A few weeks in and the difficulty of transitioning between eating and drinking at any hour of your choosing and getting back into the headspace of work is over. We’re back on track.  For us, and others like us, January is the time when most coaching companies will bring on new clients, or experience an increase in enquiries.

Probably unsurprising, as the festive season is arguably the only time in the year where a period of reflection about your work life is possible.  For most of us, it represents a real holiday, genuine downtime away from work where our only commitments are to find yet another innovative use for leftover turkey, or plough our way through six months-worth of chocolate oranges.

We’ve undertaken a bit of research about why at this time of year, when traditionally we are all focussed on doing better, being better and challenging ourselves – whether that’s losing 10lbs or dedicating ourselves to new career goals – many of us will have talked a good game, but failed to fully commit.

In our experience, when offering coaching as part of leadership development plans, the take up rate is between 60 and 70%. Where it is a clear truth that while everyone should have a coach, coaching is not for everybody and focussing on where the most benefit will be, both to the individual and the organisation, is key. Like any investment, you want the best possible return for the lowest possible risk and targeting that investment is the best way of achieving it.  Expecting a 100% success rate from any venture isn’t a realistic goal, but getting 100% commitment and ultimately benefit, from those who do take part is absolutely achievable with the right programme.

Coaching is not a quick fix for particular personnel or HR issues, it is a programme of focussed and targeted development that aims to completely change company culture for the better.  By the individual for the greater good if you will.  There is no short-termism where coaching is concerned, and nor should there be, this is an expensive and time-consuming business which requires absolute dedication to deliver and implement effectively.

Before starting any programme of coaching, we need to look at some of the barriers to uptake and ensuring that the right staff are targeted to provide maximum impact for your investment.

Time

Coaching is indeed a lengthy commitment and while most of our programmes last 3 to 6 months, many can become a much longer term and even permanent part of an organisation’s development strategy.  Be prepared to commit the time needed to extract as much benefit as possible and ensure that momentum is maintained by regularly engaging with coachees and their journey.  Share their progress more widely within your organisation to effect grassroots change in attitudes toward the medium of coaching and its potential benefits.

Fear

There are many staff who simply don’t believe they need a coach. This can stem from any number of misconceptions or preconceived ideas but most are borne of fear.  Provide reassurance that this not a reaction to poor performance, indeed reinforce that coaching is most beneficial in entirely opposite cases. Those who are already performing well have many of the skills needed to fully engage and benefit from coaching, not only for themselves but for the wider organisation.

Cynicism

Coaching isn’t therapy.  No one is going to make you discuss your innermost secrets or leave you with fever dreams about turning up to exams in your underwear.  Challenge the misconceptions about what coaching is and where the coachee’s role within sits.

Ultimately, the goal with coaching is growth.  Not only in an abstract sense but in a business sense.  Expanding the leadership mind-set to everyone in every level of an organisation. We all learn by imitation and in teaching the teacher the best methods of arriving at those growth goals, everyone benefits.

We were pleasantly surprised by the take up of the digital coaching offer and from feedback discovered that there was an increased sense of safety working with their coach on-line, in addition to a greater level of flexibility in terms of time and place.

The group on-boarding call also helped to build commitment and motivation to get on line and give it a try. Feedback from the participants post programme is that the coaching emerges as the most valued part of the programme ..

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