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Bpost: investing in internal coaches pays off!

The question: increase the learning efficiency of training programmes and ensure it is applied in practice

The result?

Project at a glance:

  • The question: increase the learning efficiency of training programmes and ensure it is applied in practice
  • The route: ROOT-GROW training for internal HR employees, including supervision and individual coaching
  • The result: an increase in coaching competencies and better team building efforts between HR workers, projects are worked out in detail through close cooperation and coaching, the coaching policy was further refined, more self-assured leaders in times of change and motivated employees, more internal flexibility.

The story:

The changes at bpost followed each other in rapid succession. Internal reorganisations, centralising the services, creating new services,… Under this new structure, many team leaders had to manage personnel while lacking in the proper training; they required targeted support. On top of this came another challenge: bpost wanted higher learning efficiency and a more effective practical application. This was among the reasons why bpost decided to invest in training its HR workers to stimulate their coaching attitude towards the business.

The candidate HR workers were screened to identify their personal motivation. Moreover, their boss needed to be willing to allow his workers to apply the coaching efforts in practice at least once every 14 days.

At the end of 2012, sixteen HR staff, consisting of eight French-speaking and eight Dutch-speaking employees began their training. Half of them were internal coaches, the other half were employees in Human Resources and HRBPs (HR business partners) divisions within a specific unit of bpost.

Part 1 of our ROOT-GROW programme, including a certification module, was given over a six-day period.
The HR workers practised in groups and coached each other in the follow-up to the specific bpost training and change projects.

The result:

The internal bpost HR workers currently guide the team leaders in the field. They are under severe personal pressure and face a lot of uncertainty, as a result of which very little attention is paid to the needs of their employees. Managers who receive support from HR workers via coaching are more motivated and less insecure; this enables them to better manage their teams in the field. It also has a positive impact on bpost's image as a customer-friendly organisation. On top of that, the bpost employees feel more involved and take initiative to correct mistakes that are made. A coaching attitude offers an ideal method to guide change processes because it offers an effective way to overcome personal stumbling blocks.

The internal HR workers started to cooperate better, which had a positive impact on team building. The inspiration that arose from this project was converted into a clear internal vision on coaching. The training policy was further refined to incorporate 'blended learning' and learning programmes. The HR Business partners established the following breakthroughs: shorter turnaround times, shorter discussion times, less effort needed to correct miscommunications, etc.

Bpost also saved on costs because fewer external coaches were needed. By focusing on improving the internal coaching competencies of the HR workers, the organisation was able to respond faster and in a flexible way to the individual needs of 'key players' in the field.

However, the biggest return was achieved by being able to avoid risks such as burnouts and demotivated managers, and by raising the level of the management in the field. In the end, the managers are the ones who need to inspire and motivate their employees, and the employees themselves are seen as the daily calling card of the organisation.


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