When we created Cyma Limited, my business partners and I set out from the very start to do things differently. We wanted to find interesting and innovative ways to differentiate ourselves from our competitors - those organisations that we compete with for work and those we compete with for employees.
Along the way we have tried a lot of different ideas to solve the many problems we have faced - some have been surprising successes and many have been unexpected failures. But one of the joys of running your own company is you can keep on trying new things, so that is what we do.
For a growing company, resourcing and recruitment are a constant challenge. It takes a long time to get someone on board, and it can cost a lot as well, so we really wanted to get it right. And as our talented team started to come on board, we really wanted to keep them.
Following our ‘do things differently’ and ‘give it a go’ approach, we decided from the very beginning to focus on being an employer of choice and we have worked hard to create a compelling proposition around working with us. Ultimately, we want people knocking on the door asking to join us. There are many parts to this employee proposition, some orthodox and others less so, but I want to focus on one in particular, coaching. Something that organisations may offer to senior leadership, but at Cyma we decided to turn this upside down and see what happens.
As leaders we understood the value of coaching, we had our own coaches after all. So what about our staff? If coaching can help us so much, then surely it would help our staff too. So we asked them what they thought and they said it sounded like a good idea. We trialed it for a period and found it to be a resounding success, creating a strong team and a happier workplace.
Today, we offer coaching to all our staff; doesn’t matter what they do. We use independent coaches and what is covered during sessions with our employees remains confidential. The coaching focuses on both life and personal skills, and we also provide access to external mentors for industry specific needs. We catch up in our regular one-on-ones and check in to see if they are getting value from the coaching, and the answer is predominantly yes. From what individuals have chosen to share with us, it is clear that the coaching has helped them profoundly in both their professional and personal lives, and we think that is just great.
Here’s some feedback from the team on the benefits of coaching:
Coaching helps me to be aware of habits and understand where I am and would like to be
We discuss methods with which to progress plans and eliminate impediments
I get a non-biased secondary opinion on progress and actions taken
I have found it is more holistic, not just focusing on work life but personal life as well. Benefits gained in one area general cross over to the other
Coaching is great! I have got a tremendous amount out of coaching - it has provided the opportunity to bounce ideas off someone else, and to work through areas that I have specifically wanted to develop. Coaching has provided the tools to enable me to do this and to be better at what I do and who I am - not just professionally but in a personal context as well.
If you want a high performing team you need to give them tools to not only reach that level, but also maintain it. It is no surprise that coaching is one fantastic way to support this and it has delivered great value for everyone here at Cyma. It is most definitely not just for senior leadership.