KOHO, a 2021 Best Workplace in Canada, has embraced in-house performance coaching as one of their core services and employee benefits.
In March of last year, working remotely became the norm for KOHO’s 85 employees as they embraced the disruption of 2020 head on. Fast forward to June 2021 — the company has expanded to 206 employees and anticipates further growth.
Luckily, they have the tools they need to fuel this continuous expansion. KOHO CEO Daniel Eberhard rolled out an in-house coaching program back in 2019 to optimize employee performance and support their success. After all, a high-growth company needs high-growth people.
Here’s how KOHO’s Coaching and Development program has become a vital pillar of the company’s growth trajectory and success.
It’s Available to Everyone
KOHO recognizes that to be a truly successful company, all employees should have the support they need to thrive. Challenges at work aren’t exclusive to leaders, and so KOHO’s two (soon to be three) certified performance coaches provide safe, unbiased, and confidential support to everyone, regardless of role, seniority, or department.
1:1 coaching ultimately helps employees with whatever issues or questions they bring to the table, from career development to developing confidence. Here’s an overview of the coaching themes at KOHO from a 2020 survey:
It’s Embedded in The Culture
Implementing an in-house coaching program at KOHO was a strategic decision. Rather than providing a stipend to cover external coaching costs, Eberhard wanted a growth philosophy that was fully immersed in KOHO.
The KOHO coaches are in tune with the company’s mission, values, and business priorities, and are therefore able to instill the essence of the KOHO culture into the coaching process. This way, the company values become true unifiers and not just words written on their website.
For example, coaches empower employees to
- Have direct or difficult conversations (KOHO value: Practice & Foster Candor)
- Take on challenges or take action to solve problems (KOHO value: Own it)
- Become unstuck and chart their career paths (KOHO value: Have a Growth Mindset)
- Shift their perspective to the people their work most affects (KOHO value: Think Like a Customer)
- Champion culture initiatives and build the company they can feel proud to work for (KOHO value: Build Community).
Working 1:1 with employees also allows the coaches to keep a pulse on the organization as a whole, and provide summarized feedback upwards; all the while keeping individual employee coaching confidential. This helps the KOHO culture continuously improve for the benefit of everyone.
Plus, when employees see tangible efforts to improve their pain points and facilitate their growth, they are more likely to fully dedicate themselves to their roles and the collective mission.
It’s Designed for Scalable Impact
With Have a Growth Mindset as a core value and their headcount growing at rapid speed, KOHO finds it only natural to prioritize performance coaching and its impact.
Here are some of the ways they have made their high-impact offerings scalable:
- Leadership Training: All leaders go through coaching training as part of a 5-month leadership development program so they can leverage a coach approach with their direct reports.
- Team Coaching: Figuring out how to work effectively together, especially in a remote setting, isn’t always easy. In addition to working with employees 1:1, the KOHO coaches offer team coaching to help teams build trust, cohesion, and ultimately, high performance.
- Group Programs: The challenges our employees bring into coaching often aren’t unique to them. The Coaches offer group programs based on common themes to build peer support and connection. Most recently, they launched a Stress Management program; in Q3 they’ll be launching a Program on Boosting Confidence, and a Mentorship program in Q4.
The Bottom Line
Creating a valuable, high-impact coaching program takes time, but the pay-off is well worth the wait. In 2020, 86% of promotions at KOHO went to employees who were leveraging their coaching program and an incredible 88% of employees said they would recommend the program internally.
Here’s what their employees have to say about their coaching experience:
“Coaching has been an absolute highlight of this year. [Now I have the] tools to understand myself better as well as have confidence to give difficult feedback, go for new opportunities and believe in myself.”
- Annu, Senior Project Manager
“[Coaching] has really helped me focus on the details and small steps I can start taking to achieve the “big picture” results that always feel unattainable and scary at the beginning.”
- Taylor, Strategic Partnerships Lead
“From preparing for a presentation or a tough conversation, to fighting imposter syndrome, preventing burnout, and creating a plan to attack your goals, KOHO coaching has given me a place to have thoughtful conversations and [focus on] personal growth.”
- Valerie, Intermediate Back End Developer
While each workplace’s approach to coaching can (and should) take a different path based on its needs and values, companies like KOHO that go the extra mile in embedding these practices in their offerings and culture will reap the benefits for years to come.
Want to work at KOHO?
If you’re interested in working at a high-growth company that’s dedicated to the individual growth of its employees, check out KOHO’s job board here.
About Great Place to Work®
Great Place to Work® is the Global Authority on Workplace Culture. We make it easy to survey your employees, uncover actionable insights and get recognized for your great company culture. Learn more about Great Place to Work Certification.