West Midlands Coaching Pool
The work environment is changing for everyone; employees need to continually develop their skills and employers need a more flexible workforce. Coaching employees can play a vital part in building capacity and skills. The West Midlands Coaching Pool is a large scale, innovative and practitioner led project that is part of an ongoing drive to improve public sector performance.
Together we are working together to achieve our vision of:
“Enabling people to become the best they can be whatever the work environment”
The Coaching Pool partnership aims to:
- Provide partner organisations with regular access to professional high quality coaching for their employees via a shared service/cost approach
- Raise awareness of coaching and the benefits
- Maintain a strong ethos of partnership working and promote a learning climate through partnership
- Raise the profile of the West Midlands Coaching Pool through sharing and promoting the partnership regionally and nationally
- Expand the offer to include mentoring and other tailored development to meet growing needs of customers
Seed funding from the West Midlands Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnership allowed over 100 employees of the thirteen initial partner organisations to be trained as ILM Level 7 Executive Coaches. These individuals currently form the 100+ strong “Coaching Pool” and are available to be deployed to meet the needs of the partner organisations.
Managers from participating partner organisations are able to access coaches via an online matching site and select a suitable coach from a list of profiles. In the first 2 years, over 260 clients and individuals received coaching from the pool.
All trained coaches receive ongoing coach supervision to provide them with support and act as a quality assurance measure; this continues to develop their skills and ensures they are qualified to deliver effective and high quality coaching to the partner organisations. An annual coaching conference also provides coaches with an opportunity to access the latest coaching techniques and enhance and develop their skills as a coach.
In addition to providing coaching the partnership has also delivered coaching skills training to hundreds of managers. This training equips delegates with basic coaching skills which can be used as an effective line management tool. These sessions have so far proved a great success in developing delegates, and also as a mechanism for spreading a culture of coaching throughout their organisations.
History of the pool
Local authorities in the West Midlands acknowledged a growing need for coaching as an effective way of boosting performance within their organisations; and in 2007 thirteen local authorities established the West Midlands Coaching Pool Partnership. Many of the partners identified coaching as being key in leadership development to help build synergy, team relationships and confidence among their employees; with coaching programmes now also being a requirement within organisational strategies and change programmes.
The partnership not only wanted to build internal coaching capacity; they also wanted access to external coaches. A key benefit of this cross organisational cooperation, particularly at a senior level, is to enable managers to access a coach from another partner organisation.
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