An executive needs his team to ‘switch off’ after work, to reduce stress and thus increase productivity. Could virtual coaching help in this busy organisation?

The issue

John, a CEO at an engineering firm, wants to understand how virtual coaching could help him and his workforce develop a greater sense of well-being by improving personal effectiveness and productivity.

In coaching, John explains that his team is capable and successful but his concern is that his people have an ‘always on’ mentality. They aren’t switching off during evenings and weekends.

John says his team spends much of the day huddled in rooms and believes this is not leaving them enough time to effectively manage their workload. HR has highlighted an increase in sick leave and in people showing signs of stress.

John wants a flexible solution – a confidential space away from the ‘doing’ where team members can think through strategies to manage themselves and workloads.

John identifies several themes that could be worked on:

  • managing expectations (saying ‘no’/ managing through others)
  • managing workload
  • developing resilience and grit
  • emotional agility and confidence
  • developing productive thinking patterns.

The solution needs to demonstrate a measurable impact over six months and not be resource heavy. How can a virtual coaching solution help him achieve this?


The interventions

Kate Hesk

Co-founder, Know You More

This is a cultural challenge. The whole organisation, including John, needs to benefit.

Know You More would provide a solution for team members to access their own virtual, professionally qualified coach. It would be a
self-service opportunity that the team could access when the time was right.

We would customise the coaching platform to measure and evaluate the impact of the virtual coaching experience to John’s brief. The
platform would intuitively check-in at specific intervals to gather data aligned with the agreed metrics. Every team member would be given the opportunity to access between two and six coaching sessions.

The offering could be launched by email. The team would be provided with the necessary information to access their virtual coaching opportunity and content describing how to get the most from their experience.

In the first week, team members would be invited to register their profile and preferences on the platform. They would each be matched with the best coach from our community of 150 accredited coaches with the aim of completing their first session within three weeks. The importance of accessibility and flexibility within the solution would become apparent early on.

The number and duration of sessions and the regularity of each team member’s programme would likely be different. The platform’s goal tracking functionality would spring into life, with team members logging and rating progress against each coaching goal.

We would check in with John and his team throughout the six months. We would expect many of the team members to already see positive changes. These might include a reduction in email traffic out of hours, for example, greater confidence and enhanced ability to relate well to others.


Teresa Wilson

Director, Think Space

John’s team are at a tipping point. They may be “capable and successful”, but the cost is stress and fear of burnout. One-to-one coaching may help some members ‘feel better’, but it will not directly address the issue of the culture they work in, so any gains may be shortlived.

John appears to have made two key assumptions: that virtual coaching is less disruptive and that time management is the key issue. In fact, Think Space would suggest a Relational Team Coaching approach as there may be several issues that will surface during a team coaching intervention. We would coach the system’s structures and dynamics to truly impact the culture, and coach the team at their monthly meetings to minimise disruption.

We would conduct initial interviews with all team members to understand baseline perceptions of psychological safety, clarity of team mission/vision and roles/responsibilities and to identify individual strengths. Exit interviews at the end of the six months will give John the measurable impact he’s looking for.

Our intervention would comprise live action coaching, delivered monthly, by two coaches. John would receive virtual one-to-one alongside this and, crucially, will also be coached as part of the team he leads.

John’s involvement changes the message from ‘You fix this’ to ‘Let’s fix this’. His engagement ensures clarifications, decisions and adjustments can all be made in the moment, by the team.

We are confident this approach would support the team to think through their strategies collectively and develop a culture that recognises the importance of work/life balance and well-being. This in turn will improve profitability, productivity and retention for the organisation.

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  1. […] In her article, Kate draws upon a specific experience with a Know You More client to illustrate how on-demand coaching made the difference. You can read Kate’s full Coaching at Work article through this link. […]

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