Ignoring coaching hampers business productivity

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12 Nov 2018

12 Nov 2018 • by Changeboard

Development coaching is integral to business productivity and performance, but is underutilised by many organisations, according to research released earlier this month.

A City & Guilds Group survey of more than 1,000 UK professionals revealed that 84% of workers believe that coaching should be part of every business’s management and development programme. The research demonstrates the benefits of coaching for companies as they adapt to the future world of work.

According to the study, 76% of employees believe coaching is helpful when going through periods of organisational change, and 79% say it’s useful for adopting new technologies and ways of working. In addition, as businesses begin to see staff from five generations working side-by-side, two thirds (64%) of those surveyed say that coaching has already become important in facilitating intergenerational working.

“Embedding a culture of coaching is a key component of our talent development programme. Involving managers at all levels to support the programme has meant that learning and development is very much in line with business needs, resulting in a step change in how it is perceived across the organisation with staff recognising the need for continual learning – which is so important if individuals, teams and the company as a whole is to keep up with the pace of change,” said Gary Shewan, learning and development consultant at Legal & General.

Not only has retention improved, but employee engagement continues to improve, and we can also see a measurable improvement to performance as delegates are able to implement projects worked on during the programme to deliver customer benefits and business efficiencies,” he added.

Coaching plays a critical part in boosting productivity as people move between roles or embrace portfolio careers, both growing trends in today’s workplace. Changing roles often means facing new challenges, and amongst the respondents that had changed role in their company, over a quarter (27%) report taking four months or more to work to the best of their ability afterwards, with 10% taking seven months or longer. Demonstrating the impact of coaching on performance, the research found that people who didn’t receive coaching at this critical moment are over eight times more likely to say that they still don’t feel able to work to the best of their ability, compared to those that did receive coaching.

The research also reveals that companies that don’t provide coaching opportunities risk leaving employees feeling undervalued. Of those respondents that haven’t been offered coaching by their current employer, lack of investment (33%), taking staff for granted (31%), leaders’ disinterest in staff (22%) and a lack of understanding on the value of coaching (22%) are listed as the most common reasons.

“The nature of work is evolving, and organisational change is becoming an increasingly common theme in UK businesses; whether they’re growing, shrinking, or adapting to new technologies. With unpredictable times ahead and ongoing change presenting challenges to businesses, employers need to encourage and support staff at all levels of the organisation – to maximise their individual performance, as well as that of the business,” said City & Guilds Group managing director John Yates.

To find out more about how coaching can help your career – or business – listen to our podcast with Sally McNab of Bristol Myers Squibb.