You are the leader of a growing company — whether you're a founder, an executive, a business owner, or maybe an HR Professional. Like Tobi from Shopify, or Alex from Reddit, you've already experienced coaching and what it can do. You don't need an article to tell you the benefits of coaching.
Now, you're looking to extend coaching to your the rest of your team. You're thinking something along the lines of: How can I give my team this invaluable resource that has helped me so much?
Here is a list of considerations before you dive in:
1. Get Your Team Bought In By Sharing Your Personal Experience.
If you're investing in a coaching program, it's important for your team to hear directly from you.
Share why you decided to invest in a coach, what it's done for you and why you want to extend this to the team.
A few years ago I was working at a growing technology company, when our CEO started working with an executive coach. By sharing his experience with me, it not only made me want to work with a coach, it also made me value and appreciate his support in my personal growth. It helped me value the companies investment in me as a human being and as a leader.
At Sphere, we start teams off with a kick-off. This helps people new to coaching understand what it is (and what it isn't). On top of, answering any questions, we share our personal experiences with coaching because this generally gets people excited & bought in. It helps people understand and appreciate its value. Coaching only works when people show up and commit to doing the work. This sets the stage with both excitement and expectations.
2. Let Your Team Choose Their Own Coach.
People mismatch with coaches for a variety of reasons. One reason? They are not given a choice in who they work with.
The single factor most vital to successful outcomes in coaching is the quality of the relationship between coach and client.
Because you love your coach you'll naturally want to introduce them to your team. But your coach is not necessarily the best fit for everyone. People are different. You may love working with a coach that is incredibly direct and challenging. Someone else may respond better to someone who is more collaborative and gentle.
If you want your people to grow, let them decide who they'll get to work with.
3. Get Your Team to Talk to a Handful of Coaches
Encourage your team to get the client-to-coach relationship right from the start.
People also mismatch with a coach because they don't take time at the beginning to make sure their coach is right for them.
Give your team a short-list of coaches; a selection of vetted & experienced professionals. There are a lot of coaches out there and it's important to make sure they are legit and have a track-record of success.
Once you're done short-listing, encourage your team to talk to two or three coaches before committing to one. Every coach is different, so having conversations with a few people will give each individual an opportunity to understand what style and approach feels best for them. Nearly every coach offers a free initial consultation (and on Sphere 100% of our coaches do).
4. Extend Coaching Beyond Your C-Suite.
Typically, we see companies start off with a select group of people. And this usually means coaching is reserved for the C-Suite.
But, there are serious benefits to scale beyond your immediate leadership team. Don't make coaching exclusive and elitist. It doesn't have to be reserved for senior management only.
"Coaching isn't remedial, nor should it be served for executives. Raising one's self-awareness and having an accountability loop can be of benefit to anyone." - Rebecca Stutley
Offering coaching to teams across all levels of your organization has advantages beyond leadership development, career development and employee engagement There is also a wellbeing ingredient.
The modern workplace is changing. Careers are becoming less linear. Today's organizations are feeling more flat. People want to know you care about their growth & professional development. They also want to know you care about their wellbeing.
As a leader, you've likely only experienced executive coaching — or a mix of business coaching and leadership coaching. But there are other coaching verticals and specializations; career coaches, wellbeing coaches, life coaches and relationship coaches. These coaches can help your people navigate different challenges than you. But the core coaching principle is the same: by leaning into the powerful work of coaching they'll be able to get past challenges and show up better at work and in life.
Coaches have helped individuals out their career path. They've helped new mom's transition more smoothly back to work. They've helped people figure out their personal relationships. Coaching has helped people handle daily tensions and tough conversations that they would have otherwise avoided.
Personal lives often impact our work. Coaching can help support.
Investing in only your senior staff shows a commitment to their growth and the success of your organization. However, if you are only investing in your executives and senior leaders, you are sending a strong message to the rest of your team.That message tells them they aren't as important. Your team wants to know they are just as valuable as the person above, below and beside them. By providing coaching across the entire organization, you are demonstrating the value you place on investing in the personal development of everyone.
I admittedly have been jealous every time I've worked at a company that offers coaching solely to their C-level executives; what about the rest of us? I need guidance, too! - Juliana Casale
Coaching exclusively for executives creates an 'us-versus-them' mentality; An old-school, top-down, management-vs-employee approach. Create a workplace where access to coaching is no longer accessed by a privileged few, but a resource that your entire team can benefit from.
5. The Cost.
Coaching is known to be a high-ticket item.
In general, the sentiment is that company-wide coaching programs are far too expensive to administer and scale. Not only do you have to consider the up-front cost, there are often hidden administrative headache. Mainly, your People & Culture Team has to implement and track all of it. Which can be incredibly time-intensive and challenging.
And what if you're an organization with 18,000+ employees? You'll need a coaching program that can serve the masses.
With the right solution, coaching doesn't have to be expensive or cause an administrative burden. We created Sphere for Teams, the most agile, accessible and affordable option for high-potential teams no matter their size, or how quickly they are growing.
If you're a people-first company that wants to provide a well-rounded, agile & affordable coaching program, check out Sphere for Teams. Or sign up for an unlimited trial and book your initial sessions for free.