Internal coaching programs by definition involve employees who serve as coaches either as their primary function or in addition to their primary function. In establishing a coaching program, it is essential that there be a process in place for identifying the potential coaches, vetting the candidates, and preparing them for coaching. Selecting coaches for a program within an organization calls for an awareness of capacity – both in terms of skill and time.
Options for identifying candidates for coaching include reviewing personnel files, asking for recommendations, and asking for volunteers. Reviewing personnel files is done within the HR department. Additionally, ask for recommendations and volunteers for coaching when promoting the coaching program throughout the organization.
Creating a list of criteria is helpful both in identifying candidates and in vetting possible coaches or to select from a pool of candidates. Specifically, look for employees who have the ability to focus completely on another person, to develop rapport, an interest in coaching, a willingness to learn a new approach, and the appropriate level of availability in their work day.
Once the internal coaches are selected, the next step is to plan training. Often and unfortunately companies use internal programs – in a study by the American Management Association they found that external training for the internal coaches was the most effective. Explore the options – chances are an external coach training program is available at a cost similar to that of internal training.