In most organisations, the main asset and differentiating feature is the power of their people, the collective team. The success of an organisation is linked to the team performance, with successful organisations paying attention to and investing in performance improving measures. According to research by City & Guilds Group, coaching is integral to performance and productivity, with 84% of workers stating that coaching should be a part of management and development programmes (ILM, 2018).
Coaching is widely regarded as a potent development force. De Meuse and Dai (2009), in examining research on coaching effectiveness, reported that in one study 96% of organizations saw individual performances improve after they introduced coaching. Nearly as many (92%) also reported improvements in leadership and management effectiveness (Coaching Counts 2007). In another study, 77% of the respondents indicated that coaching had a significant or very significant impact on at least one of nine business measures. Productivity (60%) and employee satisfaction (53%) were cited as being most improved by the coaching (Anderson 2001).
Benefit of Coaching to the Individual
Based on the respondent feedback above, it is clear there is a positive overall effect of coaching to the individual, but what exactly are they? In an interesting case study published in the International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring researcher Sally Bonneywell explores precisely how one to one coaching and group coaching was experienced by the clients within a global organisation. In the study the changes related to coaching were broken into two distinct groups.
1. Changes in Relation to the Clients personally
Self Awareness - a topic which ranks high for all leaders, by receiving coaching the majority of people experienced an increase in their self awareness thereby feeling they had more insight into how they impact and influence others.
Self Confidence - there was both an increase in self confidence and a decrease in self limiting thoughts/beliefs.
Self Leadership - leaders reported an increase in self leadership, unrealistic expectations were also identified leading to an increase in self acceptance.
2. Changes in Relationships with Others
Leadership Style - candidates developed new awareness of their style of leadership, allowing them to calibrate and improve performance.
Relationship to Line Manager - coaching helped clients examine their existing relationship with their line managers, identifying required changes and/or valuing aspects of the relationship that worked well already.
Relationship to Conflict - while some respondents were comfortable managing conflicts, many found that conflict was something they were avoiding. Coaching allowed them to explore the negative beliefs around conflict thereby helping challenge and change those beliefs and ultimately becoming better equipped with conflict resolution.
Outside of the individual, what are the benefits to the organisations who are actively investing in coaching and development programmes. A recent ICF study* concluded that
Organisations with strong coaching cultures indicate profitability above that of their industry peer group:65% compared to 56% of other responding organisations.
Among organisations with a strong coaching culture, approximately 54% are also classified as high performing.
Organisations without a strong coaching culture, only 29% are classified as high-performing.
The coaches surveyed generally have more than 10 years’ experience (64%), and many have more than 20 years’ experience (19%).
It is clear from various sources the benefits that investing in coaching brings to the individual, the team and ultimately the organisation. Traditionally coaching to the individual comes later in their career/tenure in an organisation when a discernible need has been established.
Given the stated advantages of implementing a coaching programme, organisations should consider introducing it earlier in a candidate's career with the added goal of cultivating a positive culture of ongoing self development throughout the organisation. By adopting and investing in a programme on a consistent and early basis, it brings the related and progressive benefits to all parties much earlier.
Sarah Lock & Padraig Sherry