Fostering an online coaching culture among 230 staff with 100% positive results - with a strategy to expand to 500 users and to support the transformation of the management structure.

Dorset County Council (DCC) is a mid-sized council serving the rural county of Dorset and its population of just under half a million. DCC is responsible for various areas, such as infrastructure, roads and statutory children’s care and a central commitment to helping residents be safe, healthy and independent, with an economy that is prosperous. DCC employs over 4000 staff across the county in a range of roles, including social workers, architects as well as support staff in finance and ICT roles.

Restructure introduced due to austerity measures

Following the national budget deficit in 2010, every local government in the UK experienced quite drastic reductions in funding, including Dorset County Council. To achieve the required saving the council implemented an ambitious transformation programme to support the required change of working practices.

Coaching was identified as an avenue of support.

DCC already had a small coaching programme and recognised that coaching had the potential to expand their management systems, support and change their traditional work culture which they recognised was unfeasible to maintain.

Finding the right program was easy

When looking for a solution, Amanda Grant, the Senior Learning and Organisational Development Adviser at DCC, explained that they didn’t have to look far. “We needed a coaching management system through which to administer and develop our coaching offer… We’d seen the product that Coaching Focus has, and that’s Mye-coach, used elsewhere, so we thought that looks as though it’s going to provide us with what we want it to do, so that’s why we went for them”. They wanted something simple and user friendly, that would be compatible with their existing systems, provide them with a good reporting mechanism, and that had a great range of resources for their members to access, as well as being flexible enough to mould it to their specific requirements.

Mye-Coach ticked all these boxes.

What We Did

Currently, there are 230 of DCC’s staff registered on Mye-coach, with 15 trained coaches registered to deliver coaching sessions.

As a large organisation facing the challenge of having offices spread out all over the county, building the online coaching culture using Mye-coach has been key to changing their management style and way of working. Amanda explained, “If we have enough traction, [which] is why we’re always promoting the coaching programme, it will work out to be a very cost-effective way of developing our staff.”

Thanks to the fantastic reporting system provided on Mye-coach, DCC can see both qualitative and quantitative data of the results of their staff accessing coaching. They have seen an exponential increase in confidence and more effective ways of working from the staff that have received coaching.

They can also access powerful anecdotal feedback from the users, such as: “after just two sessions I feel empowered and optimistic”, and “[coaching] helped me to move forward and to improve my performance”.

What We Achieved

“The use of the Mye-coach coaching management system had a positive impact on how we progressed our coaching culture”, says Amanda. Thanks to this, DCC was recognised as a CIPD national finalist in the Best Coaching and Mentoring Initiative Category.

They have also expanded to include a Mentoring programme in tandem with the Coaching programme, thereby discovering and added benefit of the Mye-coach system as mentors can be registered alongside coaches and utilise the same facilities and reporting as coaching programmes.

DCC plans to continue using and promoting the Myecoach coaching management system, expanding the number of staff using the coaching programme to reach at least 500 users and partnering with other organisations who are interested in joining them.