November 07, 2022

Supporting New Manager Development Through Employee Coaching

How Aircall began its leadership transformation with Bravely

At all levels of experience, learning and development are constants for managers. Skills and qualities are always being honed and refined, and this is especially true for new managers just starting out as people leaders. For new managers to become effective — effective at communicating, delegating, connecting people, prioritizing, motivating, and engaging teammates — they must invest in their growth. Their mission gets a lot easier when companies decide to support that growth through training and coaching programs.

That’s what brought Aircall’s Global Learning & Talent Development Partner, Melissa Strong, to Bravely. To ensure the success of dozens of many first-time managers hired and promoted at the company, Aircall went looking for a partner that could support their people throughout the journey of developing the skills needed to be great leaders.

To help others in similar situations looking to learn of ways to invest in their people and the future of their company, Melissa joined Bravely’s Chief People Officer, Katasha Harley, for a virtual event entitled How Aircall Transforms Manager Growth & Development with Bravely. In this post, we’ll explore how introducing this need-based coaching solution transformed Aircall’s manager growth and became an essential part of their learning and development strategy.

Developing leaders as a long-term engagement strategy

Aircall is a distributed, international company that connects people and businesses through its call center software. Over the last year, the company experienced hypergrowth, very successfully expanding the company through recruiting efforts, they even brought on a new CEO. A big part of the growth that Aircall experienced was bringing on dozens of new managers, including many who had not previously managed people. Enabling this crop of new leaders became a key area of focus for the company.

Collaborative learning is embedded in the foundation of Aircall, and it’s a key component of their strategy for success. With this guiding her work, Melissa conducted an internal survey asking people to share their needs. The number one request: coaching.

As an L&D leader, there were a couple of primary goals for Melissa that were top-of-mind during her search for a solution partner. First, investing in developing and engaging employees. Second, supporting people in navigating the change within the company by providing them with growth opportunities (i.e., ways for each individual to invest in themselves).

Aircall’s path to partnering with Bravely for leadership coaching

As Melissa began engaging companies, the experiences left her feeling as if Aircall was just another sales opportunity, as if the relationships with them would end once a contract was signed. For that reason, she put a strong emphasis on finding a partner that would walk hand-in-hand with Aircall, supporting the organization in meeting its development goals. This is how she experienced Bravely and what set us apart from the competition in Melissa’s eyes.

Beyond the partnership opportunity, the level of experience of the coaches that would be available to Aircall set Bravely apart. What’s more, the coaches would be able to provide an outside perspective that new managers and leaders wanted.

Identifying the outcomes and early success of employee coaching

Often, L&D is considered a business cost that yields little return, but Melissa wanted to change this mindset. She hoped that soon after partnering with Bravely she would be able to help leadership recognize that their investment in employees not only benefited people but also worked in favor of the company by improving retention and enabling growth and development.

Melissa recruited a group of pilot testers from a variety of functional teams at Aircall to ensure a diverse test pool of users. After their initial test, Aircall rolled out Bravely to its people managers and employee resource group (ERG) leaders. Four months later, this is what they saw:

Aircall’s goals and success determinations moving forward

Melissa and Aircall are very focused on helping managers become even better leaders than they are today — change management is Aircall L&D’s big goal for the next year. With professional coaching now available to managers and ERG leaders, Aircall’s Bravely users are now going through the company’s management program and averaging two coaching sessions per week. Melissa hopes to see adoption rates increase and for usage to grow beyond its current crop of leaders, extending into the rest of the business and employees.

Given the changes the world is expecting to experience over the coming year, Melissa is also keen to see an increase in skills development of company managers. Admittedly, she is aware this is more challenging to measure, but it’s particularly relevant given the experience managers create for their direct reports and that it is their leadership that will support employees in navigating change.

Interested in bringing employee and manager coaching to your organization? Book time with a Bravely expert who can answer all of your questions and/or try a free coaching session for yourself (or send one to someone on your team).

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