Creating and embedding a coaching culture in an organisation

Creating and embedding a coaching culture in an organisation

The brief

SAS recognised the business need for a strong coaching capability in its managers and wanted to create a consistent managerial experience for its employees.

“Research suggests that high performing companies coach their people rather than telling or directing them. Coaching benefits the company and the individual. It is a more engaging and participative experience for your employees because they learn what to do.” explains SAS head of learning & development Emma Dutton.

“We had promoted our best technical and sales people and recognised we could make improvements to the support we gave them. We decided to develop and improve their capabilities by investing in coaching as a core discipline of the management role.”

The approach

“We selected a group of our managers to follow parts of the Connor INSPIRED Performance programme.”says Emma.

Three Connor consultants worked with the managers for three and a half days over a three month period to introduce and embed a new approach to coaching and management.

What we did for SAS

  • All managers completed VoicePrint – an assessment of their communication style in the workplace – using their own feedback and up to eight other views from their managers, team members and peers
  • Inspiring and influencing others – two days of experiential learning concentrated on practical coaching and mentoring skills. SAS managers had one to one coaching sessions and were given the opportunity to test new approaches on each other
  • With new learning it’s about making it stick – a further one day of learning was provided to all managers to see how their new coaching style was working.

Business outcomes

“We saw an instant change in beliefs and behaviours – our people realised that they weren’t always coaching their teams in the right way. The managers who went on the programme are now leading their teams more effectively.” explains Emma.

“We are a sales led company and the negotiating and influencing parts of INSPIRED Performance were incredibly useful for our managers. In time this could be extended to our sales teams.”

What the client said

“In seven years at SAS, I’ve never seen such engagement, enthusiasm and commitment from our executive team for learning and development. This has been achieved through the relationship that you developed with each of them.

The Connor INSPIRED Performance programme gave our most senior people a fantastic experience in a short space of time. I look forward to seeing them go from strength to strength by creating and embedding a high performance culture.”Emma Dutton, head of learning & development, SAS

“When coaching started at SAS the initial reaction was: ‘It’s not going to make things any better, why spend the time and money?’ But as the training kicked in it became apparent that a new way of working was more effective than the old. It was more efficient.

I felt like I had super powers. I have increased my presence in meetings, increased engagement with my team and become more structured as a manager. Motivation, productivity, delegation and empowerment are all on the rise. The transformation in just a couple of months has been seismic.”
Geoff Fletcher, finance director, SAS and a delegate on the INSPIRED Performance programme


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