July 01, 2019

How to Build a Culture of Coaching


Does your organization have a strong coaching culture?

We define a culture of coaching as an organization where coaching— both for development and for performance improvement—is an essential part of the company’s DNA. This foundation enables superior business results, a vibrant learning environment, and high levels of engagement.

Many HR leaders come to us because they understand that developing managers into outstanding coaches is essential to attracting, engaging, and developing top talent. However, their organizations are not always receptive. Often their peers view coaching as a suspect practice that adds more time and energy requirements to their direct reports’ already packed workloads.

Our experience indicates the following practical steps get very good results:

  1. Build a strong case for coaching from the top down (including the CEO) that reinforces the link between having the right talent and succeeding in business.
  2. Link the company’s vision and mission to the need for each employee to continually develop and grow his/her skills.
  3. Put a superior coaching program in place as you develop a comprehensive talent management or people strategy.
  4. Expose internal influencers to top-notch coaching and leadership development techniques. Have them spread the word.
  5. Define coaching as a critical responsibility of all managers and potentially all employees. Set the expectation that willingness to be coached is a critical job responsibility of all employees.
  6. Provide all team leaders with expert instruction on how to coach for performance and for development.
  7. Recognize that people don’t become great coaches without ongoing instruction, practice, and resources. Make sure your program has the optimal amount of support and touch points.
  8. Consider an internal coaching certification program to develop master coaches to serve as resources and role models.
  9. Recognize and reward those who do the best job of developing talent within the organization. Ask yourself, do we really know who on our team develops the best employees?
  10. Have an agreed-upon measure of success to evaluate and, if necessary, tweak the program. Include hard business results in addition to qualitative measures.

Want to learn more? Download our Culture of Coaching e-book


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