Appointing in-house coaches or ‘buddies’ can be a good way to train and coach (new) employees. A less good idea: leaving these important coaches (volunteers, often) to fend for themselves. These in-house coaches have been trained for their own job and might be an amazing designer, account manager or HR professional, but they haven’t trained the right soft skills to excel as coach. Expecting that such an employee will stand out in this position, is unfortunately more hope than reality. So, train your in-house coaches!
1. Use your champions’ potential
Often, in-house coaches are not appointed, but they enlist voluntarily. Because they understand its importance, have good experiences with a coach earlier in their own career, or just for the sake of variety and contact with colleagues. Regarding potential, these intrinsically motivated employees are real champions.
Motivation is also infectious, motivated employees bring others on the work floor along with them in their enthusiasm. You can depend on such people. That’s why it’s important that you offer them the right tools to develop themselves as in-house coach. There’s another reason that organizations choose volunteers as in-house coaches: often, there is a small budget for such projects. But that doesn’t have to be an issue!
2. Small budget not an issue?
Preferably, you assign all your employees to a personal coach. But this is not necessary for everyone and it’s also very expensive. A lot of employees would benefit from a coach who is disconnected from their manager. In that case, it’s preferably that this coach works for the same organization, because even though remote coaches have a lot to offer, they don’t know the in’s and out’s of your organization as well. To allow your in-house coaches to develop the same skill as professional coaches, you can train them in live training sessions, for example. The disadvantage, next to the usual travel costs and other costs, is that it requires a lot of time and indirectly, this costs money. An online program can offer relief. These training programs simply cost less, but this isn’t the only advantage. For example, coaches can train whenever and wherever they want and this makes it easier to combine with their own job, which remains first priority. Turnover in the form of new and leaving coaches can be dealt with more easily when each participant can start the program in their own time.
Turnover of in-house coaches might be the biggest challenge in keeping your coaching program active and alive. To make sure everyone has the right information, you will probably have to organize an introductory meeting multiple times a year. So make it more flexible and more individual: you can process short explanations in an online training program, showing bad and good examples. Next to this, you can ask experienced in-house coaches to give the new coaches feedback, which turns the changing pool of coaches into a strength! It can be extremely helpful to be able to do a certain exercise before a coaching talk. The in-house coach will never be caught off-guard because of practicing situations online, and will always be able to fall back on the trained methods.
4. If you do it, do it well!
In this way, you reward the champions that want to help your organization without it costing a lot of effort and money. If the implementation is clever and solid, in-house coaching program can be powerful and deliver a great ROI. In addition, in-house coaches are more fulfilled in their voluntary task because they are better equipped, therefore feeling that they really make a difference. You supervise in-house employees in the way they deserve! Unfortunately, such programs are not rarely structured on a whim. This might do more bad than good. It costs the coach a lot of time and they get a dissatisfied feeling from realizing they don’t quite have it down. And the most important thing: the employee is not coached well! So do it in a clever and solid way, or don’t do it at all. When you apply a serious approach regarding in-house coaching as an organization, the coaches will take their task more seriously as well.
Do you want to know more on this subject? Read how Deloitte trains in-house coaches and managers!