May 8 2004 - A recent CIPD study shows that coaching is increasingly popular as a means of promoting learning and development. The 2004 training and development survey also indicates that coaching is almost universally accepted as a method that delivers tangible business benefits.
Whereas a mere 16% of respondents thought that training courses were the most effective way for people to learn in the workplace, 96% valued coaching as an effective way to promote learning in organizations. Coaching was also viewed as an important way of reducing 'leakage' from training courses and therefore improved their effectiveness.
The survey also shows that coaching is not viewed entirely through rose-tinted glasses. HR professionals are concerned about lack of accreditation and regulation of external providers with only a third of respondents believing that there was sufficient regulation and accreditation of the coaching industry.
More than three-quarters of organizations use coaching but a mere 6% have written strategies for coaching all of their employees. The study shows that most coaches are line managers but just 14% of organizations provide compulsory coaching skills for those who manage staff.
"Organizations need to get strategies in place to maximise the impact of coaching for their organization. This will ensure they get the desired business benefits and that employees receive the best learning available," says Rolph.
Main findings of the survey:
* More than three-quarters of surveyed organizations used coaching as a training method
* 90% of respondents considered that coaching was a key mechanism for transferring training skills into the workplace
* Virtually all respondents (99%) thought that coaching delivered tangible benefits
* More than 90% of respondents believed that coaching applied appropriately could positively influence the bottom line
* Line managers were most likely to deliver coaching, but fewer than 20% of organizations had 'all' or 'a majority' of their line managers trained to carry it out.
Jessica Rolph, CIPD Learning, Training and Development adviser, says, "Businesses and coaching professionals must join together to push for greater professionalism across the industry. If pressure is exerted to secure minimum expected standards, qualifications and results, the 'cowboy' operators will have no option but to conform."
"If coaching is taken seriously and is properly managed, it can increase business competitiveness as well as helping individuals attain their potential. However, a number of issues currently exist that may prevent coaching fulfilling its potential: few organisations are training their managers, there is still confusion about standards and terminology, and little evaluation is taking place."