Recommendations for the Professional Implementation of Coaching in Organisations
There are many methods of implementing coaching in a company in a professional and successful way. Which method is the best depends on the specific situation of the company. There are, however, certain points that should be taken into account and which, if they are implemented, will increase the likelihood of coaching being accepted and introduced to long-term effect. The recommendations listed below have been put together by the "fourth pillar" of the DBVC, the business representatives, and are intended to serve as a guide to the professional introduction of coaching in a company.
1. Create the preconditions for implementation
1.1 Reason for introducing coaching, how it is embedded in the company, its aims and benefits
- It is recommended that the introduction of coaching in a company be linked with a current event or change of great significance in the company, since this creates a sense of involvement and a willingness to learn and to change on an individual level. An event of this sort could, for example, be a merger or an uncertain transfer situation.
- Coaching should not be regarded as an isolated measure, but should be seen in the context of the development of the business culture, which it should support.
- Before coaching is introduced into a company, the aims that the company will pursue through coaching should be defined. The aims should be discussed and defined with as many of the relevant stakeholders as possible (e.g. management board, works committee, HR, managers).
- It is important that the potential benefits of coaching for the company, such as the development of potential, increase in performance or improvement in decision-making skills, are identified since this will increase the acceptance of coaching in the company (see DBVC Coaching Compendium 2010, pp. 20 ff.). It is helpful if it is made clear how coaching will support the business success of the company.
1.2 Coaching commissioned by the company
- There should be a contract from the company for the introduction of coaching. The contract should include adequate resources and budgets.
1.3 Responsibility for coaching in the company
- There should be a sponsor in the top management of the company who supports and drives forward the introduction of coaching. This increases the likelihood of coaching being accepted in the company.
- There should be one department or one individual in which/ with whom the "Coaching" project resides; usually this is the HR of Staff Development department.
- With this in mind, the following conditions should be met:
o There should be professional coaching expertise in the Staff Development department.
o The Staff Development department should already have established an appropriate level of trust in the company.
o The staff of the Staff Development department should be known and respected in the company.
1.4 Budget for coaching
- There must be a budget for the introduction of coaching.
- When the coaching is introduced, it should be clearly defined who is paying for it and where the budgets are located.
1.5 Positioning of coaching in the company
- There should be a model that positions coaching in the company. Among other things (see DBVC Coaching Compendium 2010, pp.52 ff.), this should include statements to the effect that coaching:
o is undertaken voluntarily,
o is treated confidentially,
o is goal oriented but at the same time has an open outcome,
o is an exclusive support measure and is designed primarily around strengths,
o gives good members of staff help to improve
o is very effective when employed properly
o is accepted in the company
as an instrument used by the Staff Development department that has wide application.
2. Define the process design
Before the coaching begins, an intelligent process design should be defined, in which important issues are addressed, such as the clarification of what the task involves, the approach to finding coaches and the way in which invoices are processed. Some of the key questions here are:
- What is the target group for coaching in the company? At which managerial levels is it envisaged that coaching will take place? Are employees/managers, high potentials to be included?
- What avenues are available for accessing coaching?
- How can it be ensured that access to a coach is transparent, reliable and simple?
- Who communicates the results of the coaching inside the company, and in what form?
- How can agreements be used in advance to ensure that confidentiality is maintained, in particular in the case of internal coaching?
- On what topics and with what aims is coaching offered?
- Who might be the customers for coaching in the company?
- How does the matching process (between the coach and coachee) work?
- Who clarifies what the task involves?
- How does the coaching process operate between a coach and a coachee?
- What rules have been agreed to ensure the cooperation of all of those involved?
- When, how and by whom will the coaching process be evaluated?
2.1 Selecting and setting up the pool of coaches
- There should be a concept and agreed, transparent criteria for setting up a pool of coaches and for the process of selecting coaches. Issues such as the suitability of the coach for the company culture, the methods to be adopted by the coach, the schools to which a coach feels he or she belongs, etc., are helpful in selecting qualified coaches (see the DBVC Coaching Compendium 2010, pp. 36 ff.; see also the requirement profile for coaches under "Become a member" on the homepage of the DBVC).
- It should be made clear if and when internal and/or external coaches are to be used
- Coaches with different specialisations (topics, methods, hierarchy levels, target groups, experience, etc.) and expertise should be integrated into the pool, in order to meet the requirements of the internal coachees.
- It is recommended that fair standards be established and reflected in dealing with external coaches when setting up a coaching pool. Fair treatment includes issues such as checking that a coach is not instrumentalised (for example, to terminate an employee), that no hidden contracts are awarded, that the confidentiality of the coaching is respected and that coaching is not used for the purpose of assessing the coachees. The standards also include fair financial regulations for the remuneration of the coaches, which must be transparent and all aspects of which should be communicated clearly in advance.
2.2 Communication and marketing for coaching in the company
- It is recommended that target-group-specific information about the coaching service be prepared, such as a coaching file or brochure, or information on the intranet.
- The managers in the company should be made familiar with coaching at an early stage. Wherever possible, coaching should already be employed in training programmes for junior managers.
- The internal communications should create the greatest possible transparency for the coaching service by providing information about the issues identified above as soon as they have been clarified.
- The top management should be involved at as early a stage as possible in supporting coaching and providing information about it.
- Key personnel from the top management should be recruited as coachees and supporters.
- Opinion leaders in the company should be recruited as champions of coaching; a whispering campaign can also serve to increase the familiarity and acceptance of coaching.