Developing Coaching Skills to Support OD Skills for Leaders

Developing Coaching Skills to Support OD Skills for Leaders

Karen A. Hatton (National Health Service, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6155-2.ch021
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This reflective case history explores how an acute National Health Service (NHS) Hospital Trust sought to develop its people through the introduction of a specific OD tool. Developed over three phases, key learning and evidence was continuously reviewed to inform subsequent phases and ensure positive impact both for individuals and the wider organization. Phase 1 brought together data from a literature review and a small in-work trial, which influenced the planning of Phase 2. Evidence collection, formal and informal, helped to identify the unexpected positive outcomes that went on to shape Phase 3. Scale and spread of the intervention was both planned and emergent, being shaped by reflection on the tool itself, personal experiences, and acknowledged impact. Around one thousand staff members have accessed the intervention in some form, which represents nearly one-fifth of the organization. Outcomes have included a noticeable increase in own/team engagement, raised self-awareness, and improved working relationships. Lessons learned continue to shape the program, which remains an integral part of the OD plan and and ensures the organizational development of quality people.
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Evidence-Based Ocd Initiative

Phase 1: Identifying Coaching as a Suitable OD Tool

In a previous private sector role, I had explored the impact of coaching and mentoring on people development and staff engagement, and was keen to introduce something along these lines because it appeared to be adaptable for each person’s benefit, and could be included into many different roles and situations. The research I explored, such as that by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), highlighted that coaching, in particular, was popular and many organizations were using it (CIPD, 2012, 2015). What seemed to be missing were the impact evaluations; most commentaries only detailed that Human Resources (HR) workers believed coaching to be impactful, but lacked the evidence to back this up. Formal coach development programs required significant input of time and financial backing. I had a small amount of money available to design and deliver an in-work Mentoring pilot, having identified 2 areas where mentoring could be implemented quickly and effectively. This offered an opportunity to understand the impact of this tool, whilst developing some coaching skills for the mentor-in-training, and therefore gaining a small insight into the impact of coaching too.

In this first phase, a short program of training for mentors was established with a local training company who offered 3 half days of training, covering items such as understanding of what a mentor does and the skills they need, and some 1:1 coaching support for participants. Within the organization, I had identified and offered the development to 2 small cohorts of people who had experience of either a) postgraduate study or b) clinical team leadership. These people then worked in a mentor capacity with those new to either area. Ability to match mentor with mentee was limited by the small number of mentors available, and those willing to come forward to be mentored. Their experience was evaluated for impact through an independent third party, a contact from a local university (Jones, 2012). Those involved had very differing journeys, with the clinical mentors seeming to have the most challenge in finding the time for the mentor role. However the evaluation did reveal that there were positive impacts for the learners and the mentors as a result of the mentoring relationship, in respect of managing the workload and improving engagement.

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