More than half of managers have participated in workplace coaching in the past few years, according to a survey of 3,447 individuals, nearly all of whom are middle- to senior-level managers.
CO2 Partners, a Minneapolis-based consulting firm, conducted the survey, which included the question, “Have you ever received formal coaching in the workplace?”
The results are as follows:
- Once: 10 percent
- More than once: 50 percent
- Never: 38 percent
- Don’t know: 2 percent
Of the respondents who said they had been coached, 59 percent said the experience benefited them in some capacity.
Specifically, more than half of the respondents , 60 percent, said they would get the most benefit from coaching that focuses on leadership development.
“We knew coaching was growing but are surprised by how quickly it seems to become the norm among executives in positions that require them to manage others,” said Gary Cohen, CO2 Partners president.
The definition of coaching tends to vary, Cohen said, although this does not discount the survey’s findings.
“We suspect the coaching in question encompasses various kinds of support from formal guidance provided by outside professionals to mentoring, as well as advice from one’s immediate supervisor,” he said. “Nonetheless, the finding indicates a startling trend.”
The high percentage of people who have received coaching in the workplace also reflects a change in attitude regarding the phenomenon, Cohen said.
“Coaching is now seen as a development initiative, not as problem solving, with more people both receiving it and being willing to say so,” he said. “A stigma once associated with coaching seems to have gone away.”
Additionally, Cohen said managers are beginning to be the driving force behind managerial coaching.
“About one in three coaching assignments at midsize companies is being initiated by the manager rather than by HR or the employer,” he said.
Also, Cohen said it is important to have a clear idea of what they want to get out of coaching before they embark on that path.
“There are different types of coaching available and deliverables, styles and outcomes can vary significantly,” he said. “Clarify these issues in your first meeting with a coach so you know what you can expect and if it’s a good fit for you and your situation.”