27 days ago
How do you unlock the best bits of your performance and attributes, and find the motivation within yourself to develop the areas that require improvement? HR and learning professionals, as well as business leaders, point towards the practice of coaching as an enabler to personal and organisational growth.
Coaching is respected as an accredited skill, and Sodexo UK & Ireland has been working since 2014 to implement a development service that teaches leaders to become coaches, and for colleagues to embark upon relationships that benefit both their careers, and the future of their business area.
Throughout the last seven years, we have worked towards embedding a coaching culture, which saw 53 senior colleagues achieving a professional qualification in the subject. With positive feedback from both individuals and business units, demand for coaching support soared, and so too did the need for more trained coaches.
At the beginning of 2020, together with external partners at The OCM Group, Sodexo has evolved its coaching qualification, converting it into a level fie apprenticeship, taught at degree standard. This not only enabled new online learning for delegates, but also opened the qualification to a wider intake from across the business.
Throughout the UK's National Apprenticeship Week (8 February to 14 February 2021), we’ve highlighted the breadth of opportunities available through Sodexo apprenticeships. We’ve talked about apprenticeships being available for colleagues at all levels of the organisation. And to prove the point, we spoke to Christine Williams, HR director for Service Operations, who is undertaking the new Professional Coach qualification.
Christine, what attracted you to the coaching apprenticeship?
“It was the flexibility to fit my learning around my work and personal commitments through remote learning in a subject which strengthens my HR career path.
“For me personally, I’m developing higher level skills which are tailored to my field of work in HR, through a professional qualification. For Sodexo, this connects to our strategic people priority of creating a coaching culture for our teams.”
You’re three months in, what is your experience so far?
“The apprenticeship is providing me with excellent on the job learning, with lots of opportunities to practice new skills, act on my new knowledge and show different behaviours straight away in my day job”.
What would you say to someone thinking about taking on the same opportunity, or another apprenticeship?
“Don’t ponder on it - go for it! You become part of a peer network of support and have plenty of supervision to keep you on track. The apprenticeship follows a clear pathway of activities so you’re continuously developing as you complete the modules.
"I wished I’d done it sooner.”
Shamim Stokes, head of learning and development, has led Sodexo’s approach to coaching since 2014, and has seen how the apprenticeship has benefited both the colleagues taking part, and those receiving coaching: “In the last six years, over 300 people in our region have received coaching, with 85% feeling direct organisational benefits.
“The biggest difference in this new apprenticeship programme is the degree-level teaching; it is very comprehensive, but also includes more support for learners. While this new apprenticeship programme is a pilot, we’re seeing positive initial feedback and results. We are looking to launch our next cohort in April 2021. We will apply any lessons learned and will have one of our new apprentice coaches talking to the new cohort about their experience, with tips to get the best out of the learning.”
Enquire about your apprenticeship journey today by completing this short expression of interest form.
With Sodexo apprenticeships, anything is possible.
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