Mobile app makes executive-level coaching available to all

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Developed with traditional executive style coaching in mind, mobile-based platform BetterUp gives non-executive employees the opportunity to chat one-on-one with a coach to develop professional skills, says Alexi Robichaux, co-founder and CEO of BetterUp.

“Employees can talk to them on the app,” Robichaux says. “You get this really tight behavioral loop of having structured sessions with your coach.”

When employees sign up to use the app they are given an initial assessment. Then they are paired with three potential coaches and can choose the one they feel fits best with their skills, Robichaux says. Workers then schedule individual sessions with a coach or text chat with them whenever they have a question.

Employees can use BetterUp to set professional goals for themselves. For example, an employee may want to improve presentation skills or be more mindful at work. Then a coach provides workers with learning resources that will help them work towards their goals, he says. The company hires leadership coaches who have been certified by the International Coach Federation, or a nonprofit organization that credentials mentors.

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“We’re using the same coaches that typically are coaching vice presidents at Fortune 500 companies,” he says.

In October, the company made moves to extend their coaching platform, adding specialists that can assist employees with questions related to nutrition, sleep, communication and sales success. Robichaux says the company has also now made BetterUp available 24/7 — guaranteeing employees access to a coach within one hour of a request, regardless of the time of day.

“On demand coaching is there to meet you at that critical moment, wherever you are in the world,” he adds.

Offering a coaching platform to workers lets employees know the company values their professional and personal development, he says. It also provides opportunity for workers who may be remote, or not spending all of their time in the office, to develop their professional skills.

Robichaux says the company mostly serves Fortune 500 companies. Companies like LinkedIn, Workday, AirBnb, Lyft, TriNet and Logitech are offering BetterUp to their employees. He would not say how much BetterUp costs, but it generally depends on the number of workers using the platform.

Liz Brashears, executive director, management and leadership development at TriNet says the company has been offering BetterUp to employees since October 2017.

“Our colleagues are our most valuable asset and with that comes providing continuous professional development,” Brashears says. “We believe with these opportunities our team grows professionally.”

Robichaux says most companies want their managers to be able to coach employees, but jobs often aren’t designed to help them do this effectively. Showing employees that you care about their professional and personal development, can mean a lot, he adds.

“Employers should care about your people as humans first and employees second,” he says. “Investing them as whole person, instead of just a job.”

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