Culture refers in part to the values, beliefs, and practices for interacting. Coaching is defined by the International Coaching Federation as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.” A coaching culture starts with a value for respect. This is augmented with the belief that people are capable. It is communicated by more asking than telling.
In a coaching culture, people listen to understand. People are curious and respectful. People ask questions. In a coaching culture people are valued and empowered. A coaching culture increases employee engagement, productivity, and talent retention.
To develop a coaching culture in an organization, follow these steps:
- Define specific goals for the culture of the organization. Include the reasons for these goals and the benefits of achieving them.
- Review the mission, vision, and core values of the organization. Ask for input on changes and have a group work together (ideally with a coach) to make appropriate updates.
- Determine the status or baseline of the culture, and the gap between what it is and the goals.
- Design the plan. Be sure it includes buy-in from the top and is well-communicated throughout the organization. Consider also including training on basic coaching skills, training for internal coaches, and the use of external coaches for the highest levels of management.
- Evaluate and adjust. Identify misses and address them. Celebrate progress and successes.
Measure the value of the coaching culture in your organization. This starts with determining which metrics you will use and what they are now. Common metrics to consider include: engagement, productivity, talent retention, assessments, and feedback. Then, as you implement the steps listed, continue monitoring the metrics. A coaching culture will add value to the organization and improve the bottom line.