“The challenges we face as a business are in many ways unique and require strong leadership to ensure our future success. Coaching is a core part of the leadership skills we all need to create the right culture for our strategy to succeed” – member of the UKAR Senior Leadership Team
UKAR is the holding company established to bring together the UK government-owned businesses of Bradford & Bingley plc (B&B) and NRAM plc. This combined financial services organisation supports around 467,000 customers with £61.2 billion of loans, with some 2,150 geographically dispersed employees. And in 2016 UKAR outsourced it’s mortgage servicing operations to Computershare. Having substantially improved their performance management process towards a fully integrated HR approach, UKAR identified that coaching was a central element of their people development strategy.
Having already successfully put some of their operational teams’ supervisors and junior managers through an ILM Level 3 coaching programme, it was decided to offer coaching skills development to middle to senior managers. An ILM accredited programme meant that there was an external measure of assessment and the opportunity for personal recognition for the participants.
It was made clear at the outset that the programme would be intense and demanding – with three written assignments to be done and externally assessed. However, a personal and corporate benefits assessment demonstrated that the advantages were well worth the commitment in time and energy.
As an accredited ILM centre and having worked with UKAR since 2013, Primeast had a good sense of the style and content required to offer the best chance of success. We also quickly established an excellent rapport with our ILM contacts.
Working closely with our client, we quickly established key programme parameters and criteria for participants. Primeast designed a robust programme to support all learners. Our team comprised of approved ILM Coaching Facilitators, an ILM Internal Verifier, a Primeast ILM Centre Manager and a Programme Administrator.
Starting with an orientation day for all would-be coaches, we presented the agreed core coaching capabilities, set expectations, offered a programme taster and ensured that the coaching cohort was balanced. Followed by 7 Modules each including practice, observation and feedback. A key to success was the Group and Individual Coaching Supervision which reinforced the skills and capabilities of the new coaches.
The programme has been successfully delivered for two cohorts and Primeast were asked to support UKAR in the creation of their Coaching Toolkit which was rolled out throughout the business. Learners were obliged to present to senior stakeholders enabling Primeast and the client to establish how effective the programme had been – everyone achieved their award.
For UKAR some of the perceived benefits of this programme have been: Fewer customer complaints, motivated and engaged staff, improved performance and staff retention, reduced absences, improved succession planning, better management of under performance, increased colleague engagement scores, process and procedure improvements.
Some learner and coachee feedback: “Feeling that I am part of something that has made a difference.” “…I have been able to pass a Professional Qualification which I have not had the courage to attempt before.” “I am much better at seeing things from someone else’s perspective.” “Realising people have common development areas – it’s not just you!”
“The programme was useful to me personally and professionally, it allowed me to vent frustrations, set objectives and achieve them. The best part about coaching for me was that my coach was independent, and I was accountable to somebody outside of my directorate.”
“I have had the confidence to take on additional work and begin to manage an important project for the business.” “The coaching I have undertaken has allowed me to really take advantage of my new role and perform better.”
ILM Level 5 Coaching Coachee, UKAR
“My coach offered challenge which I was not used to so found strange, but then I began to see the benefits of the challenging conversations we were having. It is easy to get caught up in your own perceptions and agenda, but difficult to consider other peoples. Hopefully now I can do both.”