After years of increased use, executive coaching is seeing a downturn within corporations, according to a survey from Novations Group, a global consulting and training firm based in Boston.
Equation Research and Novations surveyed 2,000 senior human resources and learning and development executives about their use of coaching. The survey found that one-third of organizations that provide executive coaching report relying on it less.
Nearly half of respondents said they use coaching at the same rate as in the past, and 19 percent said they increasingly rely on coaching.
Executive or employee coaching increased dramatically over the past decade or more, said Michelle Knox, Novations executive consultant.
“So, it’s understandable that such enormous growth would slow somewhat, but now it appears there may even be a slight downturn,” she said. “No doubt this is due to senior management pressure for greater accountability and cost containment.”
Knox also said she suspects the downtown also might be because of the abundance of executive coaches in the field.
“Not unlike a lot of things that are relatively new, many people have gone into executive coaching, but many may not have the experience to back it up,” she said. “Organizations are looking for more emphasis on the ROI of their coaching dollars.”
Knox said less coaching could have a negative impact on organization down the road.
“We know from our research that most leaders do not make a successful transition into higher levels of leadership without some coaching,” she said.
With the impending baby boomer retirements and subsequent middle- and senior-level promotions, this trend of unprepared new executives could have a negative effect on corporations and their bottom line.
Knox said coaching will probably see another turnaround in the future, however.
“I think it will pick up again when companies realize that their leaders are struggling,” she said. “Training and development initiatives have a lot of value, but when it comes to long-term behavioral change, I think that coaching is a more successful methodology.”