6 Tips for a Standout Coaching Culture from Intel - International Coaching Federation
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6 Tips for a Standout Coaching Culture from Intel

Posted by Stephanie Norris | April 10, 2023 | Comments (0)

Rising tides lift all boats often refers to increasing stock prices boosting the economy. However, it’s also an apt metaphor for the impact of nurturing a corporate coaching culture. A workplace that promotes the development of coaching skills for high-potential managers has a trickledown effect, such as improved retention, greater profitability, and organizational attainment of strategic goals.  

Just ask Intel, a world leader in designing and manufacturing leading-edge semiconductors. The company has cultivated a coaching ecosystem that is ingrained in its culture. The return on investment in its coaching program totals about $1 billion USD per year in operating margin. That figure is directly tied to behavior changes across the team due to coaching, including new revenue that those behaviors enabled and reduced costs associated with turnover.

The numbers speak for themselves. Additional success metrics also include:

  • Promotion rates among leaders are 2.7 times higher than before.
  • Achievement of coachee business goals soared to 91%.
  • Wide-spread satisfaction scores. The Net Promotor Score (NPS) consistently surpasses world-class standards of an 80, with flagship programs such as Leadership Fitness Coaching scoring an 87.

Intel’s award-winning coaching culture started as a grassroots initiative championed by internal leaders and ICF-credential coaches Mariann Pike and Lynette Winter. The duo was integral to the initial adoption of the program and saw the value of investing in a model that combined new coaching modalities and technologies, and measurement platforms to add value and demonstrate meaningful ROI.

The program is built on three pillars to facilitate strategic deployment organization wide, and to increase the chances for the program’s success. The three-pronged approach is based on the following tenets:

  • Getting Coached: Managers and leaders may receive different forms of coaching from credentialed internal and third-party coaches. 
  • Learning How to Coach: Coachees and employees can go from student to teacher by learning coaching skills and receiving training and certification to coach others. 
  • Governing and Infrastructure: Coaching programs are managed at the enterprise level with state-of-the-art systems and data-driven design. 

Once a foundation is in place for supporting a coaching culture, the fun begins. This is where your organization can get creative in building a program tailored to your workplace.

6 Tips for Developing a Standout Coaching Culture

Creating a coaching program with measurable impacts on individuals and at the organizational level requires strategic planning, deployment, and metrics for assessing success.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at six best practices from Intel that you can use to develop a rigorous program with best-in-class content that delivers results.

  1. Building a coaching program based on ethics and standards. Intel’s coaching agreement is based on the ICF Code of Ethics, and training (internal or external) is delivered through internal or external ICF accredited programs based on ICF standards.
  2. Embracing an approach that empowers leaders to be role models through facilitative leadership. As a leading tech company with global reach, Intel prizes innovation by encouraging its leaders to drive transformation in an industry that is consistently evolving. Coaching is primarily targeted at high-potential managers and leaders with the goal of fostering workforce engagement, developing talent, and transforming leadership style. Leaders are encouraged to connect with their colleagues to manage contrasting perspectives and collaborate as a team — enabling higher results than possible when working alone as individuals.
  3. Customizing a coaching solution. Intel launched a Women’s Leadership Academy and a program for first-time parents re-entering the workplace. This approach directly supports the company’s goal of doubling the number of women and underrepresented minorities in senior leadership positions. To accomplish this, Intel focuses on making coaching available to individuals who identify as marginalized employees.
  4. Adopting a mission to advance leaders from coachee to coach. First, managers and leaders are paired with internal and external ICF credentialed coaches to level up their skills. Then they transition from student to teacher and receive training and certification to coach others.
  5. Implementing a coaching management system to automate and track progress. Intel manages its internal coaching program with a state-of-the-art platform that streamlines user experience and facilitates easy updates to evolving content.
  6. Using data-driven method for measuring results. Feedback is crucial to evaluating program success and evolving content for increased impact. Intel uses a multi-channel approach for gathering input, including:
    • Survey responses from coachees and coaches.
    • Manager development feedback.
    • Retention analytics.

Learn More

In the 15 years since Intel started its focused effort, the coaching program has achieved astonishing success metrics, and you can too. Read more about Coaching as a Catalyst for Change at Intel and find inspiration for creating a transformational coaching culture at your organization. Our ICF Coaching in Organizations team also provides a variety of resources for organizations wanting to build and/or sustain a coaching culture.

Stephanie Norris

Stephanie Norris, who has been with ICF since 2011, became the ICF awards director in 2021. In this role, she recently restructured the global awards system to align with the whole organization. The ICF Coaching Impact Awards has had a great reception during its inaugural year!   Stephanie is a strong promoter of the positive impact that coaching has on the world! She brings together all groups of people to work and celebrates the best of coaching! Stephanie is fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese and can also speak French.  She is a systems analyst and studied for a master's degree in literature.  She resides in Buenos Aires, Argentina (World Cup champions!). 

The views and opinions expressed in guest posts featured on this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the International Coach Federation (ICF). The publication of a guest post on the ICF Blog does not equate to an ICF endorsement or guarantee of the products or services provided by the author.

Additionally, for the purpose of full disclosure and as a disclaimer of liability, this content was possibly generated using the assistance of an AI program. Its contents, either in whole or in part, have been reviewed and revised by a human. Nevertheless, the reader/user is responsible for verifying the information presented and should not rely upon this article or post as providing any specific professional advice or counsel. Its contents are provided “as is,” and ICF makes no representations or warranties as to its accuracy or completeness and to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law specifically disclaims any and all liability for any damages or injuries resulting from use of or reliance thereupon.

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