Frequently Asked Questions
We hope these will answer most burning questions from organisations and clients but please contact us if there is anything we haven’t covered.
- Why should we consider coaching?
- Many people find it hard to think objectively about their own performance and wellbeing, and so miss out on opportunities for development. Coaching allows people the time and space to think about how they can improve their working lives. This makes it a valuable tool for organisations that want to get the best from their staff and for individuals who are keen to progress in their professional careers.
Employed in the right way, coaching helps ensure employees have the resources and resilience to do their jobs to the best of their ability. It also promotes closer engagement between employees and their organisation.
- What makes Performance & Wellbeing’s coaching different?
- We believe that coaching must take account of people’s wellbeing as well as their professional competencies if it is to deliver sustainable improvements in performance.
All too often the sole focus is on competence and, it is not discovered that a client’s performance is also being affected by stress, work/life balance, illness or family breakdown until late in the coaching programme. At that point it is often too late to address the issue properly and some coaches will not continue to work with that client on principle.
By contrast, Performance and Wellbeing Ltd invite every client to talk to us in confidence about their wellbeing and its impact on their working life when we start working with them – we don’t wait for them to tell us.
Of course, there is no obligation for clients to talk to us about these challenges but we have found that they feel safe doing so because we approach the subject with sensitivity and guarantee their confidentiality. Whatever difficulty they face, we can then work with them to help them take back control and minimise its impact on their career.
- How can Performance & Wellbeing help our organisation?
- Our holistic approach to 1:1 coaching addresses individual competencies and wellbeing concerns, but we also work with small groups of managers, offering organisations a cost-effective way to take advantage of coaching. Group coaching sessions focus on helping managers develop the skills they need to motivate staff, maximise performance, as well as identify and tackle wellbeing concerns when they arise. We can also provide professional development for internal coaches through our training and supervision programme.
Performance & Wellbeing also offer a range of related services to help organisations connect with staff and offer them workplace support. This can be part of a coordinated wellbeing strategy, such as our coaching clinics, or a bespoke programme in response to a significant adverse event such as the death of a colleague. Such activities demonstrate to staff that they are valued which boosts their engagement and motivation. High levels of engagement are associated with reduced levels of sick leave and improved staff retention. They can also make organisations more attractive potential employers to the most talented individuals.
- When should we consider coaching?
- Coaching is generally used as an integral part of an organisational talent development programme for employees with management potential where performance and competencies such as leadership skills and strategic thinking are the main focus.
Coaching can also be used as a targeted intervention to help individual employees raise their game. For example, where concerns have been raised that someone’s behaviour is out-of-character or their performance has dipped below their usual standards, effective 1:1 coaching can establish the reasons and motivate the individual to change.
When it is clear that someone is dealing with particularly challenging personal circumstances which is affecting their performance, we tailor our coaching to support self-management so clients can adapt to the situation as far as possible and perform to the best of their ability.
- What happens during 1:1 coaching sessions?
- Coaching offers clients a safe space to reflect on their working lives and explore ways they can manage their performance and wellbeing more effectively.
The first coaching session, which will be around two hours is devoted to learning more about the client; their role; what influences them; what factors limit their ability to perform at work; and how they see their future career.
We work with clients in the way that is most comfortable for them. In most cases, we will simply ask questions and invite them to share anything in confidence. We suggest people put their thoughts down on a piece of paper through lists, mindmaps and pictures and we might also use techniques such as psychometric tests if appropriate. In addition, we encourage clients to use input from their colleagues such as appraisals and 360 degree feedback.
In subsequent sessions, we focus on increasing clients’ awareness of the factors that affect their performance and what they can do to address them. This might include helping them to take a more strategic approach to planning their professional training and development; employing techniques to reduce stress; improving their work/life balance; or recognising they need to disclose a concern to their employer or another professional.
The number of coaching sessions is always agreed up-front: we do not want to encourage clients to become dependent but to take responsibility for achieving their own performance. At the end of the coaching programme, we always hold a review meeting with a client and their employer to evaluate what has been achieved and plan their future development.
- Are there people that you won’t coach?
- We aim to provide inclusive access to coaching. This means we will coach anyone who is well enough to be at work unless they do not engage positively with the coaching process; appear to be at risk of causing harm to themselves or others; or tell us they are involved in criminal activity.
If a client is already seeing a therapist or health professional about a health or wellbeing concern, we will still provide executive coaching if they are willing and able to engage with the process.
- How will you keep us updated on an individual’s progress?
- To ensure openness and trust, the content of coaching meetings remains confidential between the coach and their client. The client is responsible for their own wellbeing, who they consult and whether to inform their employer. However, we are happy to share the dates of meetings and any cancellations that result in lost hours.
If employers have further thoughts about the coaching programme after sessions have begun, we encourage them to discuss this with the client (their coach can be present if required). A second three-way meeting toward the end of the programme gives employers the opportunity to discuss and evaluate the progress made and written feedback will usually be collected from the client.
- Why does wellbeing matter?
- A significant proportion of people at work are affected by work-related stress, health concerns or difficulties in their personal life which can all have an impact on their work. This matters to their employer because it often affects their focus and performance; it matters to line managers and colleagues because it can make it more difficult to engage with the employee and achieve performance targets; and of course, it matters to clients who want to be happy and progress in their professional life.
Coaching is not the same as counselling because the focus is on workplace performance but we believe that coaching can help mitigate the impact that wellbeing issues have on people’s professional lives, helping clients develop their own long-term strategies for dealing with the challenges they face.
- How do you increase the resilience of your clients?
- The key to increasing people’s resilience is helping them learn how to adapt to different circumstances. We help and encourage clients to reflect on their default approach to work, and how they respond to high pressure situations such as a demanding project, urgent deadline or resource constraints.
The more aware they are of the factors that trigger stress, the better they can anticipate them and take steps to deal positively with the challenges they are facing.
- What will coaching cost our organisation?
- We will recommend a six or ten session programme based on our initial meetings with the employer and client and the cost is dependent on the coaching time involved. We will agree this with the employer before we start and only invoice after the first coaching session.
In addition, if meetings are cancelled at short notice there will be a charge and details of this are set out in our agreement. We encourage organisations to contact us to discuss their requirements and budget.