Lloyds TSB Scotland embarked on a coaching-based initiative with The School of Coaching that would not only strengthen and develop team relationships.
Lloyds TSB Scotland was created in its current form in 1999 although it has a long history in Scottish banking, which dates back as early as 1810. The organisation has 185 branches across Scotland and 2,000 employees, all of them backed by the Lloyds TSB Group. Its annual turnover for 2006 was calculated to be £124.8 million. Over the past six years, Lloyds TSB Scotland has experienced significant growth in its business - assets and liabilities alone have doubled over the past four years - whilst its profile has also increased.
Lloyds TSB Scotland felt it was important that its employees, and particularly its leaders, were equipped and supported to manage the rapid growth experienced over recent years. Whilst coaching has long played a role in the company, it wanted to develop this approach further to strengthen and build team relationships and, ultimately, improve the quality of conversations in the company.
Lloyds TSB wanted to focused on the senior team, and then roll the course out to other areas of the business in the future. The objectives were as follows:
Improve the quality of the conversations within the senior team
Develop a more productive approach to senior team meetings in order to achieve more effective results
Develop the management approach of the senior team to incorporate more of a coaching style
Develop a coaching culture amongst the senior team which, if successful, could then cascade down the organisation.
Lloyds TSB Scotland chose The School of Coaching to carry out the programme due to a successful relationship with Lloyds TSB UK, in addition to a client orientated approach that was very different from others.
How The School of Coaching Helped
The School of Coaching designed a programme for the senior team of Lloyds TSB Scotland based on its own coaching approach. It involved developing a clear understanding of what coaching was and how it could be used effectively within a leadership or management role. In developing such knowledge, The School of Coaching began with how to structure coaching conversation, and the use and ‘intent’ behind the GROW coaching model - Goal, Reality, Options, Wrap-up. GROW is specifically designed to enable individuals to structure their communication more effectively to deliver a meaningful result. Commonly used by executive coaches, this approach, together with a series of other techniques, is applied to management and team building in order to improve the quality of conversations in working life.
From the foundation and principles of GROW, the team was also introduced to a range of additional models designed to increase coaching fluency. This included both ‘directive’ and ‘non-directive’ skills and assisted the team in developing a new framework for team meetings with a shared language for exchanging feedback, offering suggestions and timekeeping.
The senior management team was also asked during sessions to select and discuss topics on which they felt they needed coaching from their peers, enabling them to tackle real business issues within the learning context. The sessions were observed by an experienced coach and the feedback given was invaluable
in building confidence and ability.
The coaching programme was delivered with the use of pre-course one-to-one sessions addressing individual objectives and personal issues. These were followed by group input sessions and then post-group one- to-one sessions to confirm key learning points and discuss strategies for maintaining this learning in the future.
While many participants had experienced coaching training before, including the GROW coaching model, this programme gave a real sense of revitalisation about coaching. It was aimed not just at raising an individual’s level of coaching, but also the confidence to then apply such skills in a team context, and a clearer sense of the principles and approaches that cause coaching to be effective.
Due to the successful implementation of the coaching programme within the senior team, Lloyds TSB Scotland decided to broaden its scope in the organisation, beginning with the Retail and Wholesale banking departments. The project was particularly relevant to these teams as they were heavily affected by FSA standards, which require sales meetings to be observed by line-managers to ensure compliance. It was hoped that the coaching skills developed on the course would better equip managers to give constructive feedback to their reports following sales meetings.
In order for the senior management to give effective support to the other teams going through the course, Myles Downey, founder of The School of Coaching, delivered a workshop with them in order to take their skills to the next level.
While the methodology behind each stage of the project was fundamentally the same, recognition of context and practicality remained crucial as certain teams were more established than others, with some undergoing their first development initiative of this kind. With this in mind, the programme was tailored to the unique goals of each team whilst individual needs were also addressed throughout.
The programme has had a significant impact on productive output from senior team meetings, which have become more focused on the real issues. Members of the executive team now take a ‘pause for thought’ before making decisions and recognise the value of each individual’s input. Activity has become more tailored and effective as a result.
Lloyds TSB Scotland’s corporate banking sector has experienced 35% growth over the last year, which the company partly attributes to the coaching style now taken both internally and externally.
Staff retention of high performers within Lloyds TSB has increased substantially, with a rate of 95% for the Retail banking department (June 2006 – June 2007), and a rate of 100% for the Wholesale banking department (June 2006 – June 2007).
Recent employee surveys indicate that coaching has had a positive impact on its people management:
93% of staff have a clear understanding of company goals and objectives as well as how their job role is evaluated.
89% have a clear understanding of how their performance is evaluated.
Each leader’s approach to the management and leadership of their own teams has improved, from appraisal and development conversations, to internal and external stakeholder meetings. For example, Karina McTeague, head of Legal Risk and company secretary, feels the programme has enhanced her ability to deliver as a team leader.
A number of the senior team, including the HR director, were so impressed by the success of the programme that they have done, or are looking to do, a full coaching programme with The School of Coaching in order to gain an accredited coaching qualification.
The main benefit for me was the opportunity to apply the tools given in practice using real life examples with my own colleagues.
Karina McTeague, Head of Legal Risk and Company Secretary