Member Spotlight: SAP SE - International Coaching Federation
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Member Spotlight: SAP SE

Iva Horka headshotLearn about the coaching culture at the Prism Award-winning organization, SAP SE, with Iva Horka, senior learning and development specialist in talent management. SAP SE is a German multinational software corporation, with more than 110,000 employees in over 160 countries.

Please describe your internal coaching culture.

Our internal global coaching program has evolved over the past 10 years and we now have over 600 coaches globally supporting SAP employees.

All coaches are SAP employees who have completed an extensive coaching education program (100 hours of learning) and gained coaching certification. Furthermore, they have all committed to spending 5% of their time coaching fellow employees along with their day-to-day job responsibilities. In addition to one-on-one coaching, some of them might also act as facilitators for learning and development programs introducing the fundamentals of the coaching mindset and coaching practices to learners from within the company.

All employees can request a coach through our online coaching platform, where they can search for a coach based on their criteria such as language, location or topic they wish to be coached on.

What is a challenge you’ve overcome in developing your coaching culture?

From the beginning of the program, it has been critical for us to identify how coaching fits into our company strategy and how it can support SAP’s long term strategic goals. Most recently, we have been working on identifying extensive success measures and impact indices for the program, going beyond customer satisfaction (CSAT) and net promoter (NPS) scores.

To measure the effectiveness, we utilize an internal surveying tool that allows us to gather insights from both coaches as well as coachees. Moving forward, we are looking at how we can utilize other internally available data sources to understand how coaching impacts employee motivation and retention, leadership trust scores and more. We believe when it comes to building a coaching culture, it goes hand in hand with building a culture of learning.

What is a success you’ve encountered in developing your practice?

Our successes certainly include building the pool of 600+ externally educated coaches available globally, as well as our CSAT and NPS scores. In fact:

  • 96% of employees who have received coaching say the skills they have learned are being applied to their work or lives outside of work.
  • 95% indicated they were more aware of themselves after the sessions.
  • 83% state coaching improved their satisfaction.
  • And 87% of employees indicated coaching improved their level of motivation.

How do you handle privacy between your coaches and staff?

Our employees have an online tool available to request coaching sessions. When registering in the tool, they are invited to create a profile, complete the confidentially agreement and sign a privacy notice agreeing to data processing by our internal global practice. All our coaches complete the same process and abide to the ICF Code of Ethics. We also encourage those seeking a coach to utilize chemistry sessions to find the best match.

What are your goals for your internal coaching practice in the next year?

We are working on increasing the number of active coaches within the coaching pool who have ongoing coaching relationships. Currently, 49% of our coaches are in an active coaching relationship, which means the service is underutilized. We wish to have more of our employees to benefit from the amazing program and want to make sure our coaches have an opportunity to further practice and hone their coaching skills. Currently there are 2,300 ongoing coaching relationships across the company, but we always have opportunities for more.

To help with that, we are planning to an extensive internal marketing campaign to promote the program and encourage our leaders and employees to take advantage of it. In certain regions, coaching is still viewed as a performance management tool to support underperforming employees. Instead, coaching is a powerful tool to help individuals to grow and develop within their personal and professional life, no matter which direction they wish to take. Part of the marketing will also be a series of success stories from our coaches and coachees to share with our audience.

Furthermore, we are examining ways to integrate coaching into the learning journeys for our target groups and as a recommended activity after completing certain learning and development programs.

What do you find most beneficial as a member of ICF Coaching in Organizations?

I appreciate the access to ongoing resources and continuous learning, as well as the ability to exchange best practices with peers. It is an opportunity to see what is happening in the coaching world.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the members of ICF Coaching in Organizations?

Building coaching culture in our organization is an ongoing journey, and the work has certainly not stopped. We must continue to find other ways to grow and ensure more and more employees can benefit from the program. In particular, we are looking to expand coaching training/education and 1:1 coaching.

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