How BetterUp Coaching guides and grows members through change (2023)

By Evan Sinar, PhD

In this blog post, I'll share new research being conducted by SPEAR (Science for Product Effectiveness and Assessment Research), a team within BetterUp Labs that uses data to drive development information through our product for the benefit of members and our partners.

We used over 150,000 one-on-one coaching sessions and over 40,000 BetterUp members — to answer the question:

After significant changes, what topics do members ask their BetterUp coach for guidance on?

Changes and Related Coaching Topics

1:1 coaching is one of the key ways we provide personal and professional development support to employees. During each session, members can talk to their coach about any topic they want.

After each session, we ask BetterUp members through an assessment if they have recently experienced any of a list of notable changes. The list includes moving to remote work, getting a promotion, changes in organizational structure, and changes in business priorities among others (they may indicate multiple changes or they may indicate no change in that time frame).

(Video) Coaching Fundamentals with BetterUP

We also ask coaches to label each session with its main topic, ensuring that the details of all coaching conversations are strictly confidential.

In our research, we looked at the links between a) changes members experience and b) issues they pursue with their coach (usually within a week or two of the change).

We found several consistent patterns — certain themes are much more likely to accompany certain changes.

I'll share two examples below, including a graphic showing the change on the left, and the coaching topic or topics prominently related to that change highlighted on the right. I will also share brief information about other changes, as well as the guidance topics that follow when members experience no changes at all.

Example 1: Download Promotion

How BetterUp Coaching guides and grows members through change (1)

We have reviewed members who are experiencing the very positive change of receiving a promotion. This is a significant and exciting achievement for anyone, and often something a member shares and discusses with their coach as they prepare for the next step in their career.

Unsurprisingly,Managing a career transitionis a much more common issue in this situation. This is an example where change management becomes the first focus for a coaching conversation — the member can ask for practical advice on adjusting to the new role, gaining confidence to succeed, and building/expanding a new support network.

(Video) Elevate Emerging Leaders with BetterUp Coaching

Members can pursue a wide range of additional topics as they further settle into their newly promoted role. Often, however, the transition itself is the first focus with their coach, a challenge in their mind that members have good clarity about and can make immediate progress on.

Example 2: Changes in Business Priorities

How BetterUp Coaching guides and grows members through change (2)

We also considered a change in business priorities — for example, a new set of operational goals driven by a change in company strategy.

Unlike a promotion, which is more often associated with a single theme, as shown above, the set of guiding themes associated with business priority changes is much broader and more variable. Different people respond to and seek different types of guidance on changes in business priorities, as their impact can vary.

The role of the BetterUp coach is to help a member gain clarity, unpack and process this type of change. what it means and what comes next, considering both challenges and future opportunities.

Specifically, five issues are more common after this type of change than in any other situation:

  • Change Management:How to reorient yourself and others, gain clarity and stay positive about new priorities.
  • Management:Communicate upward and provide feedback on the new priorities and what they mean for you and others.
  • Decision-taking:How to improve the way you make decisions and solve problems in the context of new business needs.
  • Strategic planning:Think ahead for yourself and for influencing others and looking at how you will adapt and focus on the future with new priorities in mind.
  • Stress Management/Self-Care:New priorities can create pressure and challenge. how to keep in mind the right coping approaches and maintain your positive well-being.

Other changes and their topic links

Other changes and related guidance topics are listed below:

(Video) U.S. Air Force and BetterUp partner to increase resilience, readiness, retention, & coaching culture

How BetterUp Coaching guides and grows members through change (3)

There are no recent changes

In addition to asking BetterUp members what has changed for them, we also allow members to indicate that they have NOT experienced a noticeable change since their last coaching session.

What we find in this case is a reminder that while big changes can be challenging, the absence of change creates its own pressures as well as opportunities.

Many members take advantage of these opportunities—between or before major changes—to reflect, recharge, and work with their coach in planning next moves for their careers and well-being. They see this as a period of rare respite in a world of often rampant and constant change.

Specifically, we found that BetterUp members who have experienced no noticeable change since their last BetterUp session are significantly more likely to work with their coach to:

  • Finding Purpose and Passion:Members who are not experiencing the kinds of changes they would like are more likely to talk to their coach about how to rekindle passion for their work and renew themselves on a path to personal and professional fulfillment.
  • Time management:In the absence of recent changes, many members work with their coach on how to maximize the value of the time they have and use that time most effectively as they plan and anticipate future goals.
  • Improving physical health:If members see the lack of change as a risk of becoming stagnant and less active, they might talk to their coach about steps they can take to claim and have more influence over their physical wellness. Notably, this has been a growing topic of guidance across our membership base over the last couple of years.

How is this information valuable to BetterUp members?

Based on this research, how do we use this information to get BetterUp members the personalized coaching and development support they need?

We can move more quickly and accurately than "What's changing?" to "What's next?", changing reflection to data-driven search.

(Video) BetterUp: Mosaic of Coaches

Whether it's a recent change or an anticipated, upcoming change, this information can help BetterUp — through our coaches and through our platform — get members what they need, when they need it.

Like pre-planned water stations set up along a marathon course, it allows us to get members what they need all the way to personal fulfillment and professional growth, whether it's in the first mile or as they approach the finish line for their next achievement or ambition.

Another aspect of our research shows the benefits of this precision development approach for the volatile, unpredictable, ambiguous and rapidly changing environment that surrounds us. BetterUp sessions that follow significant change, such as those listed above, are much more likely to be viewed as "Life Changing" by our members, compared to low change environments.

On average, sessions are 47% more likely to change their lives after members are promoted, 44% more likely after being asked to take on new leadership responsibility, and 25% more likely after changes in how they do their work.

About the Author

Evan Sinar, PhDis the Head of Assessments, where he and his team design a strategic system of whole-person diagnostic assessments that feeds BetterUp's model of personal transformation through guided behavior change. Evan enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, chasing Rumo's tireless puppy around the house, and collecting 80's/90's TV, movie and basketball memorabilia.


How does BetterUp coaching work? ›

Employees who need in-the-moment support can answer a few questions and get matched with a Coach for an on-demand session that day. Add expert Coaches to your bench to support targeted employee needs like nutrition, sleep, diversity & inclusion, and more. Live group sessions led by a Coach.

How much does BetterUp coaching cost? ›

BetterUp offers tiered monthly subscriptions starting at $89 for one session, $149 for two, and $279 for four sessions. Sign up for a free introductory coaching session to learn more. If you waive your free session, you'll instead get 20% off your first month.

What is a BetterUp lead coach? ›

BetterUp Coaches help your people identify their strengths, set and achieve goals, and uncover their full potential — both personally and professionally.

How do you successfully lead a team through change? ›

How to lead a team through change
  1. Assemble a strong leadership team ahead of time. ...
  2. Bring in outside help. ...
  3. Recruit from within. ...
  4. Make a plan. ...
  5. Designate a spokesperson. ...
  6. Hold a meeting. ...
  7. Educate and explain. ...
  8. Create a transition team.
Dec 27, 2022

How leaders can encourage and support employees through the change process? ›

Helping Employees Deal with Change in the Workplace
  1. Approach Workplace Change With Empathy.
  2. Create a Compelling “Why” for Every Change.
  3. Communicate How the Change Will Be Implemented and Keep Employees Updated.
  4. Remove Barriers and Reward Acceptance.
  5. Generate Short Term Wins.
Mar 12, 2019

What coaching platform is like BetterUp? ›

BetterUp's alternatives and competitors. See how BetterUp compares to similar products. BetterUp's top competitors include CoachHub, Ezra, and Ceresa. CoachHub operates as a digital coaching service provider.

How does coaching make a difference? ›

The diversity of coaches, their expertise and their coaching techniques transforms lives at work or at play – and in many cases both. Coaches inspire, motivate, lead, mentor, guide, shape, educate, train, and teach. Some coaching is planned and methodical, while other coaching is on-the-fly.

What is the mission statement of BetterUp? ›

Our mission: help people everywhere live their lives with greater clarity, purpose, and passion. Since 2013 we have been pioneering growth for the Whole Person™. We believe that well-being and peak performance go hand in hand.

How many coaches does BetterUp have? ›

With the world's largest network of over 3,000 coaches, BetterUp offers coaching in 46 languages across over 90 countries, along with interactive professional development content, analytics and real-time insights to track employee progress.

Is it worth it to pay for coaching? ›

There is no one answer to if it is worth it or not. It is not a question of how much money you have to spend either. If you are not prepared to change or do not have the inclination to do so, then no amount of coaching will change you.

What is the difference between leading coaching and mentoring? ›

While mentoring comes from the experience of the mentor, leadership coaching does the opposite -- it comes from the experience of those being coached. Mentors share their experiences, but coaches prompt leaders to reflect on their experience and draw their own conclusions.

How does BetterUp make money? ›

The upper echelons of management are usually the only ones with access to this kind of coaching, but BetterUp is trying to bring it to the corporate working masses. The company charges employers a monthly subscription fee per employee for access to the platform and its coaches.

What is the difference between a coach and a leader? ›

Leaders attract change; coaches build trust and deep enduring relationships; and managers strive to create order and organization in their lives and careers.

How do you coach someone through the change curve? ›

Using the Change Curve
  1. Stage 1 Action: Communicate Clearly. At this stage, people may be in shock or in denial. ...
  2. Stage 2 Action: Listen and Observe. ...
  3. Stage 3 Action: Offer Training and Opportunities. ...
  4. Stage 4 Action: Celebrate and Share in Success.

What are the six strategies that leaders can do to be successful in change management? ›

In this article, PulseLearning presents six key steps to effective organizational change management.
  • Clearly define the change and align it to business goals. ...
  • Determine impacts and those affected. ...
  • Develop a communication strategy. ...
  • Provide effective training. ...
  • Implement a support structure. ...
  • Measure the change process.
Mar 16, 2022

What strategies a leader can use to bring positive change? ›

The following are a few steps that could help leaders and their teams to achieve positive change.
  • State, listen, and acknowledge feedback. ...
  • Use Emotional Intelligence. ...
  • Define clear roles and offer training. ...
  • Reward Acceptance.
Nov 6, 2021

How do you motivate employees to adapt to change? ›

Below are five strategies to help your team seamlessly adjust to change in the workplace.
  1. Focus On Improving Employee Readiness For Change. ...
  2. Remind Employees They Still Have Influence. ...
  3. Recognize Employee Resilience. ...
  4. Provide The Proper Training. ...
  5. Designate A Leader To Ease The Transition.
Jul 27, 2020

How do you get your team to embrace change? ›

5 ways to help your team embrace change
  1. Be positive. Be the change you want to see. ...
  2. Listen & communicate. The biggest problem with change is fear of the unknown, so give your staff as much information about the change as possible. ...
  3. Rationalise the risks. ...
  4. Sing the benefits. ...
  5. Train your team.

What companies use BetterUp? ›

Companies Currently Using BetterUp
Company NameWebsiteSub Level Industry
Neiman Marcusneimanmarcus.comApparel & Accessories
Pernod Ricardpernod-ricard.comWineries, Breweries & Distilleries
Blue Owlblueowl.usApparel & Accessories
2 more rows

What is the difference between life coaching and business coaching? ›

Life coaching focuses on personal growth and development, helping individuals clarify their values and goals. Business coaching focuses on improving performance and productivity in a professional setting, often in relation to specific business objectives.

What are the 3 important aspects of coaching? ›

Three Critical Elements of Coaching
  • Element 1 – Prepare Your Questions. A coach needs to prepare the questions before a coaching session. ...
  • Element 2 – Question with Respect. Coaching must be approached from a position as equals when meeting about the problem. ...
  • Element 3 – Actively Listen to the Reply. ...
  • In Conclusion.

What are 4 key benefits of coaching? ›

Benefits of Coaching
  • Establish and take action towards achieving goals.
  • Become more self-reliant.
  • Gain more job and life satisfaction.
  • Contribute more effectively to the team and the organization.
  • Take greater responsibility and accountability for actions and commitments.

How does coaching support change? ›

Coaching can: Encourage people to see change as an opportunity rather than a threat. Help people understand and embrace change. Build a stronger and more communicative team, where everyone knows their role and their value to the organization.

What are the 5 R's of coaching? ›

Coaching sessions typically follow the relate, review, reflect, refocus, and resource model with the intent of celebrating wins, learning from results, identifying next steps, and determining what kinds of support and resourcing is needed.

What are the 6 P's of coaching? ›

Findings The findings are presented as six principles for the process of coaching teachers for inclusion: 1) Pre-Requisite: teachers' receptivity; 2) Process: from building trust to collaborating and reflecting; 3) Precipice: tension between knowledge and beliefs; 4) Promotion: administrative support; 5) Proof: ...

What are the three pillars of coaching? ›

The conscience, self-belief and responsibility are the three pillars of coaching. As important as it is to realize things, it's also important to believe in ourselves and assume the responsibilities that lead to the desired change.

What are the values of BetterUp mindset? ›

BetterUp CEO and co-founder Alexi Robichaux describes the aspirations behind the venture's six core values of courage, craftsmanship, empathy, zest, playfulness, and grit.

What is the value of BetterUp company? ›

BetterUp is funded by 24 investors. Mubadala Capital Ventures and Morningside Venture Investments are the most recent investors. BetterUp has a post-money valuation in the range of $1B to $10B as of Oct 8, 2021 , according to PrivCo.

What is the company profile of BetterUp? ›

BetterUp, Inc. provides commercial services. The Company offers coaching with Al technology and behavioral science to deliver personalized behaviour change and improve the well-being, adaptability, and effectiveness of workforce.

How many clients can a coach have? ›

If a coach is only a coach and has no other responsibilities in the business they could coach up to 50 people. Gym-owner coaches (solopreneurs) should limit themselves to 30 clients as they will need time for administrative work.

How many people does the average coach hold? ›

Coach Buses have average lengths of 39'4” (12 m), widths of 8'4” (2.55 m), heights of 12'6” (3.81 m), and have a capacity of 44-49 (+1) seats. Coach buses are buses designed specifically for longer-distances with greater accommodations for passenger comfort during these extended periods of travel.

How many people do you fit on a coach? ›

The differences between them lie in their sizes and uses. Most groups reserve a standard coach hire or a minibus. A coach holds 36 passengers or more while minibuses carry 65 or fewer. Because standard coaches have more space, they come with more amenities like a toilet and extra luggage compartments.

Can you make a living off coaching? ›

Most people in coaching make their living by having a private practice. Some people starting a private practice begin generating a living in as little as 3 weeks after their training while others take some time to build a practice while also working their full-time job.

Is coaching a stressful job? ›

The pressure to always win and come first is highly challenging, least of all when experienced with such frequency. While sports coaches may have a built-up resilience through their work, stress overload can result in burnout for many.

What are the cons of being a coach? ›

Top 10 disadvantages of life coaching:
  • Coaching costs. A coach is a part-mentor, part-guidance counsellor. ...
  • Personal matching. ...
  • Coaching requires a lot of time and patience. ...
  • Coaching is difficult. ...
  • Standard of teaching. ...
  • Coaching leaders must be skilled. ...
  • Mentoring is not always the right approach. ...
  • Conflicting goals.
Oct 19, 2022

How do you coach and mentor in the workplace? ›

3 Keys to Coaching and Mentoring Employees in the Workplace
  1. Hold purpose-driven check-ins. Make the most of the time you do have. ...
  2. Empower team members to solve their own problems. ...
  3. Use coaching time to pinpoint areas of improvement. ...
  4. Coach to inspire — and to learn.

What is the role of coaching and mentoring in supporting change management? ›

Coaching and mentoring are powerful tools for change management in any organization. They can help employees adapt to new situations, develop new skills, and overcome challenges.

How does a coach or mentor influence change? ›

Coaching is a practical intervention that can play a key role in helping managers and leaders explain possible changes facing their teams, improving readiness levels, and building the capacity of the organization. Tools like mindfulness and meditation often used in coaching are very helpful to those affected by change.

How can change leaders engage employees to increase their engagement and acceptance of an organizational change? ›

Five Ways to Engage Employees in Change
  1. Start with a vision. You need a common vision on how your team will work together and with any stakeholders to make the change initiative a reality. ...
  2. Develop a strategy. ...
  3. Be a champion of change. ...
  4. Communicate early and often. ...
  5. Get in front of problems.
Mar 1, 2014

How does coaching and mentoring in a team improve work performance? ›

Coaching and mentoring builds stronger teams with a more inclusive culture, aligning the organisation's ethos with that of its employees. This creates a cohesive working environment, where employees work well together, where processes are streamlined, and collaboration between members is seamless.

How does coaching and mentoring work to empower employees? ›

Coaching and mentoring an employee makes them more valuable to your organisation by developing and enhancing their skills—both professionally and personally. By being interested in the growth of your staff, you're showing them that you care about their progress. And this can increase their loyalty to you.

What is the coaching process in change management? ›

Change management coaching, sometimes called change leadership coaching, is a collaborative partnership that helps you identify your current change leadership strengths and uncover new ways to enable workplace change. It's useful for leaders at all levels involved in creating or executing workplace change.

What are the goals of coaching and mentoring? ›

Coaching and mentoring both exist for the same purpose: helping others grow, develop and reach their full potential. Both coaching and mentoring give the opportunity for individuals to take responsibility for their own personal and career development.

What are the strategic purposes of coaching and mentoring? ›

The aims of providing workplace coaching and mentoring programmes include: Assisting performance management. Preparing and supporting people through change. Supporting self-directed learning and development.

How can you help people through change? ›

While any one of the suggestions provided below for helping others change will work to some degree on its own, combining them is even more effective.
  1. Lead by example. ...
  2. Suggest goals. ...
  3. Give the right feedback. ...
  4. Support good habits. ...
  5. Take advantage of laziness. ...
  6. Develop support networks.
Mar 7, 2016

Why is coaching important in change management? ›

Coaching is how you will support people managers during the change and how they will interact with the front-line employees in their department or area of the business. The objective is to fully enable these people managers to: sponsor the change. support their employees during the change.

What actions will you take to lead a successful change initiative? ›

Take These Steps To Lead Effective Change Initiative
  1. Define and understand the business intent.
  2. Identify stakeholders.
  3. Gauge organizational readiness.
  4. Create a change management plan.


1. ETL Speaker Series: Alexi Robichaux, BetterUp
(Stanford eCorner)
2. What Is BetterUp?
3. Mission Driven: BetterUp
4. The Democratization of Professional Coaching at Davos 2020 with Alexi Robichaux
5. JLL members say that BetterUp is life-changing
6. First Coaching Session Example (by Master Certified Coach)
(invite CHANGE)


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