Staffordshire County Council understands that developing and embedding a coaching culture is essential if their employees are to meet the increasing demands of working in local government. The County Council are a founding member of the West Midlands Employers Coaching and Mentoring Pool which provides staff access to qualified coaches from 21 other public sector organisations within the West Midlands. Although each member pays an annual subscription, coaching and mentoring are free at the point of access. The Pool also represents excellent value for money; in previous years the County Council have gained an ROI of 150%.
In addition to this external support the organisation has also invested in the development of an internal Coaching Pool; including infrastructure set up and training an initial cohort of 14 senior members of staff to achieve their ILM Level 5 Coaching & Mentoring qualification. The internal coaching provision has been put in place to really drive high performing across the organisation.
All coaches, whether internal or external use three-way contracting and coachee’s are encouraged to consider the impact on the organisation as well as their individual performance.
As well as providing employees access to coaching and mentoring as a personal development tool, the Council have successfully integrated coaching into their leadership and management development programmes. A number of different development opportunities have been provided to managers to learn and practice their coaching skills so they become a natural part of their management style.
“At Staffordshire County Council we know that coaching has had an extremely positive impact on individuals that have accessed support through the external pool. They value being given the time and space to reflect on issues that previously seemed insurmountable; having someone to challenge their thinking and also support to articulate how they have grown as a person.
It is also clear where managers are utilising coaching skills as part of their managers toolkit, their teams are experiencing higher quality performance conversations which leads to a greater sense of motivation and engagement from individuals.”
Sarah Cottrell, Learning and Development Officer, Staffordshire County Council Sarah.firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about the West Midlands Coaching Pool: http://www.wmemployers.org.uk/aboutthepool