The City of Walnut Creek Boosts Employee Engagement by Taking a Coaching Approach

In 2016, The City partnered with MRG, a premiere consulting firm headquartered in Sacramento, CA. “We have worked with MRG partners in the past, and we knew they could design and deliver a custom training program that would help us meet our objectives,” said Robustelli.

The intention was to replace annual appraisals with quarterly coaching conversations, thereby increasing the frequency and quality of feedback and connection between managers and their direct reports, which is known to be an important contributor to employee engagement, retention, and performance.

The training program was designed by Claire Laughlin, a workplace communication specialist, and MRGs lead training consultant. “Quarterly Coaching Conversations make sense for any organization that wants to promote better relationships at work, and accelerate the process of goal setting and achievement,” says Laughlin. “What makes this program unique, is that we trained both managers and their direct reports so that everyone feels a sense of ownership over the process.”

The curriculum focused on the process and necessary skills of workplace coaching, and on how to create the relational conditions for open and honest feedback. The manager’s course, also included a segment on understanding employee motivation.

The feedback was extremely positive.

“The results of this program have been amazing,” says Robustelli. “Our culture has improved noticeably, and we have had zero employment liability since the inception of the initative.

Walnut Creek and MRG’s Coaching for Excellence – Coaching for Excellence Video 1

“What employees are saying about coaching”

***These videos were produced by the City of Walnut Creek and shared with MRG with permission***

Walnut Creek and MRG’s Coaching for Excellence – Coaching for Excellence Video 2

“When there’s a challenge.”

***These videos were produced by the City of Walnut Creek and shared with MRG with permission***

Walnut Creek and MRG’s Coaching for Excellence – Coaching for Excellence Video 3

“When there’s nowhere to go.”

***These videos were produced by the City of Walnut Creek and shared with MRG with permission***