Employers Dissatisfied with Results of Coaching

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Princeton, N.J. — Sept. 19
Coaching of employees by managers contributes little to either their performance or job satisfaction, according to research by global consultants BlessingWhite.

Nearly 700 mid-level employees in North America, Europe and Asia were asked to evaluate coaching’s impact.

The survey found that fewer than one in four (23 percent) respondents said coaching contributed significantly to their performance, and a majority (60 percent) reported slight, little or no impact.

The results are as follows:

Job performance:

  • Significant contribution: 23 percent
  • Slight improvement: 38 percent
  • Little or no impact: 22 percent
  • Negative impact: 3 percent

Likewise, just 20 percent indicated coaching had contributed significantly to their job satisfaction and 10 percent thought it had actually diminished it.

Job satisfaction:

  • Significant contribution: 20 percent
  • Slight improvement: 32 percent
  • Little or no impact: 22 percent
  • Negative impact: 10 percent

“What we learned about coaching’s impact has real consequences for organizations concerned with employee performance,” BlessingWhite CEO Christopher Rice said. “The findings should prompt management to address the evident shortcomings of coaching by managers, make them more accountable, do more to reinforce it and even offer tangible incentives.”

Essential for success is effective training for the managers, Rice said.

“We found that 73 percent of those in our study attended coaching training, but given our findings, we have to ask of what it consisted,” he said.

There is also a pivotal personal dimension, Rice said.

“Managers need to establish individual partnerships with the employees they’re coaching,” he said. “Each person is motivated by a unique set of values, attitudes, skills and goals, and great coaching must be based on a clear understanding of what these are.”

Internal coaching appears to be in disarray, Rice said.

“We see missed opportunities to use coaching to boost performance, leverage individual contribution and align employees with business goals,” he said.

Of the 677 respondents participating in the BlessingWhite survey, 30 percent are supervisors or managers, and 23 percent are specialists or professionals.

Only 3 percent hold administrative or clerical positions. Most (82 percent) live in North America. Thirteen percent live in Europe, and 4 percent live in either Asia or Australia.

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