Implementing Coaching in the Workplace

"I absolutely believe that people, unless coached, never reach their maximum capabilities."
Bob Nardelli, former CEO, Home Depot


"Employers are shocked at how high their ROI numbers are for coaching."
Alastair Robertson, Manager of worldwide leadership development, Accenture


There are a number of ways in which coaching can be implemented in the workplace. The manner of implementation will be highly dependent on a number of variables, including:

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  • Desired Outcomes
  • Timeframes
  • Number of Participants
  • Budget


Desired Outcomes
The nature of coaching implemented within a workplace will be heavily influenced by the actual outcomes required. The need to embed and accelerate the learnings of a training program will likely lead to a structured coaching program which dove-tails into the structure of the training program. Wanting to enhance the leadership skills of individuals may also lead to a defined coaching program, but with greater flexibility around the scheduling of sessions based on individual circumstances. The desire to make coaching available on an ‘as required’ basis will likely result in a more ad-hoc approach, with each partnership defined as it arises.


Coaching can be short-term or long-term. At Coach & Co. we encourage a defined end point to the coaching. One of the key elements to coaching is developing the participant to a point where they have the confidence, support and skills to continue their journey without using the Coach as a 'crutch' to fall back on. Appropriate timeframes will vary depending on individual circumstances, but as a general rule of thumb, a coaching program of any longer than 9 months could lead to a certain level of dependence on the coach. We have encountered situations where coaching engagements of as little as one session are appropriate (for example, in preparation for a specific job interview or stakeholder meeting), however to achieve significant development, self-awareness and behavioural shifts, longer engagements are generally required. It is best to treat each situation on its merits to ensure that the coaching partnership is neither too long or not long enough too ensure success.


Number of Participants
The likely number of participants will also influence whether a structured program should be designed, or whether a more ad-hoc approach is appropriate. With larger participant numbers (say, 10-100) it is much simpler to have a consistent approach, with the number of sessions, duration of sessions and program timeline all determined prior to the program commencing. However, with smaller numbers, greater flexibility often leads to superior outcomes, with the structure of the coaching engagement determined on a case by case basis.


What would we implement if money wasn’t a factor? If only…
The fact is, for most (and I would venture so far as to say all) organisations money is a big factor.  We would love to put all staff through Program A, and our whole leadership team through Program B, whilst putting our customer service staff through Program C and our Quality Control people through Program D. Unfortunately, budgets play a big part in the Learning & Development sphere, and the implementation of any coaching process will be impacted by this. In choosing where and when to allocate those dollars, the key is to gain real clarity on the desired outcomes, and in which areas coaching will have the greatest impact. At Coach & Co. we spend a lot of time upfront with the various stakeholders in the organisation, determining the greatest impact areas for coaching.


So, we can see that the above variables have a huge impact on the nature of any coaching implementation, with the main components under influence being:

  • Number of sessions
  • Length of Sessions
  • Duration of Program
  • Delivery Mode
  • Target Audience
  • Optional features such as Personality Profiling, Leadership Assessments and Team Alignment Programs


Recent Examples
There are an infinite number of ways in which a Coaching program can be designed, depending on the variables involved. The following are programs in which Coach & Co. has recently been involved:

Example 1

  • 50 emerging leaders
  • 8 sessions of 1.5 hours
  • 9 month coaching program
  • Delivered face to face (with some telephone)
  • Outcome(s) - embed and accelerate learnings from leadership development program being run concurrently, incorporating self-awareness created by personality profiling


Example 2

  • 6 entry-level and mid-level managers (ad-hoc basis)
  • 5 sessions of 1.5 hours
  • 5 month coaching program
  • Delivered face to face
  • Outcome(s) - gain clarity on career direction, create awareness of strengths and areas for improvement, develop strategies for development


Example 3

  • 5 middle managers
  • 5 sessions of 1 hour
  • 3 month coaching program
  • Delivered face to face (with some telephone)
  • Outcome(s) - manage day to day challenges, develop strategies for department, ensure support and accountability for delivery of strategies


Example 4

  • 50 established leaders
  • 7 sessions of 1.5 hours
  • 9 month coaching program
  • Delivered via telephone (with some face to face)
  • Outcome(s) - Explore results of 360 Assessment, develop skills and knowledge based on internal leadership framework, create ‘big picture’ thinking shifting focus from day to day management


For more information about the implementation of Coaching in organisations, please contact Simon Altschwager on 1300 788 678 or, or refer to our website at

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