and coaching experience but have a better understanding of the organizational system. Companies benefit most when a combination of modalities is employed.

Offer coaching for everyone: Coaching should be provided across all levels of an organization, to individuals of all ages and experience levels.

Deliver coaching regularly: With a variety of modalities in use, coaching can and should be accomplished at regular intervals. Managers/leaders using coaching skills can engage with employees on a daily basis, while internal and external coaches can interact daily, weekly or monthly with a coachee as the situation dictates.

Clearly define roles: For each modality, the roles should be clearly defined, especially the differences between managers/leaders using coaching skills and internal coach practitioners.

Finding and Training Coaches

Establish organizational support: Position coaching as an invaluable initiative by identifying a respected leader to act as its champion. Give managers/leaders the tools, information and guidance they need to explain coaching and its value to employees.

Use a variety of modalities: External coach practitioners often come with more experience but could, at times, lack in-depth knowledge of a company’s culture. Internal coach practitioners and managers/ leaders using coaching skills often have less coach training and coaching experience but have a better understanding of the organizational system. Companies benefit most when a combination of modalities is employed.

Offer coaching for everyone: Coaching should be provided across all levels of an organization, to individuals of all ages and experience levels.

Deliver coaching regularly: With a variety of modalities in use, coaching can and should be accomplished at regular intervals. Managers/leaders using coaching skills can engage with employees on a daily basis, while internal and external coaches can interact daily, weekly or monthly with a coachee as the situation dictates.

Clearly define roles: For each modality, the roles should be clearly defined, especially the differences between managers/leaders using coaching skills and internal coach practitioners.

Finding and Training Coaches

  • Set up managers for success: Empower managers and leaders with training and peer coaching to help develop better coaching skills. Relationship building and soft skills, such as empathy, should be emphasized, and opportunities for accredited coach training should be made available.
  • Provide training: Establish a training track that allows for internal coach practitioners and managers/leaders to participate in continuous coaching education. According to half of our respondents, the ideal number of coach- training hours for managers/leaders would be between 30 and 60 hours.
  • Establish a community of practice: One way to support the development of managers/leaders and internal coach practitioners is by creating a coaching community that provides training, guidance and opportunities to explore innovative practices. This group would also strengthen the partnership with HR and foster an environment of continuous development and feedback.

Executing and Evaluating

  • Break down barriers: Combat the top barriers of lack of time, funding and accountability by ensuring that everyone—from senior executives to entry-level employees—understands the value of coaching to the organization. Build in coaching as a regular activity and competency for managers and internal coach practitioners.
  • Fund coaching adequately: Ensure that the importance the organization places on coaching is reflected in the annual operating budget. Organizations with a strong coaching culture typically have a dedicated line item for coaching.
  • Set goals for return on investment/return on expectations: Establish clear expectations for the outcomes of the coaching initiative within the organization and ensure the goals are communicated across all levels of the organization.

This presentation uses finding and evidence from researches performed by ILM, EMCC, ICF & AMA.

Coaching

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