Setting up a Coaching Programme

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Different organisations require different coaching programmes and there is no one format that will work for everyone. Below are some key questions and thoughts that an organisation might consider when thinking about setting up a coaching programme.

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Who will be coached?

A good coaching programmes gives everyone in an organisation the opportunity to be coached and to work as a coach. It also develops an informal ‘corridor’ coaching approach where coaching conversations are an everyday norm just as much in informal settings as they are in more formal ones. Coaching should also not just be seen as something that only focusses on poor performance but as something which empowers everyone. 

Who will the coaches be?

Anyone in an organisation can be supported to develop coaching skills and to work with anyone else, regardless of their seniority or experience in a role. The only guiding factor is how good a coach the individual is, not their age, experience or role. 

What type of coaching will take place?

Good coaching programmes use a mixture of informal and formal coaching all of which is confidential, and which is complemented by the use of a coaching style by staff on a day to day basis. Coaching might be done on a one to one basis, or coach might work with a team. Peers might also coach each other. A popular coaching concept is the use of triads where 3 people work together as coach, coachee and observer, with roles being rotated. 

When will coaching take place?

Time needs to be allocated for formal coaching opportunities, as well as training for coaches, and this has a knock on cost but it’s important to recognise the benefits this investment brings. An organisation also needs to consider how they can develop a more informal everyday coaching approach as this can bring significant benefits with more limited investment.

Where will coaching take place?

The best coaching programmes make space available for confidential coaching meetings as well as encouraging corridor coaching anytime, anywhere. 

What training is required?

Organisations need to consider who will need training, along with how this will be topped up and developed over time so that a coaching programme is sustainable over time. 

How will coaching be supervised?

As coaching is often a confidential process it can be difficult to have a good overview of what is happening and to be sure that quality coaching is taking place. Supervision is a quality assurance process for anyone who is coaching others. It helps top up their training as well as helping an organisation oversee a coaching programme. Note supervision does not require confidences to be broken, nor is it the same as line management. 

Action Learning Sets can also be used to overview the work of coaches and to quality assess their work. 

What will a whole organisation coaching programme look like?

An organisation might use these points to reflect on their approach:

  • How will a coaching culture be embedded across the whole organisation?
  • What are the organisations goals and vision for coaching, along with the expected impact?
  • What are the barriers to coaching and how might they be overcome?
  • What models and systems might be used e.g. GROW model?
  • How can coaching be designed to be sustainable long term?
  • Who will lead and monitor the coaching programme?
  • How will the system be monitoring and evaluated?
  • What paperwork is required for the system to run efficiently?
  • What else is required for the system to run efficiently?
  • How will coaching be promoted to coaches and coachees in order to engage them in the process?

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