Getting the right people on the coach

LandD Show

My second session at #CIPDLDShow was “Creating a Manager-Led Coaching Culture to a Support Overall Team Performance”.

Initially we heard from Sue from Hilton, speaking specifically about their graduate programme. It sounded like a pretty challenging and exciting thing to be involved with as a graduate, each of whom is given a Group Leader (whose challenge is to keep 90% of them on board throughout the programme!). There are weekly calls between the Graduate Group Leader and the graduate using WebEx. It was interesting that she noted they are only seven months into the fourteen month programme and therefore they are still learning as they go through it.

Stuart from Cineworld said he’d tell us a story and got extra points from me for the Star Wars reference of his ending slide. The story was an interesting one of an organisation that had a good look at itself and realised through a couple of processes that it had mostly the right people – passionate about cinema and keen on customer service – but they were inhibited by a compliance-led, bureaucratic and blame-filled culture. There was no differentiation from other cinema brands and in some cases, people couldn’t tell them which cinema they were sitting in.

As a response, they created the Customer First programme – they invested in creating “the best movie-going experience possible”. Some interesting changes took place, not just to the customer experience but also to business strategy – they now now run eleven Starbucks franchises directly as a result of the feedback.

As part of this culture change, they identified the following values:

– Passion for people
– Passion for innovation
– Passion for achieving

They wanted to create a culture in which the General Manager had full control over their business unit. The General Managers are “empowered and trusted” to look after their staff and even to consider succession planning so that when a GM leaves, there is complete business continuity. Stuart said “Recruit – train – motivate – retain is our mantra”.

So what factors are key to a coaching culture? Stuart identified four:

– Training – a lot of workshops
– Embed coaching into existing learning culture
– Embed the idea of “kerbside coaching” (aka management by walking about)
– Coaching as a language – do I “tell” someone or do I “coach” someone

Have I learned anything spanking new and shiny from this session? Honestly, probably not. But it was useful to hear how a couple of large organisations have approached some very relevant challenges, in particular how Cineworld have fairly fundamentally changed aspects of their business model through customer and staff feedback.

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