Coaching SaskEnergy to higher performance

Long-term coaching program for leaders focuses on behaviour change
By Linda Finkelstein
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 12/02/2008

To set people up for success, employers need to provide support and recognition, opportunities for development and programs that enhance employee engagement.

Typically, these core needs are addressed with a variety of top-down approaches: Support comes through HR channels in the form of benefits or special recognition programs; development often takes the form of learning seminars or coaching; and attempts to boost engagement can take a variety of forms, from improved communications from the leadership team to inspirational posters in the break room.

But as the leaders at SaskEnergy, a Regina-based provincial Crown corporation that distributes natural gas in Saskatchewan, recently discovered, a broad, integrated and democratic program can be even more effective. An organization known for innovation in an industry that leans toward tradition, SaskEnergy is midway through an experiment that is shattering traditional hierarchies, bridging departments and geographic units, injecting an informal and formal transfer of knowledge throughout the organization — and boosting engagement among its 1,100 employees.