45 (140) 2020
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The Responsible Rebound

Ten years of the Two Sectors – One Vision coaching programme for social leaders

By Paulina Zieńczuk, CR specialist at PwC and coordinator of Two Sectors – One Vision
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Social engagement is a key element of PwC actions to build social trust and solve important problems. Sharing our firm’s greatest assets – the skills, knowledge and talents of our people – we concentrate on education, supporting the social economy and innovation, as well as helping to build capacity of non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

NGOs are entrusted to provide support when and where society needs it most. We help to build a stronger and more transparent sector, not only by offering pro bono services, but also by dedicated volunteering programmes like Two Sectors –  One Vision.

The Two Sectors –  One Vision coaching programme has been implemented by the School Leaders Foundation and the PwC Foundation since 2010. In this programme, we support leaders of social organisations by enabling them to cooperate individually with experienced people in managerial positions from PwC, who act as their coaches.

During the six-month coaching process, they work on set goals which concern professional development of coachees and the improvement of their organisations’ performance. The participants also attend dedicated workshops and business training, which help them improve their leadership and communication skills, as well as learn new tools to be more effective in management. We believe that the stronger leader is, the stronger and more effective their organisations become as well.

The programme serves to build cooperation between the non-governmental and business sectors, affects the effectiveness of the third sector and the social involvement of business.

In 2013, Two Sectors - One Vision received a distinction in the European CSR Award Scheme Competition. The jury appreciated our programme as "a unique initiative on the Polish market, which involves the sharing of highly valued competences and allows to educate social leaders in business competences, increasing the chance for their effectiveness and reaching a much larger group of recipients". The great value of this programme is its scalability, it has served as an inspiration for similar activities in the PwC Network, e.g. in Switzerland and Hong Kong.

This year, we celebrated the tenth edition of our coaching programme. So far, 78 PwC volunteers have supported 167 social leaders from different NGOs, for example: WWF Polska, Amnesty International, Habitat for Humanity, Fundacja Integracja, Fundacja Kosmos dla Dziewczynek, Fundacja Inicjatyw Społeczno-Ekonomicznych, Polska Akcja Humanitarna, Fundacja Mentors4Starters, Bank Żywności, Gdańska Fundacja Innowacji Społecznej, Stowarzyszenie Pedagogów Teatru, Centrum Myśli Jana Pawła II, Fundacja Napraw Sobie Miasto, Fundacja Kupuj Odpowiedzialnie, Fundacja Rozwoju Wolontariatu, Dziewuchy Dziewuchom and many others. The leaders received over 1,716 hours of individual coaching support and over 320 hours of training.

What does the programme give social leaders?

Thanks to the programme, social leaders are better able to identify their goals and strategy. They gain specialist knowledge and new practical skills in the field of effective management of people, projects and processes. They learn about the business culture and have the opportunity to develop their own approach to building cooperation with business. 

The social leaders see the value in the programme by recognising its major strengths, such as: giving them access to experienced experts, high quality of the process and workshops, business perspective, and the opportunity of networking and experience exchange with other leaders.

The programme has helped them to work on some significant issues, like introducing major organisational and management changes. They developed their leadership and interpersonal skills, improved self confidence, problem-solving and work organisation. The coaching process also has helped them to recognise the issues to work on, such as: assertiveness, work-life balance or their time management.

The survey after the programme's latest edition showed that 77% of the respondents noticed the significant improvement of their relationships with co-workers, 69% in the engagement and motivation of their teams and 54% in teamwork. 62% of the respondents observed the improvement in processes’ effectiveness after their participation in the coaching programme. It shows that their professional development improves the effectiveness and scope of activities of their NGOs.

The social leaders recognised the significant improvement of their relations with business partners and beneficiaries in the quality of services.

The programme wouldn't be a success without our PwC volunteers who devoted their time and provided excellent coaching processes. The participants appreciate their communication skills, planning and setting goals, active listening, building trust and sense of safety during their meetings. 

What does the programme give PwC volunteers?

PwC coaches also recognise the value of the programme, not only for social leaders, but also for themselves. The programme is an opportunity for PwC managers and partners to learn about the third sector and see the world in different perspectives: “This programme broadens awareness about other sectors and brings massive inspiration – social leaders move mountains in their work but they need support and empowerment,” said one of the PwC Partners. PwC volunteers can develop their interpersonal skills like listening and asking questions as well as build relationships based on trust and look for individual solutions for organisation with the coaching client “What this programme gives is, first of all, being mindful of the other person, what he or she says, and what results from it. Openness, the ability to communicate – not to give solutions, but to direct coachees to find the answers themselves.”

The Two Sectors - One Vision coaching programme truly brings the two sectors closer together and has a positive impact on both business and social leaders. It shows that they can benefit from the programme in an equal way, understand each other better and, most importantly, learn from each other.

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