Leaders from Within: Coaching Through Growth at Procore
Procore Technologies faced an enormous opportunity in 2014. This market leading provider of construction management software was experiencing rapid growth. Procore needed a revised management approach that could accommodate such expansion both in terms of business volume and professional staff.
Procore leadership, recognizing the opportunity to enhance staff collaboration, curiosity and capacity for personal growth, launched a pilot coaching program for a small group of leaders. This pilot ignited an unexpected appetite across the organization for more internal coaching opportunities. Soon, Procore brought in ICF-credentialed coaches to integrate a coaching program into the company culture to provide accessibility and scalability.
Since then, Procore’s coaching program has reached over half of its employees and is a powerful tool for acquiring and retaining talent, developing leaders and nurturing a world-class culture that values the whole employee.
As a result of Procore’s sustained commitment and innovative approach to coaching, the company earned the International Coaching Federation’s (ICF’s) top honor for organizations with strong coaching cultures: the 2019 ICF International Prism Award. ICF’s Prism Award program honors organizations that have achieved the highest standard of excellence in coaching programs that yield discernible and measurable positive impacts, meet rigorous professional standards, achieve key strategic goals, and shape organizational culture.
With two focused goals—accessibility and scaling—Procore created a robust coaching program that empowers every employee’s development and growth as the company continues to scale.
Accessibility to Reach Each Employee
To make coaching readily accessible, Procore set out to demystify coaching by offering many opportunities for employees to familiarize themselves with the program:
- The organization offers a 90-minute, in-person workshop that introduced coaching. The workshop, “Framing Up Coaching,” introduces listening skills, powerful questions, leaning into curiosity and an understanding of presence and perspective. Being able to leverage these skills builds empathy, connection and work effectiveness.
- In addition, one of Procore’s internal Executive Coaches speaks at each new employee orientation, explaining the program and its offerings. They also get a tiny taste of curiosity through a playful question game.
- Combined with its team of internal Executive Coaches, Procore gives employees the opportunity to receive on-demand coaching from external, ICF-credentialed coach practitioners. Employees who utilize this service commit to weekly one-hour coaching sessions via webcam. They also can access this service anytime during business hours for spontaneous check-ins.
- The Coaching Corner is a collaborative space that features articles written by internal Executive Coaches, as well as forums where people can share questions related to coaching.
Scaling to Build a Coaching Culture
To achieve scalability, Procore reinforces its coaching culture through leaders who embody a coaching approach. These leaders understand how to ask their team questions instead of giving them answers, apply active listening and help their team members navigate collectively toward a solution.
Creating coaching opportunities for the executive team is essential to building a coaching culture. “If [the C-suite is] not actively in coaching engagements, you can forget about having a successful coaching culture,” says ICF Professional Certified Coach Jeanne Smith, Procore’s coaching culture architect and the organization’s Prism Award nominating coach.
As much as 90% of Procore’s executive team participates in one-on-one coaching with ICF-credentialed external coach practitioners. These executives then bring their coaching leadership styles to their teams.
“Being a leader isn’t just being in a position of power,” says Procore’s senior director of real estate and facilities. “Being a leader is inspiring others and having them want to be on this journey with you.”
A Personalized Approach to Growth and Development
A high-quality work culture across the entire organization is a top priority at Procore. Coaching is a direct investment in maintaining and improving that culture. Employees are learning to lean into asking instead of telling in workplace conversations, creating a trusted environment that welcomes diverse points of view.
“This personal approach makes Procore unique,” Smith says. “The beauty of the work that we do as coaches is to develop the whole person. And as human beings we crave that one-on-one attention. When a company says, ‘I support that,’ the people of the organization feel seen and heard. This invites them to bring their best selves to their work, their teams and their clients.”
With an executive team that understands the impact of curiosity and strengths-based leadership, Procore is ready to tackle future coaching goals and continue to foster a healthy workplace culture organization-wide. Through its coaching program, Procore has built a workplace where every employee is valued and encouraged to grow.