Coaching for Performance

A coaching programme that linked into existing people management processes, enabling delegates to have better quality coaching conversations and ensuring that new organisational values were really living within the workplace.


In recent years, the banking sector has had to adapt to a rapidly changing environment. Our client had demonstrated resilience and resolve in terms of responding to this changed landscape with a new set of values and a renewed commitment to its people. They were looking for a coaching programme that linked into existing people management processes and by enabling their people to have better quality coaching conversations, play a key part in ensuring that these new values are really living within the organisation.


The programme needed to be arresting – getting people to stop, think and reflect on their own, and others’, behaviour. To achieve this, Steps was asked to create drama-based content that looked at ways to develop confidence in having coaching conversations. The scenarios explored common pitfalls – where behaviours can be a barrier to effective coaching. We looked at positive techniques for tackling underperformance and, crucially, at how to provide sufficient ‘stretch’ to motivate and retain high performing talent. To support the drama, we also used the ‘GROW’ coaching model to provide a useful theoretical context to the practical behaviours presented. This ability to explore different perspectives in a short space of time, underpinned by an effective behavioural model is a critical advantage of using a drama-based approach.

What Next?

The programme launched in the UK and was subsequently rolled out concurrently to additional regional hubs including Singapore and New York. This made consistency and quality imperative and yet at the same time it was vital to achieve credibility by making minor adaptations to the programme content to meet the needs and learning styles of different cultures and groups. Thorough research and development in each region ensured that the content was appropriate and relevant.

Sessions were delivered by highly experienced and carefully trained Steps associates based locally in the training locations. Our skilled facilitators kept the learning objectives consistent across all locations, as well as remaining sensitive and responsive to cultural difference. Around 30-50 managers and supervisors from a cross section of employees (to promote cross functional interaction) attended each 2-hour workshop and by having senior leaders ‘set the scene’ at the beginning of each one, senior level advocacy and management commitment was given to the training.

It was actually the impact of a Steps programme remembered from over 7 years ago that formed the catalyst for the creation and delivery of this programme. The commissioning team remembered Steps’ strength in making each programme relevant and appropriate to each organisations specific set of needs, so right from the outset we carefully tailored our approach. The relationship with the client, therefore, was key and they particularly valued our adaptability and responsiveness in a continuously challenging and changing environment – a major factor in the programmes success.


In terms of feedback, 90%+ of respondents said they would recommend the course to a colleague and the overall rating given was 4.3 out of 5.

“I felt that Steps did a great job and were able to flex their approach,” said the Commissioning Manager. “There was a good use of humour, they promoted good conversations within the audience and skilfully got across the key messages that we discussed during the design stage. All in all, I think Steps have done a fine job in producing valuable, fit-for-purpose sessions in tight timescales.”