Coaching World Issue 12: November 2014 - Page 13

“A coaching culture is visible in the behavior of people. It’s a way of looking at people and treating each other. When we describe a coaching culture, we’re describing a learning culture that is respectful and that values people’s potential and promotes innovation,” Meyne explains. interested in becoming internal coach practitioners. Prior to the start of Executive Coaching, clients participate in a 360-degree feedback process. Based on the final report, they are asked to identify two to three goals for the coaching engagement. Coaching engagements span eight “When we describe a coaching culture, we’re describing a learning culture that is respectful and that values people’s potential and promotes innovation.” Although awareness of professional coaching in India is increasing, there’s still a great deal of confusion about what coaching is—and what it isn’t. The perception of coaching as a remedial intervention persists throughout the country, largely due to the word’s academic connotations. (India is home to numerous “coaching” institutes and programs that prepare individuals for school, university and professional exams.) The program’s developers knew that they’d need leaders to model the experience and impacts of coaching for lowerlevel employees. This strategy worked: What began as Executive Coaching for a handful of top senior leaders rapidly expanded to include high-potential leaders at the VP level and below. Today, 124 senior and high-potential executives have completed coaching engagements, while 43 new leaders are currently participating in Executive Coaching relationships. In 2013, J.K. took the next step, engaging ICF Professional Certified Coaches from Coaching Lighthouse to provide a course of coach-specific training to leaders to 12 months, and include midterm and end-of-engagement meetings with the coach, client and human resources team. The coach also checks in with key stakeholders throughout the process to monitor the effectiveness of coaching. The organizational and individual impacts of coaching at J.K. are appreciable. Within the four J.K. companies using coaching most frequently, leaders have reported improved performance, profitability and employee retention. Since 2008, revenues have grown by 105 percent, employee satisfaction has increased by 16 percent and attrition of high-potential employees has decreased by two percent (from an all-time high of 7.1 percent). Leaders receiving Executive Coaching have reported a high return on expectations, particularly in the areas of stress management (one client reported a 60 to 65 percent decrease in stress during and after coaching), management skills, role transitions, self-confidence, and enhanced teamwork. The positive impacts go beyond the office walls: Coaching clients also report enhanced communication and relationships with their spouses, children and extended families. Perhaps the most significant change wrought by coaching within the J.K. Organisation has been the shift from a topdown management style to a system of collegial, collaborative relationships between senior- and middle-level leaders and their peers and direct reports. Thanks to this change, team members are taking greater initiative for projects and activities, even proposing innovative ideas that they believe would improve a product or process. No longer is an employee’s value based solely on his or her age and tenure with the organization: Now, creative ideas, diverse solutions and the ability to play an active role in the decision-making process are among the factors used to evaluate employees’ effectiveness. As J.K.’s i