Staff buy-in vital to coaching success, says West Bromwich HR chief

Employers must gain the trust of their staff before implementing coaching programmes, according to Paul Turner, general manager (people) at West Bromwich Building Society.

Turner told the inaugural People Factor Forum at the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Birmingham on Tuesday that key people within an organisation had to “buy in” to coaching and take ownership of it.

“Coaching has to be integrated into the specifics of an organisation,” he said. “But if there are low levels of trust then coaching can’t be used.”

Turner, a visiting fellow at the University of Central England (UCE), said an effective management team needed to have good emotional skills to assess how a coaching programme could work effectively.

“You have to decide where you are, as a company, on the spectrum of support,” he said. “Whether you’re going to tell someone what to do or offer guidance.”

Lynne Duffill, director of HR at the West Midlands Regional Development Agency, Advantage West Midlands, said coaching was essentially about improving employee motivation and morale.

“It’s about trying to produce an environment where individuals feel valued,” she said.

Professor Kiran Trehan, head of management at UCE, said many organisations had concerns about evaluating the benefits of coaching, but that it had clear long-term gains.

“Coaching is definitely here to stay,” she said.

Paul Turner will be speaking at the HR Forum aboard the Oriana, 10-13 May.

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