CASE STUDY: A GROWING BUSINESS: Performance Coaching / Solving Business Problems
Sphere is a small to medium sized recruitment company specialising in digital recruitment. They have grown rapidly from a small start-up 8 years ago comprising 3 people, to a thriving business of 50 staff.
The CEO, Ed Steer, brought me on board to coach his Senior Management team with the aim of improving their performance so as to improve profits.
This is his story when I started working with his employees.
Sphere was a thriving business and was steadily increasing its turnover and profitability, however, as with many young businesses that have experienced fast growth, there were some areas that needed ironing out, particularly around managers’ soft skills. Some of the rising stars were young and relatively inexperienced as managers, and so needed some help and guidance around leading their teams, and gaining the confidence required to do so.
Furthermore, as with all sales environments, there was a lot of competition and pressure to perform both internally and externally to the organisation and this naturally created a fair amount of stress for the managers and consultants.
I initially worked with the senior management team comprising eight people and shortly afterwards I also began coaching the junior management team, comprising a further seven individuals, as well as a few ad hoc employees who needed some extra help around confidence, managing stress and overcoming specific difficulties they were facing. This is Ed’s story six months later in his own words.
Sphere is my baby into which I have poured my heart and soul as well as lots of blood, sweat and tears. It is now eight years old, but it was conceived a number of years before that, when I was working as a recruitment consultant elsewhere.
I began working on setting up Sphere when I could see how the company I was working for previously could do things so much better. I had a vision of a different kind of culture and vibe that you didn’t normally find within the recruitment industry and I very much wanted to make that come alive. I began working with a business coach to start developing my ideas and figuring out how to make it happen.
Here I am eight years later, with a thriving business which has grown rapidly and achieved great success. However, because of this accelerated growth, I realised that my senior management team would benefit from some help around confidence, managing stress and improving their leadership skills, particularly as a few of them were relatively young and had limited previous managerial experience. I am a big believer in a people focused business and so investing in my high-fliers was a no-brainer for me. My business is very much the people who work here, so I want to give them every chance I can of being successful – both for themselves and for the business.
Marie was recommended to me by a business associate, and I initially asked her to coach one of my consultants who had huge potential but was being hindered in showing his real capabilities due to some tricky personal circumstances.
After just a few sessions, the difference in him was incredible. He was calmer, more relaxed and focussed and had a more positive attitude and approach. His productivity soared and the return on my investment was vast. This also had a positive knock-on effect within his team.
I then asked Marie to coach my senior management team, all of whom are highly capable recruitment consultants, but were facing a few challenges and difficulties that I believed could be solved through executive coaching.
Having an external and unbiased coach come into the organisation, with no preconceptions, meant that each manager was able to offload freely, knowing that everything they said was confidential and wouldn’t be fed back to myself or anyone else. Marie was able to help all of them overcome challenges such as a lack of confidence, resolving conflict amongst team members, helping them develop their individual leadership styles, reducing stress, understanding their strengths and massively improving their performance as a result. I believe the coaching also meant that potential problems or issues were nipped in the bud before they even developed – prevention being far better than cure.
Due to the coaching of the senior management team being so successful, I then asked Marie to coach my junior management team as well, and this also proved to be another excellent investment. Aside from having happier, more relaxed and productive managers, the sales revenue increased dramatically as well, which I am certain was no coincidence.
Marie is an excellent coach and made a real difference not only personally to every individual she worked with, but also to the bottom line. Her coaching resulted in higher revenue generation, greater staff retention, improved productivity and increased satisfaction among everyone she coached, which in turn fed down through their teams.
The culture of Sphere is incredibly important to me and I am certain that the coaching enhanced even further the fantastic environment and vibe we have created.