Our clients often ask us these questions
Will our employees use this service?
Our experience shows that people are generally happy to get help and we usually get around 65% buy-in. Early adopters tend to be very satisfied with the experience and recommend to others within the organisation. Employees often feel that micro-coaching allows them to make practical changes happen.
Does it matter which instant messaging platform we use?
It doesn't, we can work on any platform. Our coach only needs to get an account within your system in order to be able to communicate with the employees. Since no technology is involved at this stage, our service requires no integrations or installations.
Does coaching really work via text?
We need more data to give definitive answers, yet so far it looks like "Yes, definitely!". The written approach helps coachees to focus and allows us to collect critical data. In special cases, we can provide coaching via video, even though it would make data collection more challenging.
How important is the quality of coaches?
Very. That's why we have very selective screening and only employ coaches who have gone through specialized training.
What if employees leave due to understanding that they have outgrown the company after going through a micro-coaching program?
This is often a risk in traditional developmental programs. It often occurs when an individual, after going through her own developmental cycle, comes back to an unwelcoming environment. In our case, we don't only provide the coaching, but also collect qualitative data, analyze it and produce insights that help companies to improve their culture and processes. Thus, we don't only influence an individual, but also 'the system'.
How does the process look like in real life?
A company organizes a certain training, learning program or a change management program. We make an agreement about the micro-coaching service for them, discuss how many people are involved and what data they might want to collect. They give us access to their internal communication platform (Teams, Slack, Workplace, Skype, etc) and after the training our coaches write to the training participants. With those employees who agree to use our service (usually 65%), we proceed with the micro-coaching for a period agreed with the company (6-20 weeks). At the agreed points throughout the project, we deliver data collected and reports about our progress to senior management.
What coaching framework are you using?
We are using the GROW model. You can read about it on Wikipedia. We are also using the growth mindset and the SMART goal frameworks about which you can read here and here respectively.
You talked about collecting qualitative data. How do you do it?
A lot of data is collected through the coaching itself. Since our goal is to help employees achieve their goals, we always deal with the obstacles on the path. Those obstacles are both internal and environmental (leadership, culture, processes).

Beyond that, if we have a specific target, we can also ask employees. Due to having a high trust relationship with the employee, we get high-quality data.

Of course, we always ask the employee's permission to share our findings with senior management and it's done anonymously. They often are happy that we do it, since, even in especially sensitive cases, they appreciate our service of anonymously conveying the message up top.
What kind of qualitative data and insights do you collect?
We can collect the data about the practical results of the change/learning program, leadership and team dynamics, employee practices and habits (agility, communication, productivity), resources (time, support, energy), skill gaps and competences, blind spots, and challenges. In terms of leadership, team dynamics and the blind spots, one of the most common occurrences is having employees report a bad manager who doesn't listen to feedback. Usually, the 'proper' channel is through that manager, which is impossible when the manager is the problem.
Why is it a good idea to collect data through coaching?
Due to the nature of coaching, a trust relationship is developed with the coachee. That allows us to collect high-quality feedback. Us being an external provider helps us to avoid internal politics, which could be a blocker to developing trust that's necessary for an honest dialogue. Also, the job of the coach is by default to work with the employee's obstacles, so it's only natural to find out about them with the implications gathered through coaching. More than that, if needed we can ask additional 1-2 questions per week after coaching to collect information.
Can the coach handle rapid switching between the coachees if they need to coach 50 people x 30 mins each per week?
We think so. Coaching 50 people at the same time is our maximum capacity at the moment. It means that the coach spends 25 hours in pure coaching and 15 hours for reporting and preparation for the sessions. Having an automatically generated text record of the previous conversations with all the coachees is the primary reason why this is possible
Are you really a startup if this service isn't scalable?
Yes, we are, or at least we aim to be. Currently, we are using human coaches and therefore the service isn't scalable. We do that because we are still building the service and testing the business model. In the future, we aim to automate at least parts of the coaching process. Complete automation is a big question, at least with the current level of technology. That being said, it should be possible to decrease the amount of time spent by the coach by 50-90% which would enable us to scale.
Why the name Panda?
To be frank, it's a legacy name. We used to be training pandas but it was a hard business. We switched to working with people. If you have an idea for a better name for our company, feel free to let us know.
Do you have other questions?