As we’ve discussed previously, traditional approaches to coaching, with one-size-fits-all programmes, can be less effective than they should be because they don’t adapt well to the needs of the modern workplace. They can also be tricky to make widely available to employees.
So, what’s the alternative?
The key to getting greater value from your coaching investment is to ensure your coaching programme is adaptive to the needs of your organisation – avoiding the limitations of more traditional approaches.
Start by asking these questions of your coaching provider…
3 questions to ask when refreshing your coaching programme
1. Can coaching be easily split across individuals?
Traditional coaching programmes typically can’t be broken up into their individual elements. This makes it hard to share the cost between different individuals. The result? They limit the number of people in your organisation who see the benefits of them.
What’s a more effective approach? Ask your coaching provider to make available a pool of coaching hours that can be accessed by different individuals. Also ask them if they can help you create a process through which individuals can simply request access to them. People who need coaching can then easily apply to access the coaching they need!
It’s an approach that’s precise, targeted and cost-effective.
It ensures that coaching is matched to the needs of specific individuals. And also that coaching delivers the greatest value possible to your organisation. You’re able to allocate your coaching budget more efficiently and you can make coaching available more widely within your organisation.
In turn, this helps improve the effectiveness of coaching, helping improve employee satisfaction, retention and effectiveness, ultimately improving your organisation’s competitiveness.
2. How flexible is this coaching programme?
What’s another highly effective way to get greater value for money from coaching? Ensure that it’s carefully tailored to the needs of the individuals receiving it.
Sounds obvious? Perhaps. But it can be surprisingly hard to achieve with traditional coaching programmes, which are typically inflexible, off-the-shelf programmes.
So check: is the coaching programme’s format, delivery method and timing flexible? Can it be easily adjusted according to the changing needs of your staff?
For example, what happens if someone receiving coaching has to be abroad for work for a period of time? Can the coaching continue to be delivered, for example, by phone or videoconference?
Or if someone prefers to have a 30-minute rather than a 3-hour session one week… Can the length of the session be adjusted easily, session by session?
Is it adaptable to the preferred learning style of the individual?
Say an individual learns best first thing in the morning. Can the programme accommodate this and match your employee with a coach who can deliver remote early-morning sessions?
Or, what if the individual doesn’t do their best thinking while at their desk? Can coaching sessions be held while walking outside instead?
In short, the more flexible the programme is, the more value your employees – and so your organisation – will derive from it.
3. How does the coaching provider support employee agility?
Are there many traits more highly valued than agility?
Your organisation, no doubt, values its agility. And it values employees who show agility. Your employees, no doubt, look to you to support their agility. But does your coaching provider?
Imagine an executive in the middle of a series of coaching sessions…
She has her next session booked in for a couple of weeks’ time. But she’s just encountered an issue that she’d benefit from talking through with her coach. Can she get her coach on the phone at short notice while the need is still hot? Can she get the coaching input at the point she needs it – when she’ll see the most benefit?
This is the kind of coaching enabled by adaptive coaching providers. Coaching that supports employees in working with agility – and so delivering greater value to your organisation.
Get greater value from your coaching budget
The more tailored, flexible and agile your coaching programme is, the more value it will deliver to your organisation.
For best value for money, look for coaching programmes that have evolved to be adaptive to the realities of the modern workplace and the changing needs of your employees.
Ask your coaching provider whether their approach is traditional or adaptive.