Updated: Nov 13, 2019
PART 8: COACHING CULTURE SERIES
As we wrap up the Coaching Culture Series, I am going to share with you examples of what some organisations have implemented towards fully utilising coaching as a powerful resource within their organisations.
One of these examples is a case study developed by the International Coach Federation (ICF) to highlight last year’s ICF’s International Prism Award winner. I’ll also share some examples from my own clients. My hope is that it will inspire you to take the plunge and fully utilise the power of coaching in your organisation!
International Prism Award
The International Prism Award is a programme that honours organisations that have achieved the highest standard of excellence in coaching programmes that yield discernible and measurable positives impacts, fulfil rigorous professional standards, address key strategic goals, and shape organisational culture. You can see more details of this in the following example.
National HR Division of Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) – winner of the 2018 ICF International Prism Award
HSE's HR Division supports more than 120,000 employees to manage the provision of healthcare to Ireland. One of the questions HSE asked themselves was: How can you encourage people to become creative in a sometimes-non-creative work environment, such as healthcare? HSE introduced coaching in 2011 and set out on a journey to improve patient experiences through stretching and pushing employees to unlock their potential and use creativity and intelligence to solve problems. Here are some of the things they have done to effectively implement coaching:
HSE developed a governance model for regulating and guiding coaching. The model includes coaching policy, strategy documents, application forms, agreements, process flows, coach-specific training hours, continuing professional development sessions, mentor coaching, coaching supervision, evaluations and ICF Membership.
All HSE coaches are required to complete accredited coach-specific training, and HSE delivers its own ICF-accredited training for internal coach practitioners.
HSE maintains rigorous ethical standards. They make sure no coaching client is paired up with a coach in the same role. For example, a nurse who seeks coaching would not be paired with a nurse who is a coach.
All employees have access to professional coaching, and they’re encouraged to consider the service at critical moments for their team or organisation (e.g., a change management initiative), as well as to sharpen their own personal and professional competencies (e.g., moving forward and getting “unstuck,” conflict management, managing people or teams, pursuing work/life balance, and managing stress).
Leaders are using a coach approach in meetings, briefings and strategy sessions. Coaching is supported from “hire to retire” at a senior level.
HSE has invested in a “Leadership Academy,” where they look at and consider what skills and patterns they’d like to see in their employees and use coaching from start to finish within the academy.
Because of HSE’s strict standards, other organisations in Ireland are looking at them as a model and resource for building a strong coaching culture.
Their HR strategy has helped lead over 8,200 employees to transformational coaching.
Since coaching was implemented at HSE, employees’ use of sick leave has significantly decreased.
Two-thirds of staff members agree that coaching has enhanced teamwork, and front-line employees (i.e., individuals who deliver patient care) say coaching has left them more prepared to address stressful situations—a critical impact in the healthcare world.
Patient mortality rates have decreased since coaching was implemented, demonstrating the literal capacity of HSE’s strong coaching culture to save lives.
Looking to the future, HSE hopes to continue to tailor their coaching practices to meet the needs of the employees while supporting and offering robust professional development opportunities for their cadre of coaches.
HSE’s National HR Director, Rosario Mannion said:
“Investment in coaching is a key component of our leadership strategy, generating significant benefits for our staff. This, in turn, translates to a better experience for our public and patients”.
Additional Prism Case Studies can be found on the ICF website.
Our own client stories
One of our clients is a leading global telecommunications company. We have helped them further develop their coaching culture based on an initiative they first embarked upon many years ago. The main areas of focus have been:
Accredited coach-specific training: Through simplifying the design, coach training is much more accessible and practical for internal coaches to undertake alongside their busy roles. We made the training highly cost-effective, enabling them to offer the training to a wider audience than previously expected.
Support for internal coaches: Refreshing their intranet system to allow internal coachees to have easier access to coaching from trained coaches. Supporting internal coaches in developing a coaching “pitch” so that they feel more confident in engaging with coachees.
Our client has been delighted with the results of our work stating: “Developing internal coaching capability is important for an organisation as it promotes a culture where employees and leaders feel empowered to take accountability for their own decisions, thinking for themselves and encouraging others to do the same. By developing the coaching capability in-house there are long-term significant savings compared to the cost of using external coaching suppliers. I’ve seen coaches grow in stature and confidence and be highly motivated to complete their programmes. I have no hesitation in fully recommending Tracy Sinclair Ltd.”
Networking systems, services and software
This client is driven in pursuit of innovation, enabling their clients to flex and adapt within continuously changing circumstances. They have invested in developing internal coaching capability in order to support their goals.
One participant stated:
“The coach-specific training has stretched and developed my coaching skills and has built my confidence to be a great coach!”
We have supported this organisation to grow and develop their community of internal coaches providing services across the globe. Here’s what some of them have to say:
“A fantastic and comprehensive introduction to coaching that really empowers professionals or those looking to pursue coaching as a core component of their work”.
“In just three days, I have grown from ignorance to conscience competence”.
Another client is seeking to utilise coaching as an integral part of enabling, supporting and developing their community. Speaking of the coach-specific training, he says: “The programme offers a perfect combination of theory, practice, feedback and refection. It has been transformational—personally and professionally.”
Working closely with a school introducing coaching in many ways and on many levels:
Coaching skills “mini-sessions” for Academic Tutors
Coaching skills “mini-sessions” for teaching and pastoral staff INSET (development) days
Coach-specific training for Heads of Year and Heads of Department
Supporting fully trained internal coach towards ICF qualification.
Study Buddy – teaching coaching skills to senior students as part of their volunteer work as buddies to younger pupils.
Coaching skills 3-part mini-series for parents
Here’s what some of them have to say:
"I thought it was fantastic. The most useful inset day I can remember in 20 years. The focus on practise allowing a feeling of progression was really useful".
"When people come to me for help, I'll be more careful in the style of questions I pose, and I'll really try to empower them rather than solve their problems".
Part of our ongoing success with our clients is that we also offer complimentary quarterly coaching clinics, where external and internal coaches can come together for support and continuous professional development.
Across this series, we have looked at defining coaching culture, key principles and first steps, approaches and strategies, measurement, sustainability, models of excellence and now case studies of some organisations that have successfully integrated coaching into their culture as a valuable strategic resource. As I bring this series to a close, I would like to leave you with a couple of thoughts. One is that “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and the other is incrementalism. Albert Einstein said that “compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it, he who doesn’t, pays it”. I think that both of these quotes are useful when considering utilising coaching more broadly as a resource in your organisation. With a commitment to strategy, a clear plan and a consistent step-by-step approach, the ripple effect of coaching could be transformational to your organisation on many levels!
If you are ready to increase your organisation’s performance, we invite you to schedule a consultation to see how we can help you bring your coaching culture aspirations into reality. We want to help you clarify your goals, develop a personalised strategy and implement that strategy to see results.
If you’re still not quite ready to take the leap, we invite you to sign up for our Coaching on the Inside monthly e-newsletter by entering your e-mail in the footer on this page. Be sure to check “Interested In: Organisational Coaching”.
Tracy Sinclair has more than 20 years' experience in leadership development, and she currently works with managers and leaders to develop their coaching capability as a core leadership competence. Tracy also specialises in working with a wide range of organisations to support the development of coaching cultures.
A Professional Certified Coach (PCC), Tracy is dedicated to the development of the coaching profession and the coaching community. She works as an international Corporate Executive and Board Level Coach, and she has served on the International Coach Federation Global Board of Directors since 2016, in a variety of positions including Treasurer, Global Chair and currently as Immediate Past Chair.