Want a competitive advantage? Then focus on your valuable assets….


What if T&C stood for ‘Training and Coaching’, would we be any further forward? And instead of a ‘regime’ we had a ‘routine’, would this make it appear less Big Brother and more Best Practice?

So that’s all agreed then, from now on T&C will be known as a ‘Training and Coaching routine’! Let’s look at the benefits of making these changes;

  • It would certainly drive down operating costs, I can even see the accountants rubbing their chins in thoughtful reflection already.
  • It could mean that customers might potentially achieve a better deal with organisations not having to factor in the costs of the current T&C regime.
  • Instead of compliance teams looking to ensure that we all comply with the regulatory requirements of supporting the FCA’s objective of consumer protection, we had coaching teams who focused on best practices?
  • Teams of coaches whose sole purpose would be to support the development of employees. Coaching the employees to deliver the best customer service, the best customer experience whilst maintaining the standards required by the regulator.

That’s it, that’s the solution we’ve all been searching for over the last 30 years!

Then I woke up, phew that was some dream………

That might have been a dream but this isn’t.

Training is seen as just part of the solution but training alone will only increase productivity by 22.4% whilst training combined with coaching results in an overall productivity gain of 88%

Today’s business environment is increasingly complex and competitive, driving and sustaining employee performance is seen as key to ensuring business success and gaining that vital competitive advantage. To ensure that these objectives are achieved top organisations focus attention on their most valuable assets – people. Training is seen as just part of the solution but training alone will only increase productivity by 22.4% whilst training combined with coaching results in an overall productivity gain of 88%

With a heritage founded in the sporting world, coaching has become one of the most powerful tools to drive and sustain employee performance. A well-developed coaching process builds individual employee strength, develops personal leadership and responsibility, and delivers desired business results to the organisation—simultaneously.

A further study conducted by the Gallup organisation indicates that companies which have implemented effective coaching programs are 50% more likely to have low staff turnover, have 56% higher customer loyalty and achieve 27% greater profitability. These research findings provide strong evidence of the need to create and implement an effective coaching programme.

Coaching is designed to bring about change, direction and discipline from within the employee, it follows a well-worn process. The manager who tells an employee what to do and how to do it is not coaching. A true coach asks questions, listens to the answers, guides the employee in pinpointing the skills and behaviours that are on target for reaching goal and supports the continuation of those behaviours. The result is a strong, independent thinking employee who works toward achieving the goal in ways which are true to their own talents.

Ask anyone who looks after any finely manufactured item and they will tell you that it requires care and occasional attention to ensure that it continues to deliver optimum performance. Look at the examples here;

  • Every car on today’s roads will require attention from a car mechanic to ensure it runs efficiently.
  • Big Ben needs a service every 20 years to ensure it continues to keep time within a second a year.
  • Every production line all over the world requires engineers to keep them running to continue producing products.
  • NASA is constantly reviewing the performance of its space craft to ensure that they can take off and can come back, safely!

We humans are no different when it comes to running efficiently, keeping on time, producing results and sometimes taking off and coming back!

The question is, who looks after us to ensure that this finely honed item continues to perform.

Well, the doctors, dentists, surgeons and therapists look after our personal wellbeing, the HR department will look out for our interests when in work and parents and trainers will provide us with the knowledge to get through life and enjoy our time while we’re doing it!

So with all that support you’d think that getting through life would be a breeze, well you know very well that it’s not that easy.

That’s where coaches can help; coaches provide focus and direction when the pathway seems a little uncertain or simply unclear. A good coach recognises that the person that they are coaching isn’t an ‘empty vessel’, they come into a coaching session with a degree of ability, skill or knowledge about the task or activity that they are looking to develop. The task for the coach is to assess the level of ability, skill and knowledge of their coachee before they can help to develop and support them on their journey to where they believe they want to get to.

Left to our own devices we often simply don’t know what we are capable of and blindly move towards the objective or goal that’s before us. I can recall an old Top Gear programme where this was beautifully demonstrated.

Dear old Captain Slow aka James May was strapped into a TVR sports car with the task of driving around a particular race track with the objective of setting a specific time for a lap. Now Captain Slow has demonstrated many times his ability to drive, has a level of skill and knowledge regards the task in hand. In fact Captain Slow was seen to drive a Bugatti Veyron in another programme at over two hundred miles an hour on the VW test track – I’m sure that takes some doing.

However back to the task in hand, his coach for the task of driving the TVR around the track in a specific time was none other than Sir Jackie Stewart. Sir Jackie [the coach]sat alongside Captain Slow and gave him a lap to show what he could do. With one lap completed Sir Jackie then set about the task of coaching Captain Slow.

Lap after lap your heard praise and instruction from the Master, lap after lap the times came down. The objective was achieved and the jubilation on Captain Slows face was clearly evident – Sir Jackie appeared chuffed with James’s achievement.

Now the objective might have been achieved without Sir Jackie’s input but at what cost and how long might it had taken? I started this article by saying that business today is increasingly complex and competitive, driving and sustaining employee performance is seen as key to ensuring business success – but at what cost and how long do we have?

Coaching is the key to creating that competitive advantage. It helps put smiles on the faces of employees, it helps to develop morale within the work force, and it helps to show that the organisation really cares about its staff in helping them to develop their abilities, skills and knowledge to do their job.

Got any Captain Slows in your work force, good people who have a level of ability, skill and knowledge but don’t yet know what they are capable of?

Got a Sir Jackie in the team who could sit alongside offering praise and instruction, asking the right questions and watching the smiles as the performance improves?

If you are a smart professional business manager, business leader or entrepreneur and have a coach, it’s inconceivable that you won’t reach the heights that you’re capable of. Without a coach you’ll probably never know what you could have done.

Whether you are a coach or a coachee, the first thing you can do to help yourself is to try a personal check up. We are told to check ourselves for these lumps and bumps so why not check yourself out to see if you’re running efficiently?

If you’re a coach or new to coaching, we’ve created a short story called ‘Dan’s Story’. It tracks the progress of Dan and Lauren, two managers keen to achieve results and to learn their trade. The story lets you see how they implement a strategy to reach their goals and uncovers the tools they use. You can then check yourself out in your current role to see if you are delivering effective support and coaching to the people who rely upon you.

The ‘Dan’s Story’ guide forms part of the T10 Effortless Learning programme. It focuses on a range of learning needs each designed to accommodate both individual and group requirements. Being part of the Effortless programme, it follows our values of designing to stimulate curiosity, help to connect with the subject matter, encourage you to find ways to make the learning fun and will include activities to help you question and improve your current behaviours.



About Author

With almost an entire career working with customers Kelvin has developed the knack of ‘standing in the customers shoes’ and helping organisations, executives, sales and product teams to see, feel, hear, smell and taste things they don’t experience but their customers do.

Leave A Reply