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Martin Couzins

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Coaching a key tool for improving performance, says CIPD report


Overall coaching activity is down but those who are using coaching are doing more of it, says CIPD report.

Of the 332 respondents to the CIPD's Coaching Climate survey, 77% said they are using coaching, compared to 90% in 2009 - when the CIPD last carried out a similar piece of research. Of those using coaching, more than four-fifths siad that they’re doing more of it than two years ago.

Coaching is used most as a tool for improving performance and is used nearly as much to improve poor performance (43%) as to build on good performance (48%). The bulk of coaching, in keeping with previous data, is delivered by line managers or inhouse coaches, the proportion by external coaches has nearly doubled (up from 14% to 20%).

The report findings showed most coaching assignments focus on developing skills and competence (67% always and frequently), with supporting career transition (54% always and frequently) another key area. The focus on improving understanding of business, commercial and financial issues (26% always and frequently) was low.

Other findings include:

  • Seven in 10 respondents report either increasing or stable expenditure on coaching, while under a quarter reported decreased expenditure.
  • Just under two-fifths record evaluation around "stories and testimony" as the method most used (37%), compared to under a quarter in 2009 (23%). The use of key performance indicators and business metrics (30%). The development of a set of evaluation criteria at the outset in the contracting phase (28%).
  • Nearly three-quarters of respondent organisations have some sort of mentoring scheme in place (74%).

Dr John McGurk, learning and talent adviser at the CIPD, said: "The report demonstrates the value of coaching, and the need to use it to improve performance and build capability. It is good to see so many firms boosting their use of this important part of the learning and development toolkit.

"Although budgets remain tight it is encouraging to see that a relatively small number of organisations report decreases in their coaching budgets, compared to the number reporting decreases in overall funding in our Learning and Talent Development survey earlier this year."

To access the report visit:


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