Five reasons why you shouldn’t buy Sanctus Coaching
Hey there…if you’re reading this, you’re probably looking into the wonderful world of workplace wellbeing, development and employee support. And, if we’re lucky, it may be that Sanctus is one of the options you’re considering!
We truly believe that the quality of our coaches is second to none, and we’ve had enough feedback from users to know we’ve changed a whole lotta lives.
But instead of trying to sell you on all things Sanctus, we wanted to create a space where you can get an honest breakdown of where we may be a good fit, and where we might not be. We’ve kept it as unbiased as we can 🙂
If it sounds like we might be a good fit – great, let’s talk. If not, we hope to see you back here again in the future!
1. Budget is more important to you than quality
We get it. Everybody had to tighten their belts in the last few years. With inflation pushing food prices up 17.3% in June, and housing & energy up 12%, we’re all making calculated choices on where we spend our money: personally, and professionally.
Like any business will have done over the years, we’ve of course had the discussions around whether we choose budget over quality when it comes to our product.
Do we hire cheaper, trainee coaches, to save on our expenses? Do we just replace our human coaches with AI like the German newspaper, Bild, is doing with 20% of their workforce?
But we’re a business that decided to build a product around a certain set of values, a core one of which is to put people first: our own people, as well as the clients and coachees we serve.
Really putting them first.
Not only when it’s easy, or when it’s the most profitable.
Not only when it looks good on paper, or when it can impact our Glassdoor reviews.
And luckily, this means we have some of the best coaches in the world in our cohort. Coaches who are not afraid to speak up, to challenge our business-decisions, and most of all – to keep us aligned to our values. Coaches who believe in the cause, and who remind us to keep our commercial decisions anchored in solid, grounded principles.
For us, a high quality coach is more important than a shiny new platform, or a more lucrative profit margin. And we don’t just believe in quality for no reason. We know that, once a person starts putting profit before quality, it’s a slippery slope before one starts putting profit before people.
And people will always be our highest priority.
If, however, you are truly cornered by your board-members who need a higher ROI, if your bottom-line is more important than cultivating a sustainable, humane business ethic, your budget is very tight at the moment, or your leadership has the attitude of “the end justifies the means”, then we’re probably not a good fit.
2. You don’t want impartial, unbiased coaching
We’ve had a few prospective clients tell us “We already have a coach on staff. They understand our business, and are aligned to the business goals.”
At Sanctus, we have an entire cohort of excellent coaches. And yet, none of them coach our own employees. Instead, we recruit separate coaches to coach our employees. Why is this?
In some ways, it’s quite simple: I wouldn’t seek marriage counselling from my parents (even if they were marriage counsellors). Most of us don’t want our medical records to be the hot topic in the lunchroom, or to share our entire private life with our employer.
We have GDPR to help protect privacy, and we use doors, locks and passcodes to keep different parts of our lives separate, protected & well-functioning.
Psychologists refer to this as ‘boundaries’, and it protects the client, and the therapist, from making unethical, or – in good old fashioned English – ‘bad’ decisions.
Personally, I don’t coach my friends or family. It’s not possible for me to be an effective coach, and – depending on how well I get along with the person – the choices I make in the coaching will always be somewhat warped by my personal desires, annoyances and opinions I have of this person.
An internal coach (whether that’s a qualified coach, a manager or an HR person) simply cannot deliver the same quality of coaching to someone who they work closely with.
Best case scenario, the coaching will be luke-warm, and sort of like talking to your manager about something that bugs you.
Worst case scenario, the coach can start manipulating the coaching in their favour, due to their vested interests in the organisation. Sometimes, this can even happen subconsciously, without the coach even realising it!
Bringing in coaching is ultimately about improving the wellbeing, engagement and growth of your people. However, if you aren’t comfortable with coaches prioritising the needs of the individual over the business, then we probably aren’t the right fit.
3. You have a reactive, rather than proactive business culture
During the pandemic, we saw a massive influx of new clients. Suddenly, organisations needed to ‘put out fires’; to show their employees they care by, at the very least, giving them someone they could talk to, vent at or cry with, while stuck at home with screaming children and a stressed out partner.
Don’t get us wrong: putting out fires is important when there is a fire. And sometimes fires happen – that’s just part of life and business.
However, preventing fires in the first place is obviously better than waiting for the smoke before we start to act.
For some organisations, the ‘panic-mode’ is not a season, but a way of being. They may dress it up as “high performance” or a “fast-paced culture”, but once you survey their people, you are confronted with phrases like “stressed out”, “burn-out” and “looking to quit”.
In these organisations, saying “I’m so stressed!” or “I worked until 1am to finish the deadline!” or “I’m spinning plates”, are worn like badges of honour. They tend to churn through their employees, and stay in survival mode, because they can’t break through the ceiling to create a more sustainable, humane, profitable and healthy work environment.
Although we are happy to work with someone who is fighting fires, that is not our primary intention.
We want you and your business to thrive, not survive.
And to do this, we need a proactive approach to our wellbeing, and personal and professional development.
Our vision is to cultivate cultures where employees handle stress with resilience, to stay cool under pressure, and who grow through challenging times.
If you are okay with a culture where people handle stress with rash, reactive decisions, panic under pressure and burn-out during challenging times (only to be replaced with new victims…uhm, recruits), we may not be the best fit for your needs.
4. You just need to tick a box
We all have those tasks on our to-do list: the thing you’re not really passionate about, but you somehow just need to get it done. That task you do on a ‘pass’ level, just to get it done.
For me, cleaning the kitchen falls in this category. I’m happy with a ‘good enough’ level of cleanliness in the kitchen (which others might even classify as ‘dirty’!). And, luckily, we have those brown marble tops, which camouflage any stains, crumbs or coffee-grinds I may have missed. My partner, on the other hand, wants the kitchen to be ‘sparkly clean’, and would spend hours polishing taps.
If wellbeing and personal development is as important to you as a clean kitchen is to me, Sanctus is probably not a good fit, and an average, mass produced coaching solution is probably a better fit.
If wellbeing, learning & development and growth is just a line item that needs to be ticked off, for whatever reason, our solution simply wouldn’t work with your culture.
We don’t “just do therapy”, or “just do coaching”, or “just deliver training”. We know that, for any organisation to truly thrive, one needs to tend to all the little pieces in the ecosystem. This is why – instead of just a plug-and-play service in the background, we offer an entire suite of interventions, to support your organisation across the different sectors, through all of life’s different seasons.
At Sanctus, we are passionate about our values, about having an impact, about transforming the work environment. We haven’t been merged with a profit-driven behemoth in the coaching industry, meaning we can still drive with values, and stay anchored to our purpose.
With a commitment to continual development & growth, Sanctus doesn’t tick boxes, we break them.
5. You believe the 100-year old EAP model gives more bang for your buck
Employee Assistance Programs were created in the 1930s, to support individuals in the workplace who struggled with alcoholism. In the 70s and 80s, these services gradually expanded to also support workplace stress, depression, family issues, and a whole list of personal challenges.
It’s almost 100 years since its inception, and some organisations still believe an EAP is a sufficient form of support, even though only 5% or less employees use these services.
I often tell clients: “One of my roles as a coach is to help you deal with reality, on reality’s terms.” At Sanctus, we like to deal in the present reality. And the reality is that ‘There is no such thing as free lunch’.
If you’re paying £1.50 per member per month for an EAP, then whatever form of support you are getting from them is probably only worth about £25 per member year (at best). That is equal to about 7 coffees (6 with inflation), and worth less than half of what I’d pay my therapist for ONE session.
Less than half of one therapy session.
I’m not your coach, but please allow me to “help you deal with reality on reality’s terms”:
If you are offered “Unlimited coaching sessions” or pay “Only £1.50 per member per month” for a mental health service, you are either getting what you pay for…or not getting it at all. In reality, the numbers simply don’t add up, and if I worked for you, I’d rather have 6 free coffees, than a subscription to something I never use.
Many of my Sanctus clients have shared something to the following effect with me:
“I’m so glad we have this coaching service available. I don’t feel comfortable talking to a therapist – there’s a lot of stigma attached to it, and I don’t know if what I need is really therapy. I do need support, though.”
And, of all the coaching clients I’ve seen, I’ve only sign-posted about 2% to some form of therapy.
Which begs another question: even if you do have an EAP, and they give your people access to therapists, is that what they need?
Maybe you’re not getting what you pay for.
Maybe you’re overpaying for a service no one wants (or needs) to use.
With us, you get exactly what you pay for, and more.
In many ways this relates to the section above about ticking a box – if you’re looking to just have any old service available, even if it has low value and impact (beyond their catchy marketing slogans) – we probably wouldn’t be right for you as a provider.
The wellbeing, learning and development and professional growth markets can be confusing, bloated and hard to navigate. Particularly in this post-pandemic world, where the number of services available has exploded.
And what every business needs and wants is different. We make no judgments if you fall into any of the five sections above – everyone has their own reasons for making the decisions that they do.
However, having been operating for over 7 years now, since before the wellbeing marketplace exploded, we’ve seen that grounding ourselves in a set of values, and prioritising a high level of quality, has allowed us to maintain robust, safe, genuinely impactful solutions to individuals, and to see an NPS of +86.
If we’re not right for you – no hard feelings. But if you like what you’ve read in this article, we’d love to have a chat.