Wait – what's a Culture Coach?
This article was guest written by Rebecca Hodges, a member of Clevertech's Culture Coach team.
When people hear that I’m a “Culture Coach” at a growing tech company, there’s always some understandable confusion. After all, when you think tech, you probably often think of software developers, UX designers, and product analysts, but you don’t usually also think of coaches.
First, let's talk sports
Look at some of the most successful people in the world, from singers to actors, to athletes. There are hundreds of differences between them, but one major thing they all have in common? A coach.
Let’s look in detail into the commonality between these athletes. Often wildly gifted naturally, whether it be the massive height in basketball players or the powerful arm of a baseball pitcher, it still takes years to develop the skills necessary to become a great. But even after natural gifts, years of training, and all of the right opportunities, many talented players will still fail to reach their potential. Whether due to mental hurdles they fail to overcome, lack of emotional support, or lack of confidence in their abilities – there are dozens of factors which prevent them from reaching the apex of their ability.
That’s where a coach comes in.
A powerful force that helps them see past their hurdles (mostly metaphorical, but sometimes literal), provides perspective and boosts their confidence. They can help an athlete see through their own inner struggles of doubts, offer advice, and help them focus on the bigger goals that lie ahead. Athletes of course have the tools to be successful, but with the support of a coach, they can get out of their comfort zone in order to reach new heights.
At Clevertech, we ask the question of why a software developer should be any different. Why are some of the world’s most technically talented minds not getting the same support as athletes, artists, and other professionals who have the support of a coach?
The “Culture Coach” is our answer to that question.
What is a Culture Coach?
Let’s categorize the role of a Culture Coach into three major categories.
A touch point for every aspect of the company. From organizing Lunch & Learns or connecting the dots between team members, Culture Coaches are the common thread between all departments that keep us connected and communicating.
Your Culture Coach is your partner in growth. From facilitating soft skill training on topics like leadership and communication to being your pathway to career growth and new opportunities.
Duh! The lifeblood of Clevertech’s culture, from celebrating the wins to being the best pep squad you’ve ever seen. Culture Coaches are the ones who turn a workplace into a community.
Ok, to-may-toe / to-mah-toe, a Culture Coach is another name for HR?
Woah, Woah, Woah, hold your horses.
If Culture coaches were the juiciest, ripest, naturally grown tomato on the vine, then yeah.
We're the tomato that's the centrepiece of every main dish, the appetizer at the party everyone keeps gathering around. The kind you’ll need to visit a farmers market to find. Comparing a Culture Coach to traditional HR is like comparing that to that by-the-box, lab-grown tomatoes that only taste good in a sauce, (no offence, Olive Garden).
It’s a deep red compared to a dull pink.
Playground compared to doctors’ office waiting room.
Sure, to an outsider this might all sound like Clevertech’s version of HR. But to compare them glazes over the major difference between Culture Coaching vs. HR – the thing that makes Culture Coaches unique is that our support doesn’t end when you walk out of the doors of our (remote) office. We’re not just invested in work life, we’re invested in our developers’ personal growth.
Our job isn’t lifeless surveys or scheduling that hear-from-HR-once-a-year meeting that you spend all week stressing about. It’s real conversations, real caring, and real growth that grows when you have the perfect combination of the people that care about it, and an environment that actively encourages it (thanks Clevertech). Whether developing their skills, building relationships, exploring their passions or helping them determine meaningful career paths, we’re there to support unique needs and goals – a friend to inspire you when you feel stuck, motivate you when you need it, and help give you the tools you need to succeed on the path towards achieving your goals both professionally and personally.
The key to unlocking your potential
To put it simply, a Culture Coach is so much more than the HR you might be used to at your office job. We’re focused on helping you grow, whether it’s helping you build the soft skills you need to take that career jump you’ve been waiting on, or helping you make the move from Rio to Toronto that you’ve been dreaming of – our success comes through you achieving your goals and being a better version of yourself a year from now.
Want to peak into our daily work? Our coaches recount real world situations shared as learning opportunities to build soft skills. We share frameworks, podcasts and thinking tools for sr software developers.