Coaching finds favour among senior managers

Journal of European Industrial Training

ISSN: 0309-0590

Article publication date: 1 November 2002



(2002), "Coaching finds favour among senior managers", Journal of European Industrial Training, Vol. 26 No. 8.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited

Coaching finds favour among senior managers

Coaching finds favour among senior managers

Organizations understand the performance and productivity value of coaching their senior management.

A survey carried out for the School of Coaching, at the UK Industrial Society, shows that coaching of top-team members takes place in six out of ten organizations. Among organizations with more than 2,500 employees, eight out of ten stage senior-management coaching. Senior managers in large organizations are also more likely to use external coaches.

Companies with coaching initiatives in place say that their reasons are improving individual performance (81 per cent), supporting personal development (79 per cent) and boosting company performance (78 per cent). Despite this, less than one third of respondents (27 per cent) say they formally evaluate their coaching-skills initiatives.

David Webster, School of Coaching managing director, believes it is irresponsible of companies not to ask questions about the efficacy and validity of their coaching programmes, particularly at such a senior level. "Organizations using coaching hope to improve individual and company performance and support personal development. These are creditable objectives," he said. "But if there isn't an evaluation structure in place, how do you know if coaching is generating success, stagnation or even problems?"

The School of Coaching advises:

  • coaching will work only if organizations invest in its development and are aware of the cultural impact;

  • senior managers have significant influence on the value and impact of coaching – their own behaviour and ability to coach their direct reports will affect levels of performance and learning;

  • coaching from external providers should benefit both the organization and the individual, so be clear about desired outcomes for both;

  • assessment of the effect of any coaching initiative is crucial, and judgement around its effectiveness should involve qualitative as well as quantitative measures;

  • ensure that the coaching approach planned is consistent with the ethos and culture that the organization wants.

Only 1 per cent of organizations say that their initiative for developing coaching skills in line managers is aimed at manual workers.

Organizations spend an average £246 per employee on the development of coaching skills in line managers. Manufacturing-sector organizations spend the most (an average of £275 per employee) while service sector employers spend the least (an average of £164 per employee).

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