Trafford Housing Trust (THT) is an independent housing company providing around 9,000 affordable homes within the Trafford area of Manchester. A ‘profit-for-purpose’ organisation, they strive for a society transformed free from poverty, inequality and injustice. Regulated by the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) they employ approximately 450 staff.
THT has a strong track record in providing employee development to all its workforce to enable them to meet the varying challenges of their roles. The vision was to develop a coaching culture within the business that used one-to-one coaching as the key development tool to drive a high performance culture.
Whilst investment in employee development was strong within THT there was a big reliance on group training and a huge challenge in making the training stick to ensure actual improvements in performance could be evidenced. Coaching was seen as a tool to unlock potential and provide tailored and bespoke support that allowed individuals the time and opportunity to focus on specific areas of their own development needs in a safe environment over a number of months.
We delivered a two-stage approach over a 24 month period to embed a coaching culture throughout THT which used Instep coaching expertise. Based on the success of this external programme, Instep then trained and developed internal coaching expertise within the Trust. This ensured a sustainable coaching culture could be embedded throughout the business.
All line managers were allocated an external coach from the Instep consultancy team. They would meet on a quarterly basis, progressing through a personally agreed Personal Development Plan which was closely monitored by their Line Manager. This offered them support on personal challenges and promoted a sense of ownership to the coachee.
We then trained nine internal coaches over an eight month period to the ILM Level 3 coaching qualification standard. During and since the internal programme began, the internal coaches together have coached over 40 staff from across all parts of the business.
The feedback from staff and managers has been hugely positive and the impact coaching has had to performance has been seen across the business. As a result, Instep has been asked to repeat the programme and, from 2017, will develop a further ten internal coaches for the Trust.
We started coaching at the Trust with Instep approximately three years ago. We did not expect it to have taken off quite as well as it did and the feedback from staff surveys of how coaching has helped people across the business, ranging from improved confidence, better communications with staff and colleagues, to career changing decisions has been incredible. We are looking forward to our second internal programme with Instep and we expect to be oversubscribed for next year’s programme. As we continue to embed coaching within THT, we will develop our focus towards the customer and use coaching to support our conversations with them and the services we provide.
Head of HR