Mentoring Programs Underused Tool

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<p><strong>St. Petersburg, Fla. &mdash; June 8&nbsp;</strong><br />Improving leadership capabilities always seems to be at the top of the wish list for most corporations, but if they really want to see improvement, companies should take a harder look at their coaching and mentoring programs. </p><p>Despite the fact that most say such programs are very valuable, fewer than one-fifth think their own programs are good or excellent, according to a just-released study conducted by the Institute for Corporate Productivity.<br /><br />The study found that, of the more than 300 organizations polled, half don&rsquo;t have such programs at all. </p><p>&ldquo;There seems to be a tremendous missed opportunity here,&rdquo; said Jay Jamrog, i4cp senior vice president of research. &ldquo;Our study shows that the most common use for these programs is to develop executives and other managers. But in an age when so many organizations are saying there&rsquo;s a shortage of leadership, they&rsquo;re underutilizing one of the best tools available.&rdquo;<br /><br />The study found only about half of respondents say their organizations have formal coaching and mentoring programs (49 percent coaching, 47 percent mentoring). </p><p>When asked what percentage of their employees use coaches or mentors, 52 percent said coaches were used by 5 percent or fewer of workers, and 62 percent said the same thing about mentors.<br /><br />&ldquo;Three out of five respondents said they considered coaching to be quite valuable or very valuable,&rdquo; Jamrog said. &ldquo;Yet, 82 percent reported their coaching programs were only &lsquo;average&rsquo; or below. By boosting both the quality and usage of these programs, organizations might make a huge dent in today&rsquo;s and tomorrow&rsquo;s leadership shortages.&rdquo;<br /><br />To find coaches and mentors, most organizations look internally, with 68 percent reporting they find their coaches in-house, compared with 93 percent locating mentors within the company. </p><p>When selecting coaches externally, 55 percent rely on recommendations from colleagues or other organizations. </p><p>The top coaching qualification listed (71 percent) was business experience, followed by recommendations and consulting experience.<br /><br />As for training of mentors, 44 percent of respondents use some type of internal training function, and 39 percent said no special training is required. Thirty-two percent report using in-house mentors to train others.<br /><br />The Coaching/Mentoring Practitioner Consensus Survey was conducted by i4cp, in conjunction with, in May 2007.</p>

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