Everything You Need to know about Internal Coaching: An Overview

Coaching has now become a part of the ethos of many organisations. Organisations are increasingly aware of the positive long term impact of coaching and want to have coaches available for employees at all levels and not just senior management. This has led to the increase in demand for Internal Coaching

What is Internal Coaching?

Internal Coaching is when the coach as well as the person being coached are both employees of the same organisation. A big benefit of Internal Coaching is that it makes the coach more accessible and easier to access for employees across the organisation. However, Internal Coaching cannot be effective with one or two coaches. Internal Coaching is effective only when coaches are deployed across the organisation at all levels. An Internal Coaching Program is needed to upskills current employees across all levels as coaches.

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Implementing an Internal Coaching Program

The benefits of Internal Coaching are so vast that many organisations have shown an interest in implementing an Internal Coaching Program. However, it is important to keep the following things in mind when putting a coaching program in place –

  • Senior Leadership Buy-in – It is important that all CXO level employees agree to build an Internal Coaching Structure in the organisation. In Fact, it’s much better if one or several of them also upskill themselves as coaches
  • It is important the Internal Coaches are deployed across all levels of the organisation. Internal Coaching can only be effective if all members of the organisation have access to an Internal Coach.
  • It is important to formally match the Coach and Coachee to avoid ambiguity in the process of Coaching. A goal for the coaching process must then be put in place as well.
  • It helps to verbalise and circulate a structure and guidelines for the Internal Training Program. This allows for the program to work towards a goal in a structured manner.

Benefits of Internal Coaching

As an organisation an Internal Coaching Program affords multiple benefits including creation of a culture that values growth and development. This leads to a high rate of retention of performing employees.

Some critical Benefits of Internal Coaching are

Increased opportunity for Managers and Employees to build skills – By virtue of their physical presence, Internal Coaches have access to many more teachable moments for both managers and employees than external coaches leading to faster turnaround in behaviour. This also leads to a deeper relationship with the coaches and builds greater trust with the coach as well as the organisation

Employee retention – Coaching can be satisfying and can lead to greater employee retention of those trained to coach. On the flip side employees who are coached feel valued and are more likely to stay with the organisation in the long run. Research shows that employees are 5 times more likely to stay in an organization if they feel that they are valued and are being developed.

Leads to Skill Building in the organisation – Internal Coaching provides an opportunity for managers and employees to grow skills that will positively impact varying aspects of their work. It helps them build leadership skills that they may lack, or interpersonal skills that may be coming in the way of their delivery of work. This also leads to the devilment of a pipeline of leaders in case someone decides to move on from the organisation.

Build a Culture of Coaching – Internal Coaching makes coaching a part of the organization’s culture and builds a culture of feedback leading to long term growth. This perhaps is the more important benefit of Internal Coaching in an organisation.  Organisations that have a coaching culture are able to adapt faster and find success in today’s ambiguous environment. Employees also see coaching as part of the culture of the organisation.

Internal Coaching therefore is a great way to build an inclusive and culturally responsive organisation. It especially helps in organisations that have diverse staff members as it helps in building a more inclusive environment.