Top Ten Tips for... Creating a Coaching Culture

It’s amazing what people can achieve if they feel motivated, valued and inspired. The best way to harness your employee’s ambition and sense of purpose is to coach them to help them achieve their goals. This could be linked to a particular project, a way of developing personal skills or enhancing performance across the business. Check out our Top Ten Tips for how to create a coaching culture in your workplace. Here are 10 ways you can create a coaching culture in your workplace.

  1. Focus on what you want to achieve

Don’t jump in head first – think about why you want to coach your team in the first place. Understanding what you want to achieve will fuel your motivation and keep you on track.

  1. Understand the current climate in your workplace

You need to understand how you currently facilitate learning, mentoring and development in your workplace to recognise what your future goals could be. For example, do you want to change a cut-throat, competitive atmosphere in your workplace to one based on encouragement and team work instead? Or do you want to help retain talented trainees and apprentices, rather than see them leave for opportunities elsewhere?

  1. Think about how coaching will be managed

Start with the basics and ensure there is an infrastructure in place to support coaching within your organisation.  Think about how it will be managed and integrated so it’s considered business as usual. You could set up a Colleague Coaching Forum or designate a Coaching Champion for key areas of your business.

  1. Employ senior staff who are passionate about coaching

We’ve all had inspiring teachers and mentors who have made a lasting impression on us. Employing people who are passionate about helping their colleagues succeed is essential if you want to embed a coaching culture into your business. Check they have a reputable coaching qualification and experience during the interview process.

  1. Recruit external coaches

If you don’t already have colleagues with the coaching skills required, you could consider hiring an external partner. They need to be experienced and accredited but also have the right outlook and ethos to fit in with your existing team. This could be costly but also an incentive when recruiting new people.

  1. Make it work for the business as well as the individual

Coaching individuals can have a massive impact on their effectiveness, skills and confidence. But it can also benefit your business too if you ensure coaching is linked to your organisational strategy, values and practices. You should align a coaching culture with learning and development across the organisation. For example, you could include modules about coaching in leadership programmes or include in PDR’s.

  1. Develop the right mind-set

Encourage colleagues at all levels to be self-aware and insightful about what they want to achieve and what new skills they potentially need to learn to do so. Support colleagues to identify when they need coaching in a certain area so they can develop. People will perform best when they are engaged with challenges and issues and are involved in deciding how to solve them – rather than being dictated to.

  1. Reward your coaches

Mentoring your colleagues and inspiring them to be the best they can be really rewarding. But don’t forget to reward people for knowledge-sharing and for taking an active role in the learning and development of your team. This will ensure they feel they are appreciated for investing their time and energy into coaching.

  1. Engage with colleagues

By having regular one-to-ones or reviews you can glean useful information from your employees about what they want to achieve and how you as an employer can facilitate this. Rather than seeing a gap in someone’s skill set as a weakness, champion their efforts to improve. For example, could you provide opportunities for them to attend a training course, to work shadow a more experienced colleague or allow time out to attend networking events?

  1.  Coach teams as well as individuals

When developing your coaching strategy it’s important to think about how you will mentor teams or departments, as well as individuals. Individual development will not necessarily change the culture of your organisation. Building on collective relationships and boosting team spirit will help your employees enjoy the mentoring process.

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