Case Studies

16/11/2009 - EDF Energy

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Coaching for Performance

A senior IT manager attended The School of Coaching’s Certificated Programme and benefited greatly from the experience. Following this, supported by The School of Coaching, the organisation put coaching techniques in place in its IT environment, implemented through the company’s Coaching for Performance appraisal process.

EDF Energy
EDF Energy is one of the UK’s largest energy companies and its largest producer of low-carbon electricity. A wholly-owned subsidiary of the EDF Group, one of Europe's largest energy groups, they generate around one fifth of the UK's electricity and employ around 15,000 people. They supply electricity and gas to around 5.5 million residential and business customers, making EDF Energy the biggest supplier of electricity by volume.

Business Challenge
EDF Energy’s Coaching for Performance appraisal process has been in place since 1997/98. This involves setting objectives for the year, followed by mid-term and end-of-year reviews. These processes are based on conversations between managers and staff. However, it was felt that these performance conversations were not being managed effectively, particularly within IT. These managers tend to have a technical background and it was felt that they would benefit especially from coaching support. Senior management invited The School of Coaching to help support the Coaching for Performance programme and, in 2002, a development programme for IT managers was agreed.

Clients Goals
We identified the senior management team’s desired outcomes from working together. Their aims were to improve conversations around the management process, and to increase managers’ understanding of Coaching for Performance as an effective tool.

How The School of Coaching Helped
We examined the Coaching for Performance process and recommended changes within boundaries specified by the client. We jointly agreed an approach, consisting of:

  • An Initial Residential Three Day Workshop.
  • Two to Three Single Follow-up Days.
  • Coaching Practice Between Sessions.

A ‘core hit’ of 40-45 managers within the 450-strong IT section was identified as the target audience for the programme. They ranged from senior managers on the IT governance group to junior managers. This ensured buy-in from all levels and effective embedding of techniques throughout the IT part of the business.

We ran three initial workshops for 12-15 managers and then gained agreement to progress with follow-up workshops in two further phases over 10 months.

The follow-up days were important as ‘health checks’, where participants shared their experiences, developed good practice, using techniques which were reinforced and embedded in individuals in a safe environment.

Results
In all, 40 managers have been through the process and coaching has become part of the management style of the organisation’s IT environment, extending well beyond the management appraisal programme itself.

As a result, the business has gained Investors in People accreditation. The feedback has also shown that both managers and staff feel the Coaching for Performance process is now working effectively. EDF Energy is looking to take the current programme forward to provide both an update and reinforcement of coaching techniques to help support managers who have acquired new responsibilities.

 

 


QUOTE-LEFT.png The School’s Public Programme had a big effect on me, both from a professional and personal perspective. I felt passionately that it would benefit the business on a wider scale so I approached senior management for sponsorship of a coaching programme. It has had a big impact on the business in terms of performance management and reinforcing our core values – and on the individuals who have been through the process.QUOTE-right.png

Kevin Wing, Senior IT Manager, EDF Energy

 

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