Futures Housing builds a network of coaches and mentors
Futures Housing Group provides affordable homes and neighbourhood services to tenants in the East Midlands. It wanted to develop a coaching ethos right across its organisation and better support its apprentices.
Futures Housing Group approached us to help it:
- develop coaching, mentoring and communication skills in order to support apprentices and trainees to learn at work
- develop a wider coaching approach across the organisation, as part of the management ethos.
We designed two bespoke Level 4 programmes, aimed at two distinct groups of people:
- University Certificate in Professional Development (Inspiring Learning at Work)– for people providing frontline services, who had supervisory or line management responsibility for apprentices/trainees.
- University Certificate in Professional Development (Manager as Coach and Mentor) – for all other managers or supervisors.
These were to be run as pilot programmes initially, so the organisation could assess their effectiveness.
Although both programmes covered similar themes and had one module in common, Practical Coaching Skills, they focused on slightly different things.
Inspiring Learning at Work centred on coaching and mentoring young people with little experience, or those who had been out of work for some time. In contrast, Manager as Coach and Mentor provided more in-depth training on coaching and mentoring, covering challenging scenarios and team coaching techniques.
Assessments also differed. Learners on Manager as Coach and Mentor carried out assessments through an online learning portal, while those on Inspiring Learning at Work had limited access to computers during the day and were engaged in more manual work. For these learners, therefore, we developed a practical, hands-on assessment built around a professional discussion.
Futures Housing Group has put its learning to use straight away, setting up an area of the intranet to promote mentoring and coaching. A significant number of employees have already asked to be supported.
Final assessments are still underway but it looks likely that all learners will pass and that the pilot will be extended. We have already received very positive comments from senior managers in the organisation and from learners who undertook the certificates.
“We were so impressed with the quality of the tutors we have commissioned them to do additional work. I found the programme hugely beneficial and I know others have too. We now have 26 active coaches who are supporting a range of different colleagues across the business, with great feedback.”
Rita Coe, Assistant Director Corporate Services
“The tutors delivered a thoroughly enjoyable and engaging programme, using their breadth of experience to ensure it was real and accessible. I am constantly drawing upon my learning and I have benefited both professionally and personally, particularly in terms of my confidence.”
Sallyann Gretton, HR Business Partner