Creating a Coaching Ecosystem

Only 30% of employers rate coaching in their organizations as good or excellent, according to Brandon Hall Group’s study, How Can We Develop Great Coaches and Mentors. Less than half (46%) believe developing workplace coaches is important or critical to their business and talent strategies.

Coaching is a vital way to extend learning and training beyond the classroom and create an environment of continuous and personalized learning. But employers that use internal coaches, as opposed to professional and often-certified external coaches, must ensure they have the training they need to deliver value. Brandon Hall Group research revealed six key attributes for coaching.

Organizations Training Coaches on Key Attributes

Brandon Hall Group asks about the importance of coaching in several of our studies because it relates to learning, performance management, leadership development, engagement and more. Between 50% and 75% of organizations consistently rate coaching as important or critical. But when it comes to actually developing coaches, organizations struggle. Therefore, the quality of coaching is uneven.

  • How can coaching help us improve learning, performance, engagement and other processes that can produce a positive business impact?
  • How can we build a culture of continuous learning and coaching?
  • How can we improve the way we prepare employees to be great coaches?
  • How can we understand the impact coaching has on employees and the business?

Building a comprehensive in-house coaching program is a complex proposition. Organizations that receive the best results from coaching use:

  • A formal framework and ecosystem, including a program that trains people at different levels and with different areas of expertise.
  • Technology to track who is trained or certified in certain areas and which coaches are working with employees in specific departments or business units.

Case in Point: TD Bank TD Bank, a Gold Award winner for Best Advance in Coaching and Mentoring in the 2021 Brandon Hall Group HCM Excellence Awards, established a coaching ecosystem for its North American Contact Center. Bank leaders valued coaching but knew that some foundational changes would be needed to build a framework and ecosystem to support coaching on a large scale in the contact center. TD studied potential barriers to coaching excellence and found that:

  • Coaching frequency and duration required standardization and an increased investment of time.
  • Time for coaching could be gained by removing non-essential administration from the responsibilities of managers.
  • Because most people leaders were not training on coaching, there needed to be an increased investment in leadership coaching capability development. This is important to mitigate the attrition and employee engagement risks associated with ineffective coaching.

Based on those principles, TD built a coaching ecosystem of excellence through:

  • Simplification of existing processes
  • Development of coaching confidence
  • Application of a standardized coaching model across the TD North American Contact Center.

You can read more about TD Bank’s coaching ecosystem here.

Mutual Benefit

A dynamic coaching ecosystem takes a lot of coordination. But if you think about it as part of your talent strategy rather than as an extra responsibility for a manager or SME, the investment makes sense.

It’s also important to realize that people who become coaches are also receiving a career growth experience that can make them more engaged and may help them reach their own career goals. Therefore, coaching should be a significant part of your talent development strategy that can have exponential impact.

Brandon Hall Group research revealed several strategies around supporting internal coaches and coachees. Most organizations surveyed are using these strategies now or are planning to in the next several months:

Supporting Managers in Coaching Journey


Organizations must be willing to invest in preparing coaches. This includes measuring the impact of coaching. Here are some metrics to consider. Most organizations are not using these, but more organizations are embracing measurement and are seeking to leverage additional metrics.

How to Measure Business Impact of Coaching

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Mike Cooke

Chief Executive Officer of Brandon Hall Group Mike Cooke Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Mike Cooke was the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of AC Growth. Mike held leadership and executive positions for the majority of his career, at which he was responsible for steering sales and marketing teams to drive results and profitability. His background includes more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, management, and operations in the research, consulting, software and technology industries. Mike has extensive experience in sales, marketing and management having worked for several early high-growth emerging businesses and has implemented technology systems to support various critical sales, finance, marketing and client service functions. He is especially skilled in organizing the sales and service strategy to fully support a company’s growth strategy. The concept of growth was an absolute to Mike and a motivator in starting AC Growth, in order to help organizations achieve research driven results. Most recently, Mike was the VP and General Manager of Field Operations at Bersin & Associates, a global analyst and consulting services firm focused on all areas of enterprise learning, talent management and talent acquisition. Tasked with leading the company’s global expansion, Mike led all sales operations worldwide. During Mike’s tenure, the company has grown into a multi-national firm, conducting business in over 45 countries with over 4,500 multi-national organizations. Mike started his career at MicroVideo Learning Systems in 1992, eventually holding a senior management position and leading all corporate sales before founding Dynamic Minds. Mike was CEO and Co-Founder of Dynamic Minds, a custom developer of software programs, working with clients like Goldman Sachs, Prentice Hall, McGraw Hill and Merrill Lynch. Also, Mike worked for Oddcast, a leading provider of customer experience and marketing solutions, where he held a senior management position leading the company into new markets across various industries. Mike also serves on the Advisory Board for Carbon Solutions America, an independent sustainability consulting and carbon management firm that specializes in the design and implementation of greenhouse reduction and sustainability plans as well as managing the generation of carbon and renewal energy and energy efficiency credits. Mike attended University of Phoenix, studying Business Administration and Finance. He has also completed executive training at the Chicago Graduate School of Business in Chicago, IL.