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Executive coaching is booming, says IES


A new study from the Institute of Employment Studies finds that, despite the lack of regulation and certification for providers, the executive coaching industry is blossoming in the UK and across Europe.

The report, which examined the experiences of people currently using executive coaching in the workplace, found that companies consider the often sizeable costs involved worthwhile, because of its intensive nature, flexibility and the fact that it is a private, personalised process - all of which appeal to the manager who feels that they no longer require 'training'.

IES Director Richard Pearson said: "While still seen as the latest management 'buzzword' by many, executive coaching is now being used as a serious business tool. Its growth has been phenomenal, reaching into boardrooms and senior management offices in every sector of the economy and government, with consultants charging up to £2,000 per day. But until now, little has been studied about how to get best value and assess its effectiveness. This report presents an essential overview for organisations wishing to take advantage of executive coaching."

The report also finds a considerable skills gap among managers where soft skills are concerned, arguing that people skills have often been neglected in the past by business schools and internal company training programmes.

The study warns that, with the market for executive coaching seeing huge growth, along with accompanying marketing, the issue of establishing and maintaining consistent standards is becoming more and more important. At present, anyone can set themselves up as an executive coach, and there is no one common standard by which to assess providers. With companies spending up to £2,000 a day on coaching, the issue of evaluating the impact of executive coaching cannot be ignored, says the report.

It also warns against 'coaching envy', which apparently happens when other colleagues see a manager benefitting from one-on-one development.


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