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How to build a coaching culture: five key steps to benefit your career and workplace
As we continue to adapt to new ways of working, there’s a need for organisations to find ways to keep people connected.
This connection is essential for maintaining a positive workplace culture, productivity, and wellbeing as many of us continue to work from home during the pandemic. Coaching is often an overlooked (and low-cost) strategy when it comes to connecting people not only with each other, but also reconnecting them with themselves and the culture of their workplaces.
What does coaching look like in the workplace?
When people think about coaching, the first thing that often comes to mind is a sports coach drilling players on the field. When we refer to coaching from a workplace perspective, it is simply a way to engage in conversations that raises self-awareness and develops others. Coaching is a critical skill for modern-day people leaders. However, it is not only something that is used by managers or leaders – anyone in your workplace can be a coach.
Benefits of coaching
Business leaders are currently looking at strategies like coaching to reconnect people to the purpose, values and (ultimately) the workplace culture of their organisations. This is a concern that many of people have as they set about designing what the post-pandemic workplace will look like for their people and organisations.
Coaching can be particularly effective when it comes to building connections that result in higher levels of trust, respect and engagement – all the key ingredients that are required to maintain a healthy and positive workplace culture.
Some of the benefits reported by organisations who actively build and embed a coaching culture are:
Improvements in individual and organisational level communication
Increased levels of engagement and retention as people enjoy working in environments that support their growth and development
Improved management and leadership capabilities
Positive changes in attitude and motivation towards work
Reduction in workplace grievances, conflicts and complaints
Higher levels of energy and productivity that has a positive impact on wellbeing and performance
How to build a coaching culture: Five key steps
Step 1: Assess your current culture.
There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to building a coaching culture. By undertaking an assessment of your current culture, you will be best placed to identify all the elements of your workplace culture that may either help or hinder your efforts to build a coaching culture in your organisation.
Step 2: Get buy-in from senior leadership.
Leaders play a key role in designing, implementing, and maintaining culture change initiatives through their actions that help to reinforce the culture it is you want to build. If you have decided to build a coaching culture, seeking commitment from your senior leaders that they are invested in taking the necessary action to support the implementation of a coaching culture will be critical to success.
Step 3: Develop a coaching framework.
This will reflect the strategy and planning around how you will set out to implement a coaching culture. It will reflect the ‘why’ and ‘how’ you will go about introducing and ultimately maintaining a coaching culture, including key performance measures.
Step 4: Consider a mentoring program or other learning options.
A mentoring program is a great way to ensure coaching is embraced in your organisation, as both mentors and mentees experience the direct benefits of coaching. Other learning options, for example many that are available open-source on platforms like Linkedin learning can be effective in building coaching skills and capability across your organisation.
Step 5: Promote the benefits of a coaching culture.
This is about reinforcing the benefits of coaching, by sharing stories of those who have had a positive experience or directly benefited from their experience with coaching. This creates engagement and excitement around coaching – eventually making it a self-sustaining element of your workplace culture.
Are you looking to build a coaching culture? Download Humanify HR Consulting’s A Guide: How to Build a Coaching Culture. The guide includes a complementary tool to help approach coaching conversations in the workplace using the ‘push/pull’ model.
About the author
As Founder and Managing Director of Humanify HR Consulting, Sarah has a mission to make work more human. She is a lawyer, coach and senior HR business leader who has a unique understanding of how organisations work, from her experience in both the private and public sector. Sarah believes that great human resources practice can transform organisations to make them more productive and significantly improve the lives of people, to benefit the communities we all live and work in.