Learn about the coaching culture at Salesforce in this Q&A with Coaching Program Manager Taylor Keller and Global Leadership Coaching & Mentoring Centers of Excellence Lead Grace Brelje, ACC.
Salesforce creates and manages cloud-based software designed to help businesses connect with their customers and grow relationships.
Please describe your internal coaching culture.
We have over 340 internal coaches worldwide. Our program is on a cycle basis and includes two cycles that each last three to four months of the fiscal year. We market internal coaching on our general talent experience website and partner with our people development team to incorporate coaching into an employee’s pathway in their leadership journey. We focus closely on how to weave internal coaching into the transition points in the employee’s career.
Our coaches come from all areas of our business and across different regions. We utilize an internal coach training cohort and we onboard coaches that already have a professional coaching background which includes 60+ hours of training. Coaches utilize an accredited provider and they all have the ACC credential.
What is a challenge you’ve overcome in developing your coaching culture?
We focus on debunking the potential negative association that sometimes comes with coaching as a means of performance management. We work to change the perception of what coaching is and what it means. We can see the change as employees seek out coaching to support them at work vs. negatively associating this support to their performance. We also create more awareness by sharing positive experiences about coaching through the Coaching Center of Excellence which aligns with the ICF definitions.
What is a success you’ve encountered in developing your practice?
We launched a pilot program a few years ago, training leaders to become internal coaches and now we run an internal coaching service twice a year. We find it is scalable with our external coaching partners and now it is a premier coaching option for employees. It’s been interesting to see the level of leaders who want to become internal coaches, for example folks working towards their next chapter after and during their career at salesforce as a passion project. We found employees had stronger scores around connection and engagement with the company when they worked with an internal coach compared to those who did not.
As we develop a coaching culture at our company, 1 in 5 leaders have worked with a coach at Salesforce. We are currently building a foundation to provide wellbeing coaching as a benefit to all employees.
How do you handle privacy between your coaches and staff?
The privacy between our employees and coaches is one of our priorities and we utilize a coaching confidentiality agreement for engagements through our coaching management technology platform.
What are your goals for your internal coaching practice in the next year?
Our goal is to continue to grow and provide education for our internal coach community. We are working to expand the number of employees and leaders utilizing coaching, ensuring folks are taking advantage of all our offerings whether it’s getting a coach, building their coaching skills, or becoming certified as an Internal coach. We are also exploring offering executive coaching internally and not just with external partners and expanding on how we deepen the learning and practice for our two open programs around coaching.