July 30, 2020



learning culture


REC is the trade body for the recruitment industry. Its reason for being is to promote good recruitment practices for the benefit of recruiters, employers, and job seekers. Its purpose is making great work happen. It is a membership organisation offering a range of services from legal advice, guidance in starting up a recruitment agency and workshops on best recruitment practices.

They have 75 employees. The then HR Manager was keen to build a coaching culture into the organisation and they had identified 5 high potentials who would benefit from having a mentor. The objective was to retain talent as well to deliver an engaged workforce with the capability of meeting the changing needs of the business. In addition, they wanted to incorporate the wider aspects of employability such as CV writing and LinkedIn.

Programme Outline

We adopted a blended learning approach using online tools, workshop delivery and skills practice. The population was divided into two cohorts, members of the senior leadership team, and all first line managers.

Joan O’Connor delivered two half day workshops the content of which included what makes an effective coach, coaching models including using the GROW model, developing listening skills, goal setting as well as skills practice. One of the key principles underpinning 10Eighty’s approach to coaching is a strengths-based philosophy and this was embedded into the workshop. The workshops were highly interactive.

On the second workshop participants gave feedback on their coaching practice. Topics covered included giving feedback, developing positive mindsets, using the BOCA model and using coaching to solve problems.

Approximately 6 months after this training intervention, 10Eighty delivered two further workshops those members of staff who have volunteered to be mentors. Pre-work included access to 10Eighty’s learning programme on connected conversations, as well as 10Eighty’s diagnostic tool to enable individuals better understand their values, motivators, and talents. This intervention was again made up of two half day modules delivered in a workshop setting. Course content recapped the key coaching skills, drivers of engagement, an introduction to the intelligent career theory followed up with a feedback session using Fuel 50 reports. Participants coached each other in how they might increase their engagement using their values and talents using job sculpting techniques. The objective of the first session was that participants would be able write their own career plan as well as assist others. The second session was very practical helping participants to write a CV as well as using Linkedin, and networking skills. All participants were given access to 10Eighty’s careers portal.

Following the programme HR launched a companywide campaign offering employees access to a mentor. Mentees were given access to Fuel 50 as part of the mentoring process. Michael 10Eighty’s CEO had one to one follow up sessions with two key members of staff on their personal development. Thus far 9 people out of total population of 55 excluding managers had taken up the offer of having a mentor.

HR is keen to extend the programme.

HR Manager Tracey Marshall says:

“The REC have always had a positive approach to learning and development for all staff and for me, it’s key to invest as much support and time as we can into developing our management capability to ensure we sustain world class managers and leaders. A huge part of how we do this is to try and embed a coaching culture across the business as well as managers having the capability to act as mentors so that staff have access to a trained mentor when needed. Both Joan and Michael have helped us to do that and have played a huge part in our journey. All our Management team are trained on adopting a more coaching style of management and a large proportion are also trained mentors. Joan’s style is very approachable and holds relaxed sessions where staff feel comfortable speaking out, so much so that Joan has followed up from group sessions and held one to one coaching sessions with members of the management team. We still have a long way to go in adapting a fully embedded coaching and mentoring culture but Joan and Michael are always on hand to help and guide us through the journey and with their help, I am confident we will get where we need to be with ease.”

Kate Shoesmith Director of Sales and Marketing who participated in the workshops says:

“The workshops with Joan were first rate. Joan provided a learning environment where we could test our coaching skills safely and with purpose.  She provided that careful balance of encouragement with constructive feedback. There’s no point in a trainer telling us we’re great if we haven’t applied the training properly! Back in the business, I have experienced my managers as coaches and mentors, I have had a chance to put my skills to the test and I have been really pleased with the outcomes. A few of the tried and tested tools shared by Michael and 10Eighty have worked very well.  I’ve also felt that those who have experienced the training or been supported by a mentor have developed a better sense of ownership for their own careers – which is important for each of us personally, especially those who are newer entrants to the jobs market. But it is also really important for us as a business as we develop our strategy and respond to these changing times.”

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