January 23, 2019

The Bravely New Year Recap: What we learned by giving away hundreds of free coaching sessions

Toby Hervey, CEO & Co-Founder, Bravely

I did not expect to be recapping our Bravely New Year campaign before we even hit the end of January. While I’m the biggest proponent of Bravely there is, even I was shocked by the speed at which we gave away hundreds of free sessions—all in less than a week!—and the power of what we heard from people who had spoken with our Pros. 

If we were passionate about the idea that coaching is the most powerful and transformative when people can “opt in” during moments of need, this experience has only reinforced that notion. 

Beyond the general frenzy we cultivated around our product and our Pros (which was amazing to see), I was most struck by the general tone of the sessions that we held. Often it feels like a new year and the resolutions we craft exist to shore us up where we feel deficient or broken. The familiar tropes of “I don’t exercise enough,” “I don’t read enough,” “I don’t keep in touch with family and friends enough,” quickly dominate our mindset as we commit to improving in the areas we fall short. 

But our sessions felt a little different. Instead of focusing on negatives, there was a profound sense of proactivity, positivity, and yearning for self-actualization. They weren’t about people feeling less or like they weren’t enough; instead, they wanted help achieving what they hoped they could be at work.

We saw people looking for guidance as they sought to grow into a leadership position. We saw people searching for a way to take control of the toxic situations and relationships that had plague their life at work in 2018. We also saw people looking to evolve from what they perceived to be a “generalist” role to something more specialized, and find that opportunity within their company. In other words, employees wanted to thrive and succeed in their current roles instead of just jumping ship. 

More often than not, our Pros reported that people had a general sense of what they needed or wanted to do, but just need a bit of help devising concrete next steps. While this is something we see frequently across the employees who have Bravely as a benefit at their company, it was powerful to watch so many people from so many different work environments — from global conglomerates to tiny startups to government agencies — looking for the same kind of validation.

As an added (and somewhat self-serving!) benefit, this campaign helped us better understand how people who don’t yet have access to Bravely could benefit from it. A staggering 90% of people who held sessions (and completed their post-session survey) told us that a benefit like Bravely would help them feel more positive about their company, and over half (52%) said they would be more likely to stay at their company if they had access to the kind of support Bravely offers. 

This proves what we already know and constantly hear: people are hungry for professional development and individualized support, and if they don’t feel like they have an opportunity to grow at their company, they’re simply less happy and engaged on the job. 

These kinds of insights demonstrate how truly powerful coaching can be for people, especially in moments of need. This only adds more fuel to our mission: to make life at work better for everyone. And we’ve only scratched the surface. 

Here’s to being your best self at work through the rest of 2019!

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