3SC’s Neuro Diverse Strategy Coaching Programme
In an employment market with a record number of vacancies and employers keen to hold on current staff, Neuro Diverse Strategy Coaching (NDSC) is becoming an increasingly prominent part of the DWP’s offer to keep JCP clients in jobs and Mayoral Combined Authorities are now commissioning their own NDSC programmes.
3SC, a social enterprise company, is recognised as a market leader in NDSC and having started delivery of the coaching in Wales in 2018, it and its partners are successfully working with employers across the UK. Employees dropping out of work is prevented and clients’ families benefit from support which leads to improvements in health, wellbeing, sleeping and eating. In fact 3SC’s team of 25 coaches often start courses by first helping the client address issues at home.
Our coaches, some with up to 30 years’ experience, come with a wide range of professional experience such as from children’s services and offender rehabilitation. Neuro diverse is a broad term to describe clients whose brains work differently from most individuals and typically strategies are devised to help individuals with ADHD, ASD, OCD, dyslexia and Tourette’s to perform better in the workplace. But the coaches are not trying “to fix” people; on the contrary they draw out clients’ personal strengths for the benefit of the employer’s business. At the same time, the strategies secure the individual improvements in employability skills such as timeliness, team working and task management.
The pandemic has had an impact on the delivery of the coaching. Whereas coaches nearly always went to the workplace to meet the client, now delivery comprises a mixture of 2/3 hour sessions either meeting at work or on Zoom/Teams, typically over a period of 6-8 weeks, and we find the client often benefits from talking in a quieter environment.
A major factor behind the programmes’ success is a common desire to be innovative in our approach. Sharing best practice between the coaches on Teams calls is hugely advantageous and 3SC encourages coaches to buddy up. We have also designed our own IT portal, which is bespoke to the programme, to exchange ideas and experiences. There is an online library which we populate with TED talks, papers and videos. 3SC will invite speakers and other coaches to talk the team in meetings. This is vital because resources on neuro diverse conditions are still relatively limited, especially those tailored for the workplace. YouTube videos can be shared with clients. They can help transform mindsets, diets and the taking of exercise.
Another reason for success is a close working relationship with the employer. Referrals via Jobcentre Plus often are at the instigation of the client’s manager and so in this sense the employer is very much on board from the start. Nevertheless our coaching team will encourage a manager to be closely involved in the implementation of the strategy for the client and co-coaching is not unusual.
The coaching team have a clear approach which starts with asking the client ‘where do they want to be?’. All of our coaches are fully present in their commitment and this means that they will not just ‘rock up’ to sessions with the client. They have a coaching plan which often sets out SMART goals for the client and progress made after the previous session is carefully recorded. They will quickly establish with the client’s current situation, what needs changing and offer the client choices. Bearing in mind their neuro diverse condition, clients will be given logical routes to reach objectives.
The accompanying case-studies demonstrate how transformative the coaching can be for the clients, resulting in them staying in employment. Similarly the coaches themselves speak of a very high level of job satisfaction in seeing these transformations take place. One even calls it “magical”.
Since beginning the programme the 3SC Team has worked with 758 customers, supporting them to stay in work or transition into new carers.
3SC is committed itself to being an inclusive and diverse organisation, for example we are an ‘Inclusive Employer’ (Inclusive Employers – experts in diversity and inclusion) and our shared ethos with clients and partners helps generate better outcomes in our delivery of job-seeking and offender rehabilitation services on behalf of the UK Government and the devolved nations. Frequently our work meets the needs of those hardest to reach in society and the commitment and innovation shown by the 3SC Neuro Diverse Strategy Coaching Team is a prime example of how to achieve positive outcomes.
Kathryn Jellings, Director of Business Development, 3SC