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Making an Impact

This week I presented back the results of a review into the impact of a ‘Coaching Culture’ programme we have been running over the past 15 months. The client organisation has been looking to introduce more of a coaching style of leadership as a way to deliver improvements at an individual; organisational and external stakeholder level.

The review highlighted a number of tangible benefits and measurable improvements in the way the organisation is now working (including some that were not necessarily envisaged at the outset):

  • Improved working relationships – as a result of increased communication through coaching and feedback conversations, as well as through sharing ideas and experiences with other staff in ‘coaching cafes’ designed to help embed the principles and tools, and share success stories.
  • More, and better, communication – probably related to leaders reporting significant improvements in their own listening and questioning skills.
  • Staff reporting that they are finding more answers for themselves – freeing up leaders to be able to do other elements of their role, as well as building increased capability and resilience among staff.
  • Staff reporting they are receiving more positive feedback/more recognition when they do a good job than before.
  • Staff feeling more valued and encouraged to develop their skills and knowledge

The organisation has also recently completed its latest Kenexa (formerly JRA) staff survey and this has shown a significant improvement in a number of specific questions (identified at the outset of the programme) as being directly attributable to the coaching programme.  As another indicator of the (indirect) impact of the programme, the engagement score for the organisation has also taken a very significant jump in the right direction.

Obviously these results have not come without an investment of time, energy, money and a good deal of perseverance and commitment from the organisation.  Like any change process, nothing happens if there is not a willingness to keep going when things get tough; to keep reminding people of why the changes is being made; and role-modelling of the expected behaviours etc.

At the outset of the programme we obtained some frank and honest feedback from the organisation about a history of previous initiatives that had been launched with a hiss and a roar but not followed through.  As a result there was a fair amount of skepticism about the programme and whether it was going to be be another of the same.  It is therefore pleasing to be able to report that people see this programme as being different and having had ‘much more than lip-service paid to it’ through a combination of education; follow up sessions; support and communication channels; as well as dealing with a culture of ‘optionality’ where previously people chose whether or not to adopt an agreed organisational approach.

If you are not getting traction from your investment in training and development you might want to take a look at the approach that’s being taken.  Our experience is that, while a spaced / ‘slow development’ approach such as we have taken with this client, takes a bit longer, it delivers more measurable and sustainable results – which is the whole point of the exercise and the real measure of success.


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