Why provide coaching? Or indeed any programme of staff development. If we are being mercenary about it, Leadership Programmes are a great way to prove to shareholders that you always have a beady eye on growth. They can highlight to your existing staff and to potential new hires that you value them and provide them with programmes that enhance their personal development. Helping you to attract and retain the best talent.
While these are happy by-products, the main reasons organisations pour money into such projects, or should, are for the more tangible benefits they provide. From creating clear succession plans, to allowing staff the space to grow and reflect on their skills and learning and, forgive us for talking dirty, to increase profit and productivity. At the end of the day, at least one of those is the main reason any organisation exists.
All the leadership training in the world won’t work if that programme isn’t an integral part of the day to day culture of the workplace. Application is everything. Learning about good leadership, personal development and change management in an external environment may well be a positive experience. But unless all that new-found knowledge is harnessed for real-work situations, the likelihood is that in the cut and thrust of the day to day, old habits will die hard.
Without the support of a coach, leadership programmes can become exercises in static, classroom learning. Certainly useful, but not pushing the individuals concerned to identify, question and alter behaviours that are holding them and the business, back.
We’ve been working with a leading west end theatre organisation and their belief in coaching is such that isn’t just about our services, but works in conjunction with them. They’ve created a strong culture centred on coaching as an central part of the development of staff in leadership roles, and for those earmarked for similar roles in the future.
Coaching plays a fundamental role in developing leaders at the Ambassador Theatre Group. We have a pool of internal coaches who support participants on ‘Rising Stars’ (a two year programme for emerging leaders). We have found that by giving talented people at the beginning of their leadership journey, the time, space and opportunity to talk through challenges and find answers for themselves, really succeeds in accelerating development and growing confidence. 94% of programme graduates have been promoted, some multiple times.
In 2017 we launched ‘Leading Lights’, a leadership development programme for senior leaders at ATG. The programme has two residential weeks of learning, including up-to-date leadership theory, interactive workshops, inspirational guest speakers and a course of coaching sessions with an external executive coach. As well as having access to some of the world’s leading coaches as facilitators (Dr John Blakey, Dr Carole Pemberton and John Leary-Joyce), participants also learn advanced coach skills.
We have seen real business results from those leaders that have participated in our in-house programmes. Improvements in the financial performance of their area of the business, and higher levels of engagement from their teams have been evidenced, building a strong business case for ongoing investment.’
So not only have their coaching programmes produced hard evidence as to the personal and professional benefits, they also prove their worth in financial terms too. Interesting that the programmes now include the participants learning coaching, so that their interactions with other staff are driven by new found knowledge and a skill set that will feed down to all aspects of the organisation. A top down approach, creating a solid culture of coaching that can only benefit everyone involved. Top marks too for some of the best punning programme names in the business.
If would like to learn how Know You More can support your development programmes with digital coaching (including leadership, graduate, apprenticeship, maternity, entrepreneurship and returners) you can contact us via:
Email: connect @ knowyoumore.com Tel: +44 (0)131 618 6084