ATD Blog

Before You Implement a Coaching Program

Friday, November 22, 2013

Coaching is a natural complement with training and can yield incredible results, as cited by the American Management Association: Training alone has been shown to result in, on average, a 22 percent improvement; once combined with coaching, training can result in an 88 percent improvement. As a result, training departments throughout the corporate world are implementing coaching programs. In fact, coaching is the second fastest-growing profession in the world, according to Psychology Today and other reports.

When an organization is faced with change, wants to expand its employees’ skill sets and productivity levels, or has an interest in expanding the talent pool, a coaching program makes sense.

Deciding to implement a coaching program includes consideration of the outcomes you want to achieve. Some possible outcomes include:

  • develop high-potential employees
  • support leaders
  • facilitate job transitions
  • motivate employees
  • increase employee engagement
  • enhance on-the-job training
  • increase skill levels
  • improve internal communications.

Consider also the possible candidates for participation in the program: Who are the potential coaches? Who will receive coaching? You will also want to consider the coaching abilities of those within the organization who will be tapped to serve as coaches, the existing skill levels of those receiving coaching, and the overall interest level in such a program. The average length of a coaching relationship is one year; but this could be scaled up and down according to the client’s needs and the coach’s level of commitment. A sound approach is to determine a minimum time commitment to the relationship, and then continue beyond that if there is a mutual agreement between the client and the coach, and continued benefits to the client.
Here are some more logistical questions that will arise during the planning phase:

  • How will coaches be matched with coachees?
  • What resources exist for coaches?
  • What resources exist for people receiving coaching?
  • What kind of training is appropriate to give internal coaches?

When the goals, target audience, and resources are defined, you can begin the planning process. A general process for designing a coaching program is outlined in the next post in this series.
Read more on coaching in Cathy’s prior blog post.

About the Author

Cathy Liska is the founder and CEO of the Center for Coaching Certification and the Center for Coaching Solutions. As the Guide from the Side, she is recognized among the best internationally in training, speaking, coaching, mediation, and consulting. Cathy has presented, trained, and facilitated thousands of events, workshops, certification courses, and organizational retreats, freely sharing from her 20 years of experience in business ownership and management. Cathy serves as a Certified Master Coach and certifies others to coach in her ICF-approved program. Cathy’s personal mission statement is “People.” Cathy is known for her passion in sharing the insight, experience, positive attitude, and information that empower others to achieve the results they desire;

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