Managers and executives were required to be more innovative, responsible and accountable to help move through enormous growth and a lot of change
Developing senior managers to be better leaders and to encourage the cultivation of talent – by the expansion of a coaching programme across McDonald’s UK and Ireland.
BSI Group, or the British Standards Institution (BSI), is the UK’s national standards body and was founded in 1901.
With approximately 3,500 employees globally an 1,300 employees in the U.K., BSI is a large organisation that serves companies large and small. They produce standards on a wide range of products and services, and provide certification and standards-related services, helping organisations in around 180 countries turn excellence into a habit.
BSI’s international growth
In 1998, BSI Group adopted a policy of international growth, and acquired 14 companies between then and 2016, creating enormous growth and a lot of change within the organisation. As a result, new challenges presented themselves. BSI managers and executives were required to be more innovative, responsible and accountable to help them move gracefully through the transition. BSI wanted to empower their managers; more effectively support those staff that had new, more senior roles, larger teams and greater responsibility; and equip them to thrive in their working environment.
The four focus areas to build on became accountability, enablement, empowerment and innovation. With the growing awareness of what coaching is and how helpful coaching skills can be in a business context, managers were also already beginning to use coaching skills within BSI, but there was some confusion about what was expected from both coaching managers and those being coached by them.
An initial split-based Programme for managers and executives
BSI began working with Coaching Focus in 2016 and started with a split-based Programme for both UK managers and executives.
Their executives carried out the 3-day, Manager as Coach Programme and skills practice.
Their managers either carried out a 1-day, Coaching Fundamentals Programme or a 3-day, Manager as Coach Programme, depending on their prior experience with coaching.
The 1-day Programme served to address the myths that very often surround coaching and underline the benefits it can bring into the daily lives of managers.
However, after the first wave of training, it was decided that BSI needed the ratio of classroom training to on-the-job practice to be modified slightly to better meet the organisation’s goals.
In addition to the training, a number of other activities were put in place by BSI to support its delegates.
Firstly, coaching mentors, individuals who had been through the Programme and really excelled, were allocated to each and every delegate that subsequently carried out the coaching training Programme for added support and encouragement, and to underline the importance of skills practice. The coaching mentors met with each delegate privately after the face-to-face training. Secondly, BSI created an intranet area dedicated 100% to coaching. On the site, delegates can download and view resources provided by Coaching Focus, including coaching tutorials and helpful videos. Thirdly, guides were created to help those attending a coaching Programme and being coached, to address concepts such as what it feels like to be coached, the role of the coach and the individual being coached, etc. These activities have helped BSI managers and executives to adopt coaching on a deeper level.
‘What’s more, we had a whole area designated on what it means to be coached too, which I think has been quite helpful in terms of results,’ says Helen.
BSI was particularly impressed with Coaching Focus’ feedback process and willingness to be open to the changes they needed to implement to better meet the organisation’s goals. Coaching Focus were very good at supplying feedback for delegates, but also being open to listening to feedback from delegates. They were also good at working with us on how to substantially change the way we delivered the programme to help us put more emphasis on coaching skills practice.
I look forward to progressing that even further together,’ says Helen.
“What’s more, we had a whole area designated on what it means to be coached too, which I think has been quite helpful in terms of results”
After 3 years, the partnership is still going strong. Coaching is being used across the UK at BSI, and its culture has shifted, though there is still work to do if the majority of their managers are to master it. In addition, the delegates that go through the programme exclusively provide positive feedback and state that they enjoy the process. What’s more, Helen also notes that delegates do feel more confident once they have the qualification. From a business perspective, BSI is confident that they have equipped their managers with real skills because they have modified their programme so delegates can only pass if they are able to demonstrate their skills to a qualified expert.