As part of its commitment to staff development, and to further embed a positive psychology ethos within the broader operations of the school, Scotch College engaged Jo Saies of PB Performance Coaching to develop, deliver and evaluate a staff coaching program for 8 staff in 2012.
The goals of the program were to:
- enhance mental health and personal resilience of participants
- enhance workplace wellbeing of participants
- support participants to better understand the principles of positive psychologyand to apply these principles to their own lives
- encourage thinking around character strengths.
Jo Saies' professionalism, good advice and quality delivery helped to make the coaching pilot a success. We look forward to a continuing relationship. H (Mac) MacPherson Deputy Principal, Scotch College.
Coaching utilised a strengths-based, cognitive-behavioural, solution-focused framework, and incorporated broader positive psychology interventions where relevant to the achievement of participant goals or enhanced well-being. Participants were free to select and work on issues that they identified as impacting on their personal and professional well-being in accordance with the stated program goals.
Evaluation demonstrated that the program was successful on a number of indicators:
- participant satisfaction with the program and the coach was rated as very high, between 6 and 7 on a 7 point scale for each of the four satisfaction measures
- all participants would recommend the coaching program to other staff
- all participants made significant progress toward the achievement of their goals as a result of their coaching, with the average change in goal attainment being 35 points on a 100 point scale
- average scores on measures of psychological well-being and resilience increased following the program
- there was a high degree of belief amongst participants that the coaching program would be of benefit more broadly to both organisational and student outcomes.
Given these results it is expected the impact of the coaching program is likely to extend well beyond individual participant benefit into the broader strategic objectives of the College including staff attraction, engagement and retention. The College will recommend continuation and expansion of the coaching program in 2013 and beyond.
Australian Electoral Commission
The Australian Electoral Commission (SA) has undertaken an ambitious and far-reaching organisational change program with structural, role, geographical and cultural change implications for around 40 staff. Jo Saies of PB Performance coaching was engaged to design and deliver staff training and team development to facilitate the success of the change program. The consultancy included the following elements.
Full day program equipping staff to maintain performance and well-being within the context of an uncertain, changing and challenging work environment. Training objectives included:
- Understanding the nature of resilience and how it can be developed
- Identifying personal strengths, skills and resources already available to increase well-being
- Developing a range of skills and strategies to build personal resilience for work and beyond.
The average rating for presenter effectiveness was 6.2 on a 7 point scale and for increased understanding was 5.8.
Full day all staff workshop facilitating the team to identify, agree on and accept the values, culture and behaviours to create a healthy, harmonious and high performing team for the future. Workshop outcomes included:
- Development of a team charter articulating agreed team behaviours
- Agreed commitment to the charter, and a shared understanding of each person’s role in holding others accountable against the charter
- An agreed strategy to embed the charter within the workplace.
PB Performance Coaching also recommended targeted individual support be offered to staff as needed, including individual coaching, career transition and referral to an Employee Assistance Program. A skill development program was recommended to support new team leaders in managing their staff performance, behaviour, morale and team harmony.
Young Business Leaders Program
The in-business Young Business Leaders (YBL) Program is a unique 10-month awards program which provides professional and personal leadership development through intensive training and practical application for emerging South Australian leaders. The program is run by the Royal Society for the Blind and sponsored by in-business, South Australia’s premier, and only local, business publication.
The first professional development seminar for the 2011-12 YBL cohort saw Jo Saies, of PB Performance Coaching, present on positive and resilient leadership. “Positive psychology is essentially the science of optimum human functioning, and as such has enormous application to the well-being and performance of individuals, teams and leaders within the workplace context,” Jo said. “As a leader, it’s important to recognise that your own performance is directly impacted by your level of resilience and well-being. But equally important, leaders have a responsibility for getting the best out of their people, and that means creating a positive, healthy, engaging workplace that allows employees to thrive and flourish.”
The workshop covered ways leaders can enhance positivity in their employees and their workplace, and outlined some of the physical, social, emotional and cognitive strategies that leaders can implement to build up their own resilience in order to not only survive through change and adversity, but also thrive.
YBL Co-ordinator Heather McCulloch was impressed with the level of interest and engagement shown by the participants. "Jo delivered an interesting and insightful presentation that was totally relevant, well organised and entertaining. She covered a lot of very useful ground in the presentation and provided tips for applying concepts in everyday life, and in a leadership capacity”.
In-business publisher Graham Wakeling said “Jo’s presentation packed a great deal into one hour and kept the audience engaged. She related her own story effectively and provided thought-provoking material for a room full of young professionals. It’s very clear Jo practices what she preaches every day and it made for a very authentic and thought-provoking presentation on the topic of positive psychology. I have no hesitation to recommend Jo.”