What is a Coaching Culture?

Want to create a coaching culture and sustain high performance? We already know that investing time and effort in developing your employees helps retain good people and assists the organisation perform better. One of the effective ways of achieving this is to create a coaching culture within your business or organisation.

A coaching culture exists when all employees in the organisation engage in business coaching conversations with all colleagues, regardless of reporting structures, to improve the performance of any individual by coaching them to take action to overcome a business challenge with high commitment.


Creating a Coaching Culture in 5 Phases


1. Senior Level Buy-in

The steer has to come from the top. They set the rules, expectations, pace and tone to play by. Senior leaders have to be willing to commit time to becoming exceptional business coaches through executive coaching. For some this could be an enormous transition of leadership styles, transforming themseves from manager to coach.

Leaders and managers have to be seen engaging with their teams and others in 1 to 1 business coaching sessions.


2. Skilled, Trained Coaches

There is an abundance of coaching models available to use and it can be helpful for a business to select one to progress with. This will breed continuity in the 1 to 1 business coaching sessions. A coaching model gives you a framework to work within; it does not tell you how to coach but simply put, 'it gets you from A to B'.

To create a successful coaching culture you have to invest in getting your people trained to coach. To gain credibility for your business coaches, we recommend they gain a recognised business coaching qualification, which is why we're proud to offer ILM coaching.


3. Start Small

Ever heard of learning to walk before you run? Creating a coaching culture is the same in many ways. Build curiosity by each coach having two or three clients/coachees. Not only does this aid the time commitment and allows you to hone your coaching prowess, but also builds curiosity. Depending on the size of your organisation and how it prefers to communicate you could put a small notice on the company intranet site, pilot the programme with 5-10 business coaches, be selective who and when it's spoken about. Use this time to create case studies to use for the next phase.


4. Build Momentum

A true coaching culture has no boundaries; 1 to 1 business coaching can go up, down or across the organisation chart. Publicise the vision of what you're looking to achieve, celebrate the results, use case studies whilst maintaining confidentiality, set up coaching clinics, have the coaches assessed annually to maintain best practice etc. Generate new coaches, and take them through the ILM coaching course.


5. Embed and Maintain

"Told you it wouldn't last..." "I knew all along it was just a fad..."

Sound familiar? It goes back to phase one; as long as the buy-in is upheld by the senior leaders, executives and managers the coaching culture will continue. This could be as simple as senior managers periodically being coached by a direct report, attending the coaching clinics, publicising the effectiveness of individuals, teams and departments. Track data, calculate return on investment (ROI) and reward accordingly!


How Can We Help?

The Business Coaching Foundation has helped create coaching cultures in many businesses and organisations. We've been involved from inception, aiding the coaching culture strategy, delivering the skills to the aspiring business coaches, assisted them through their ILM coaching programme, supervised their initial 1 to 1 business coaching sessions, ran the coaching clinics and assessed the coaches on an annual basis. We also help evaluate the programme to ensure a sustainable and ongoing coaching culture.

For more information regarding business coaching and how we can assist you and your organisation, please use the links at the top of the page to navigate around the site, and to view details of our open courses such as the ILM Level 5 coaching course. Alternatively, contact us by telephone on 0844 800 3295 or send us an online contact form.