Companies House

Companies House’s aim is to be “the best registry in the world achieved through brilliant people working on brilliant systems delivering brilliant services”. Its transformation programme has three main objectives – culture change, developing manager capability for improved employee engagement, and finding, releasing and training coaches.

A review revealed that managers were technically focused and comfortable directing employees generally but lacked the confidence and skill to perform difficult conversations on attendance, conduct and performance. This meant 1:1s were mostly ineffective or non existent, and there was a high dependence on HR Business Partners to deal with employee relations.

People are at the heart of their transformation, so they utilised their existing coaching network, aligning their objectives to the wider organisational strategy, in order to engage the organisation and change the language used by managers to support empowerment and develop performance.

"Morale has improved through staff feeling trusted, supported and more accountable for their own development"

The original volunteers were asked to complete a thorough interview process to ensure the right people were recruited to become coaches. They had to achieve external accreditation to evidence the professional standards, skills and knowledge they could provide as coaches. The resulting coaching network provides formal 1:1 coaching for staff based on individual needs and personal development goals. A dedicated ‘people coach’ provides additional on-the-job support to ensure management and team leadership skills and capability are continually improved, fit for purpose and working effectively.

An external company was appointed to provide a 12-week ‘Fresh Air’ coaching programme – a blended approach incorporating mindfulness and coaching facilitated outdoors. The sessions were designed to provide staff with tools and techniques to support themselves mentally and physically in an everchanging working environment.

To measure success, Companies House monitored the number and effectiveness of 1:1s through its Office Vibe engagement tool. This shows morale has improved through staff feeling trusted, supported and more accountable for their own development. All survey metrics are up and fewer absence and poor performance cases are being escalated to HR. And if more proof of effectiveness were needed, Companies House now provides cross Government coaching.