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New Opportunities for Coaching in Organizations

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Odile Carru, MBA, PCC and Marc Weinstein, Ph.D.

The numbers speak for themselves: According to the 2013 Executive Coaching Survey, conducted by the Center for Leadership Development and Research at Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford University’s Rock Center for Corporate Governance, and The Miles Group, 34 percent of CEOs and 51 percent of senior executives receive coaching. Meanwhile, according to Building a Coaching Culture, ICF and the Human Capital Institute’s (HCI) 2014 study of coaching in organizations, 43 percent of respondents reported that their organizations employed internal coaches and 60 percent said coaching was available to their high-potential employees. While Leadership and Executive Coaching remain areas of business with a huge potential, coaching is spreading into organizations’ lower levels, creating new opportunities for coaches.

Renewed Demand for Coaching in Organizations

Increasingly, organizations view coaching as a way to retain talented employees and enhance leadership development and soft skills.

Talent Retention

While the recovery from the 2008 recession has been slow, it has been steady. Since 2009, nine million new jobs have been created. Many talented managers now see opportunities for advancement with or outside of their organization. In a dramatic shift from earlier in the century, one of the main challenges now facing most executive teams is attracting and retaining talent. The cost of turnover is high, particularly when high-potential employees leave. This is an area where an organization’s approach to training and development can make a difference.

Wage increases and financial incentives alone are unlikely to keep talent in organizations. Research suggests that the most common reasons for an employee to leave a company have nothing to do with compensation: Lack of opportunities, boredom, lack of challenge or poor work/life balance are cited as reasons for 70 percent of departures. Dissatisfaction with compensation accounts for less turnover.

And here is where coaching comes into play: Not only do corporate coaches develop high-potential employees by preparing managers for promotion and addressing derailing behaviors, but they also reinforce a manager’s commitment to the company. Managers and employees need to feel that they belong to the organization, and that they grow at a personal level. In focusing on personal and soft skills, coaching keeps employees engaged, with 2015 data from ICF and HCI revealing that 60 percent of employees in organizations with strong coaching cultures rate themselves as highly engaged.

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