Coaching leads to more engagement at Network Rail

The introduction of a leadership programme within Network Rail has had a direct impact on levels of employee engagement, delegates heard at the CIPD’s employee engagement conference.Bob Hughes, talent and employee engagement manager at the company that owns and operates the UK’s rail infrastructure, said that the firm introduced a coaching programme that encouraged managers to be more ‘coach-like’ in the way that they manage people.

“In terms of performance, we’ve seen a reduction in signalling errors,” he said. “Absenteeism levels dropped in teams that were engaged. We’re investing significant sums of money in training programmes and this has had an impact on engagement.”

Network Rail analysed the number of incidents per hour against the individual signalling manager’s level of engagement and found that the less engaged managers were, on average, responsible for double the number of incidents.

The results also found that absenteeism rates are about 28 per cent more in the less engaged teams.

So far, 1,000 managers have been through the two-day coaching programme.


Richard Reid is the founder of Pinnacle Proactive, Specialising in the Employee Assistance ProgramStress ManagementStaff Retention & Absenteeism. Take a Proactive Approach to Growing Your Organisation & its People. For more info visit


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