​A coaching culture is designed to provide employees with training, feedback and opportunities for growth on a daily basis, as organisations recognise that individuals who are given development opportunities feel valued, increasing their motivation levels and improving relationships between teams and departments as everyone is more engaged, energised and enthusiastic.

Changing the way people work together, a coaching culture enhances an individual’s potential and is the key to effective collaboration, engagement and performance within an organisation.

​Create a Supportive Environment

"Create a culture where people coach each other all the time as a natural part of meetings, reviews and one to one discussions of all kinds. - Professor David Clutterbuck"

Create an organisational environment which supports coachee’s in their efforts to learn new skills, recognising that their individual development makes them greater assets to the business as they help build a high-performance culture, focused on team development.

Start at the Top

The behaviour and actions of leaders have a strong influence on the behaviour and performance of employees, which is why it’s recommended that they act as role models, practicing what they preach, by engaging in coaching and learning opportunities, sharing their experiences, implementing training and giving regular feedback to create a more engaged workforce.

Encourage Coaching Conversations

The most effective coaching conversations flow in all directions as managers, employees and peers encourage individuals to learn from their experiences by asking open-ended questions and prompting coaching as an opportunity for exploration and growth rather than a means of remedial intervention.



​Build a Learn/Do Culture

Establish a learn/do culture within the organisation, nurturing the development of critical thinking and encouraging challenges to existing processes in the hope of inspiring innovation as employees receive on-the-job training from experienced co-workers.

To help entice employees to actively participate in the development of this culture offer formal rewards for individuals who interact with available learning opportunities.

Ask Questions

Rather than simply telling people what to do and how to do it, ask open ended questions that show you value their input, empowering them to make decisions and present meaningful solutions that help them move past their current situation and achieve their goals.

Who Delivers Coaching in Organisations?

Coaching may be delivered by members of staff or by external coaches. The findings from our learning and skills at work surveys illustrate that line managers are most likely to take the main responsibility for delivering coaching.

Effectiveness of line managers as coaches

Typically, organisations apply coaching as a day-to-day management activity, embedded into one-to-one meetings and performance conversations. An issue that is often raised is how effectively managers can coach their own staff, given the power relationship and the need for some distance and impartiality in the coaching relationship.



​Coaching supervision and support

Coaching can be a challenging activity for both internal and external coaches. Those involved in coaching need structured opportunities to reflect on their practice, either in one-to-one or group sessions. Such opportunities can provide support and help coaches continuously to develop their skills, while they can also act as an important quality assurance activity for organisations and a source of organisational learning about issues addressed in coaching sessions.

Where a combination of coaching responsibilities exists, it can be helpful if internal and external coaches share supervision arrangements and have opportunities to discuss coaching generally. This enables external coaches to attain a better understanding of the organisation and to share their perspectives on what is happening within the organisation.

It’s also important to establish guidelines on confidentiality and information flow in the implementation phase to develop trust between the individual and coach as well as other stakeholders, for example, managers and/or the HR function.

When is Coaching the best development method?

It’s important to consider how coaching is linked with overall learning and development strategies. Respondents to our Learning and skills at work survey say that coaching is one of the most effective approaches, as are ’in house development programmes’ which usually include a large coaching element.

However, coaching is just one of a range of interventions that organisations can use to meet identified learning and development needs. Employee preferences also play a part. There is a danger that coaching can be seen as a solution for all kinds of development needs, whereas it must only be used when it is clearly seen as the best way of helping an individual learn and develop.

Some examples of situations where coaching is a suitable development tool include:

  • Helping competent technical experts develop better interpersonal skills
  • Supporting an individual's potential and providing career support
  • Developing a more strategic perspective after a promotion to a more senior role
  • Handling conflict situations so that they are resolved effectively
  • Dealing with the impact of change on an individual's role

It's also important to remember that sometimes individuals may not respond well to coaching. This may be because their developmental needs are best dealt with by another type of intervention. For example, coaching may not be an appropriate intervention if the individual is resistant to coaching or lacks self-insight.

Before coaching starts, organisations need to assess an individual's "readiness" for this approach. This highlights the importance of the coachee's motivation to achieve the desired outcome.

​The Benefits

Coaching can be employed because of an organisational restructure, the introduction of a new system, a new skill is required, or expectations aren’t being met, and while it can be an excellent corrective tool, for organisations its benefits extend far beyond this. Once established as an effective intervention tool, the benefits for both individuals and organisation are far reaching.

Individual Benefits

Encouraging employees to take responsibility for their own development, through the establishment of goals, coaching enables individuals to identify positive solutions for work-related problems, overcome obstacles and achieve results, building their confidence and encouraging self-reliance, as well as developing their communication skills and improving relationships with both their managers and peers.

In fact, research revealed that 80% of individuals who received coaching reported increased self-confidence, while 70% reported improved performance, better working relationships and enhanced communication skills.



Organisational Benefits

Enabling organisations to grow and nurture, coaching encourages positive change as it requires a commitment to the development of individual employees, and an investment in a climate where everyone feels valued, empowered and motivated to succeed.

Developing an individual’s talent, skills and potential through increased learning and knowledge, coaching leads to higher performance and productivity, reducing staff turnover and saving the organisation money on recruitment, as it retains top-talent by encouraging progression and promotion from within.

Written by
CIPD Asia