The benefits of workplace coaching have been well established for the last couple of decades. But it’s usually seen as something reserved for executives or high potential groups. If money was no object, most organisations would make coaching more widely available to reap its performance benefits, but the cost has traditionally been prohibitive.
Now, new technology platforms and new pricing models are making it more affordable for organisations and more accessible for employees – here are four ways you can democratise coaching:
1. Automated coach matching and video profiles: Choosing an executive coach used to involve ‘chemistry meetings’ to confirm the basis of a coaching relationship. The administration of these meetings – and the time required from the coaches – all had a cost, which was usually passed onto the customer. A coaching platform can provide pre-recorded video profiles of coaches and a detailed automated matching process, thereby making this element of the process far more efficient.
2. Virtual coaching sessions of varying duration: Before the pandemic, conventional coaching often took place face-to-face with sessions lasting 60-90 minutes. Now we’ve all got much more agile and comfortable with virtual meetings. When you make coaching available on-demand, not everyone needs lengthy sessions. For example, if you want some coaching to prepare for a big presentation, it may only require 30-45 minutes to go over key messaging. And when a coach isn’t having to factor in travel time, that keeps the cost down and makes shorter sessions more feasible.
3. Using the power of nudging between sessions to maintain accountability: Including nudging in a coaching programme – reminders to take small steps to work towards a bigger goal – is an effective way of helping the coachee hold themselves accountable between coaching sessions (and also reduces the coach’s time required to revisit previously discussed goals, thereby helping to keep the whole programme moving forward). When a coaching platform can automate those nudges, instead of the coach having to send follow-up messages or reminders, you’re taking further cost out of the process and maintaining momentum throughout.
4. Flexible pricing models: If you want to make coaching available to everyone, on-demand, to help them improve any aspect of their work life, not everyone is going to need a programme that runs over several months. For example, if someone wants coaching to help improve a key relationship at work, that might only require a couple of sessions, followed by a check-in further down the line. If you can flex a coaching budget to cover a variety of coaching needs across your workforce, instead of committing fixed amounts to per-person programmes, you can make your coaching budget work far harder and have much wider impact.
Broadening your coaching offering can have multi-faceted benefits and help address key people priorities such as retention, engagement, inclusion, internal talent mobility and faster onboarding. New approaches to how coaching is made available are removing barriers such as affordability and time away from the job for people in frontline roles.
You can read more about how we can help you democratise coaching across your organisation here: