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5 Ways To Enhance Coaching Culture

Organisations that do not see the benefits of a coaching culture are increasingly being left behind in both talent retention and overall performance.

In this blog, we share five ways to enhance the coaching culture within the organisation.

Why Implement a Coaching Culture?

According to research by the International Coaching Federation, having a coaching culture:

  • Increases employee engagement - 65% of employees report being highly engaged)

  • Improves financial performance - 60% of organisations reported performance above average compared to peers

  • Enables organisations to be agile, resilient, diverse, and future-proofed.

A coaching culture improves both capacity and capability.

Our Top Five Ways To Enhance Coaching Culture

Once we have begun implementing a coaching culture, what do we need to do to keep moving forward? Here are five ways to enhance the coaching culture within the organisation.

Know Where You Are and How To Take the Next Step

These stages of a coaching culture by Peter Hawkins are intended as a guide to help identify our current position and give direction to our next steps in the process:

They are:

  • Step 1: Develop external coaching provision

  • Step 2: Develop internal coaching provision

  • Step 3: Leaders support coaching ideas in the organisation

  • Step 4: The organisation develops team coaching and identifies how the organisation and teams learn together (the learning culture)

  • Step 5: Coaching is embedded in performance processes, leadership style expectations, metrics and impact evaluations

  • Step 6: Coaching becomes the dominant leadership style

  • Step 7: Coaching becomes how the organisation interacts with all stakeholders

Where is the organisation currently? Which steps need more attention? What needs to happen to be able to move to the next step?


Who needs to be on board? What is stopping the organisation from moving to the next step? How will you measure your progress?

Aim for Mastery

We often expect employees to have excellent technical skills in their area of expertise, but we also need to expect high levels of leadership and coaching expertise.

Coaching is only as good as the investment in coaching development. This may not only be money but time, focus, and priority setting.


The journey to becoming an expert leader using a coaching style requires deliberate practice with a passion and joy to develop the required personal insights and challenges.

This article in the Guardian newspaper explores the ideas of deliberate practice and that practice in itself may not lead to improvement. The quality of that practice matters.

Psychologist Ralf Krampe says, “Do I believe that practice is everything and that the number of hours alone determine the level reached? No, I don’t,” he said, adding that the quality of practice, teachers and parental support all matter too. “But I still consider deliberate practice to be by far the most important factor.”

How are you taking your leaders through their coaching journey to increase their expertise and become experts? How are leaders deliberately practising their skills? What is the quality of that practice, and how good are the mentors, coaches and facilitators supporting your leaders?

Implement Coaching Supervision

As we explore five ways to enhance coaching culture within the organisation, introducing formal supervision sessions for leaders will, as Peter Hawkins states, “attend to improving the quality of their coaching, grow their coaching capacity and support themselves and their practice.”

A leader receiving coaching supervision from expert supervising coaches is possibly the best investment an organisation will ever make in developing a coaching culture.

This article from Coach Mentoring points out that supervision builds internal coaching, supports coaching practice, enhances organisational learning, assures coaching standards, and builds credibility.

Publish Evaluation Metrics

It is worth considering the questions and measures the organisation will use to assess and evaluate the impact of its coaching culture. In terms of the impact that a coaching culture is having across the organisation, including retention, engagement, productivity, talent growth, and performance, how will you know?

When assessing our coaching culture, it is worth remembering that there are three types of assessment:

  • Summative - How do we measure up against the criteria?

  • Formative - What do we need to do to improve?

  • Diagnostic - Where are the misunderstanding and misconceptions?

Be clear which type of assessment the organisation is conducting at any one time. It is important not to mix summative and formative at the same time.

When points for improvement and scores against criteria are published simultaneously, the points for improvement are ignored.

Publish your evaluations to celebrate success and focus on the next steps.

Focus on the Right Audience

The Diffusion of Innovation Theory looks at how ideas spread amongst groups of people. This article by the University of Oklahoma explains it in more detail and references Rogers (1971) research into the theory.

This theory classifies people in response to new ideas as innovators (2.5%), early adopters (13.5%), early majority (34%), late majority (34%) and laggards (16%).

Rather than looking to see everyone move forward together at the same time in the organisation, consider identifying the innovators and early adopters first, that make up 16% of the organisation, and then identify the early majority quickly afterwards, making a total of 50% of the organisation engaged with a coaching culture.

It is imperative to build momentum. Imagine pushing a large boulder; at first, there is very little movement for a great deal of effort, but as the boulder begins to move, it reaches a point where for far less effort, there is a far more significant amount of movement.

Create momentum by focusing on the right audience, namely, your innovators and early adopters.

Summary

As we have considered five ways to enhance coaching culture within the organisation, we have focused on knowing where the organisation is in the process, aiming for mastery, implementing coaching supervision, publishing evaluation metrics, and focusing on the right audience.

If you are at the beginning of your coaching culture journey, it is worth reading our blogs, “Creating a Coaching Culture: Getting Started” and “The Importance of Developing a Coaching Culture”.

Contact Us Today

Book a free consultation by calling us today if you want to find out how our expert coaching services can support creating an outstanding coaching culture.


Written by Leadership Coach Ian.


Sources

Building a Coaching Culture Report, ICF

Stages of implementing a coaching culture, Peter Hawkins

Practice does not always make perfect, The Guardian Newspaper

Benefits of Coaching Supervision, Coach Mentoring

Theories, “The Diffusion of Innovation Theory”, University of Oklahoma

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