July 10, 2024

Creating Impactful Coaching Programs: Insights from the SparkUs Webinar

On May 29, SparkUs co-founders Ozlem Sarioglu and Dani Benreytan hosted an insightful webinar on designing effective coaching and mentoring programs. The session was a deep dive into how organizations can leverage digital tools and strategic frameworks to scale and optimize their coaching efforts.

The webinar began with introductions from Ozlem and Dani. Ozlem, a professional coach, and Dani, responsible for design and product development, outlined the mission of SparkUs. “We are a digital coaching platform that supports you in scaling and digitally optimizing your coaching, mentoring, and leadership development solutions,” Ozlem explained. For anyone who is new to us, the SparkUs platform combines interactive exercises, AI-driven personalized support, and human interaction to create comprehensive coaching programs.

Ozlem emphasized the importance of aligning personal passions with business goals to enhance performance. “When this alignment is achieved, performance improves, leading to better bottom lines and top lines,” she said. The discussion highlighted how coaching impacts organizational culture by fostering individual growth, engagement, and productivity.

The Coaching Challenge: Executives vs. Everyone

A key challenge in coaching is balancing reach and impact. Organizations often face the dilemma of focusing on selected executives or scaling coaching to all employees. SparkUs offers a solution by customizing coaching journeys using their technology, ensuring that even large-scale programs can be effective and measurable.

Five Steps to Effective Coaching Programs

The webinar outlined five crucial steps to designing impactful coaching programs:

1. Defining Strategic Goals: Understanding the organization’s current season and aligning coaching efforts accordingly.

2. Designing the Journey: Creating a structured yet flexible coaching journey that incorporates digital tools for efficiency.

3. Supporting the Right People: Identifying individuals who are ready for coaching and tailoring support to their needs.

4. Selecting the Right Type of Support: Matching individuals with appropriate coaches, mentors, or peers based on strategic goals.

5. Tracking, Measuring, and Improving: Utilizing real-time analytics to monitor progress and make data-driven adjustments.

Innovative Coaching Journeys

Dani discussed how traditional coaching journeys, though effective, can be lengthy and lack visibility for HR. SparkUs’s digital platform offers a streamlined approach that reduces the journey length and provides real-time analytics. “We can save up to 79% of the coaching budget by using technology to handle initial self-reflective exercises,” Dani noted.

The webinar also touched on the importance of integrating existing data and tools with the SparkUs platform. This ensures a seamless experience for participants and allows for meaningful correlations between coaching efforts and business outcomes.

Ensuring Sustainability

The sustainability of coaching programs was another key topic. “Designing programs with attainable but challenging goals and delivering them consistently builds trust and ensures long-term success,” Dani explained. Ensuring the sustainability of development programs involves three key aspects:

1. Generating Value: Design the program to generate real business impact, ensuring its sustainability.

2. Attendee Buy-in: Participants must feel the added value of the program so they can become its champions. We have seen programs where initial attendance was low, but as participants saw the value, they promoted it, leading to higher attendance in subsequent years.

3. Internal Trust: Build trust within the organization by delivering programs with the right intention and attainable goals. Even if the initial brand value is low, you can build upon it by consistently delivering well-designed programs.