Assessing Your Coaching Culture

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The world around us has been upended, and everyone is dealing with new pressures, both in their professional and personal lives. In times like these, resilience, adaptability and the ability to maintain a positive mindset are vital. It’s one of the reasons more and more organizations are focused on shoring up their coaching culture. A workforce that’s continually learning, growing and empowered to solve problems and make good decisions is one of the best defenses the business and its people have against constant change and uncertainty. 

In fact, a coaching culture has become one of the defining factors of thriving organizations, whether in good times or in tough times. While one obvious benefit of coaching is that it helps employees develop their skills and improve their performance, it’s also a key pillar of a positive working environment and resilient business. Especially when workforces are being streamlined and more people are working remotely, we need to make sure everyone feels connected, engaged, motivated and accountable. At the same time, high-potential employees increasingly want to work for companies that prioritize their growth and well-being and where managers actively support their development so they can achieve their professional goals.  

Ultimately, when coaching is embedded into the culture, it strengthens the foundation of the organization in numerous ways, leading to greater engagement, agility, resilience and innovation that directly contribute to an organization’s business and financial success.

Assessing Your Coaching Culture

All of this may have you wondering how your culture stacks up. It hasn’t traditionally been an easy question to answer, because culture is constantly evolving and often seen as something that’s too intangible to measure. But a culture is the product of the actions and behaviors of the people. If you are an OD/HR/L&D professional or business leader, you can intentionally guide these actions and behaviors over time through the expectations you set and build with your leaders and managers. Once you understand what the specific qualities of a coaching culture are, you can assess where your organization is right now — and where you need to focus your efforts to build and maintain the kind of coaching culture you need.

We’ve drawn from our 30+ years of experience innovating, evolving, and advocating for the practice of coaching to develop a coaching culture measurement tool that will help you do just that. This assessment is designed around what we’ve found are the 5 Building Blocks of a Coaching Culture:

  1. Our culture embraces routinely giving and receiving feedback and has equipped everyone with the same easy-to-apply model to do it effectively.
  2. Our culture places a high premium on people development at all levels in the organization.
  3. Our culture emphasizes a developmental approach that leaders at all levels use in regular 1:1 meetings with direct reports.
  4. Our culture actively embraces a learning mindset, which means we do more asking than telling, we listen to learn, and we seek out and encourage opportunities to grow.
  5. Our culture supports innovation to drive our organization’s long-term success by empowering people to solve problems and try out new ideas.

How to Use the Coaching Culture Assessment

Whether you’re researching new ways to develop your people, in the planning stages of building a coaching culture, or already in the process of building one, this diagnostic will give you valuable insights and action steps to transform your culture using a path that makes sense for your unique circumstances.

Because the questions are designed around a framework of the 5 Building Blocks, it will not only give you a “score” that shows where you are today, it will also serve as your checklist to evaluate against going forward. Since cultures are constantly evolving, the process is never really done. Successful companies continually assess and fine tune their culture to make sure their strategic and coaching objectives are aligned.

What can you expect once you start embedding coaching into your culture? Truly transformative impact, including:

  • Faster and more effective progress toward achieving your mission and goals, with everyone united behind a common purpose and equipped to deliver on the brand promise.
  • Engaged employees who are able to grow along a clear, defined developmental path that aligns their career aspirations with the business’s needs. 
  • Leaders whose time is freed up to focus on the strategic trajectory of your business and how to innovate your future.

It takes focus, commitment, and determination by senior leaders to build and sustain a coaching culture, but this tool will help illuminate the path forward. And with these kinds of results, the payoff will be more than worth it.


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About Author
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Hudson Institute of Coaching

One of the early leaders in the field of coaching, Hudson Institute of Coaching has been providing developmentally based coach training for leaders for more than 30 years. We set the standard for experiential learning programs that lead organizations and people to reach for their best as leaders and human beings in our global world.