The (Re)emergence Of The Workplace Coach

“In this changing world of work, learning as a capability has to evolve and it has to be accessible, agile and flexible. Many interventions are now best delivered in the flow of work activity, not in a classroom. Digital technologies enable learning to be available anytime and anywhere with many also choosing to learn in their own time and often from their own sources of learning and knowledge. With the proliferation of rich, readily available online content, learning design is shifting from not just creation but to curation as well.”

Peter Cheese CEO of CIPD – Towards Maturity 2016

Many Financial Services organisations are developing learning solutions that are shifting the emphasis from ‘trainer-led’ to ‘learner-led’ blended interventions

The drive towards learner-led solutions continues to gain momentum: companies being motivated by budget savings and learners motivated by flexible access to the learning curriculum – a ‘win win’ situation!

The desire to embrace digital technologies and access the wealth of online learning resources is high on everyone’s agenda. Beyond the work environment we all continually learn in what the Open University calls ‘Incidental’ learning.

However, going forward we must realise that the ‘Millennials’ are now expecting this incidental learning to become the norm in their work environment too, with much of their work related learning being achieved ‘on the go’.

L&D functions are challenged to embrace digital capabilities to satisfy this Millennial-led need for immediacy . As L&D professionals we need to help facilitate this more and more.

However, even the most tech savvy learner also needs support from those who are more experienced and skilled in the subject matter. Learners desire to be shown ‘how to’ or better still, coached, so that they learn ‘how to’ for themselves within their work environment. This takes 1on1 time and often falls on time-poor line managers or internal trainers who are not necessarily subject matter experts.

Unleash existing (latent) capability

The ‘know-how’ to ensure pragmatic application of knowledge gained through incidental learning invariably exists within the current workplace team.

The careful selection of subject matter experts who are then trained to be workplace coaches enables rapid and consistent standards of on-job competence: a highly effective blend of knowledge acquisition and application.

DSW has developed a suite of coaching programmes and toolkits to transform subject matter expertise into highly effective coaching capability. The benefits of this approach include, but are not limited to:

  • Learners are helped by someone they trust and respect
  • The workplace coach feels more engaged, motivated and enabled to make a genuine impact within the business
  • The training enables the workplace coach to grow in confidence and learn new skills
  • It is an excellent complement to digital learning / incidental learning
  • It is extremely cost effective
  • It can provide ‘just-in-time’ learning support
  • It lends itself perfectly to 70:20:10 and in fact provides that missing element of support 
 within the 70 part (on the job learning).

If you are already implementing a similar approach model in your firm please let us know your experience. If not, then why not talk to us about how you can go about it? Fill in the form or call 01302 760 008.

About Tim Hattersley

Tim is the Learning and Development Director of DSW, having joined the company 9 years ago. He has over 30 years financial services sector experience, in banking, regulated advice and training, all to National Director level. Tim leads the DSW learning and development proposition which covers professional qualifications, regulatory change, talent and skills development for major financial organisations.