Ask A Coach: Who’s Doing All The Coaching?

OK, I’m confused.

According the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD)’s latest Learning and Talent Development survey, 46% of their 700+ respondents put coaching in their top three most effective learning and development practices (note this is down from 53% last year).

And when asked what three talent management activities their organisation used which were most effective, respondents put coaching way ahead of the pack at 51% (in-house programmes coming second with 33%).

Let’s not split hairs between ‘learning and development’ and ‘talent management’ here. You’re getting the picture – the statistics seem to suggest that coaching is an effective, widely used way of improving performance in organisations. Coaching Is Good. So far, so making sense.


The CIPD has also just put out its quarterly Employee Outlook survey, conducted by YouGov with almost 2,000 respondents, and one of the many interesting things these people are saying (or rather are least likely to say in the case of this question) is that their manager coaches them on the job.

They don’t hate their managers; overall they are positive about them.

  • Are their managers always/usually committed to the organisation? 74% say yes.
  • Do their managers always/usually treat them fairly? 71% say yes.
  • Do their managers give them feedback on how they are performing? 45% say yes.
  • How about discussing their development needs? 41%.
  • Coaching them on the job? That’ll be 29%.

Lucky you if you’re in the 29% camp, and your manager coaches you on the job. Hopefully your progress is why coaching is highly rated as an effective way of improving performance at both individual and organisational levels.

For those of you in the 71% group, I can’t help but wonder if your manager has been trained to coach – it’s clearly a popular thing, and we should know, we deliver it – but for some reason just isn’t getting there. What’s stopping them?

Is it pressure of work, competing priorities, deadlines, focus on task not person – or all of the above? Or is that they can’t see any benefits in using coaching techniques in their management toolkit? Maybe. Or maybe coaching is not espoused at the very top, so why bother? Or are only 29% of employees considered worthy of coaching? Surely not.


CIPD Spring 2012 Employee Engagement Survey

CIPD 2012 Learning and Talent Development survey

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