Employers not offering coaching risk future performance and productivity

New research published today by City & Guilds Group reveals that coaching[1] is integral to productivity and performance, with 84% of workers saying that coaching should be part of every business’s management and development programme.

City & Guilds Group surveyed over 1,000 UK professionals on their thoughts and experiences of coaching in the workplace. The research demonstrates the benefits of coaching for companies as they adapt to the future world of work, highlighting the potential risks faced by employers that don’t harness this powerful tool for change.

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.

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 role 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.

John Yates, Managing Director, City & Guilds Group, commented:

“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. At the same time, we are also witnessing huge changes in the workforce, with intergenerational working and career hopping becoming new norms. 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.”

Gary Shewan, Learning & Development Consultant, Legal and General, said:

“Embedding a culture of coaching is a key component of our Talent Development Programme and continues to have a positive impact on Legal & General. 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 learning and development 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. 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.”

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.

Demonstrating the capacity of coaching to benefit businesses more widely, respondents who have received coaching cite improved confidence, performance and productivity as three of the most important positive changes witnessed for themselves, others and their wider team and organisation.

John Yates continued:

“Coaching is an easily accessible tool that empowers employers to undertake successful organisational and technological transformation, while boosting workforce engagement, performance and productivity. Our research demonstrates that people place real value in coaching, a fact that employers cannot afford to overlook. Being so easy to implement, and yet affecting employees and the wider organisation so positively, coaching is a missed trick for employers that fail to get on board.”

[1] For the purposes of this research, ‘coaching’ is defined as the process of training or guiding an individual to address current, rather than long-term, issues in the workplace.

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