For every hundred men hacking away at the branches of a diseased tree, only one will stop to inspect the roots, a Chinese proverb reads. To figure out the real cause of a performance issue, it is important to try and get to the origin of the problem.
The consequences of an underperforming individual, team or organisation are clear to see; from decreasing team morale to losing business and ultimately money. Thus, more and more organizations are leveraging the benefits of coaching to improve their employee’s performance and the company’s bottom line.
According to the International Coaching Federation (ICF), coaching is a thought-provoking and creative partnership that inspires individuals to maximize their personal and professional potential, often unlocking previously untapped sources of imagination, productivity and leadership.
A global coaching client study by the body revealed a 99% increase in satisfaction of organizations after receiving coaching.
An internal report of the Personnel Management Association showed that when training is combined with coaching, individuals increase their productivity by an average of 86% compared to 22% with training alone.
Today’s environment has created increased pressure to do more with less and the key to reducing pressure is to make the most of your most valuable resource.
Successful coaches in business as in sports are great influencers. They know how to bring out the best in others. They also know that it is an on-going process.
It is easy for organizations to focus on investing in its people when times are good. However, when tough times strike, the norm is that resources for talent and leadership development are often the first to be cut—often at the exact time when these offerings are actually most needed.
However, Coca-Cola HBC Russia is changing this narrative, as the case study below reveals.
The organization, which united all Coca-Cola operations in Russia in 2001 as a part of Coca-Cola HBC, franchised bottler of The Coca-Cola Company, is one of the largest companies in Russia’s non-alcoholic beverage industry. It employs more than 10,000 people and supports the jobs of up to 60,000 in its value chain. In December 2010, Coca-Cola HBC Russia implemented coaching to move the organization away from command-and-control management. What initially began as an initiative using solely external coaches has expanded to also include a growing cadre of highly trained internal coaching practitioners (called “Internal Certified Coaches,” or ICCs) and training for managers and leaders to use coaching skills.
The benefits of adopting a coaching culture at Coca-Cola HBC Russia have been felt throughout the organization. More than 90 percent of individuals who partner with International Coach Federation, report being very satisfied with the process and outcomes of coaching, while managers who use coaching skills with their teams report higher levels of trust and enhanced interpersonal relationships within their teams, increased innovation, and heightened employee engagement.
The organization’s value index, which shows whether employees know and practice organizational values, has been increasing year over year and is currently at 85–88 percent. Since 2013, employee engagement across the enterprise has increased by 26 percent.
In recognition of Coca-Cola HBC Russia’s exceptional and sustained use of coaching, the International Coach Federation (ICF) awarded it with an honorable mention in the 2016 ICF International Prism Award program. The Prism award program honors organizations that have achieved the highest standard of excellence in coaching programs that yield discernible and measurable positive impacts, fulfill rigorous professional standards, address key strategic goals, and shape organizational culture. (Learn more about Coachfederation.org/prism.)
Despite Russia’s continued economic downturn, Coca-Cola HBC Russia is increasing its investment in coaching. The reason for this continued investment is simple: As a modality, coaching has accomplished what no other leadership development modality could.
Three Lessons from the case-study:
The first lesson relates to the structure of the organization. It is such that coaching has strong support from leaders within the organization, and the organization applies coaching as a strategic tool in the transformation of its business.
A second lesson that can be learnt, is that coaching is integral to their workplace culture. All employees have access to coaching from a professional coach practitioner and coach skills training is a component of every employees on-boarding process. This helped increase creativity and improved overall satisfaction.
The third lesson is that coaching was applied to change management. The company turned to external coaches to help transform from a command-and-control management style. They saw coaching as a critical change manage management tool. A team of trained internal coaches supported affected teams and individuals through the transition. As a result, individuals reported lower-than-expected stress and higher than expected success.
In summary, organizational coaching programs can include: external coaching practitioners, internal coaching practitioners, managers/leaders using coaching skills or a combination of all three modalities. So, take note of the different forms and functions, and apply what can work best for your business. Also, keep in mind that coaching takes time. It involves real commitment and a desire to participate actively in the employee’s development.
In conclusion, the picture that we can form from the information above is that coaching is immensely beneficial to organizations, leadership and individuals alike. Investing time in engaging coaches and training leaders how to coach team members, has many advantages for employee engagement, happiness and productivity while increasing profitability and market growth.
So, is it time for you to develop your coaching potential?