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Coaching Study by BlessingWhite

Key findings
Organizations and leaders worldwide are struggling to reap the rewards that coaching promises. Our findings paint a puzzling picture of good intentions, missed opportunities, and conflicting messages about the importance of coaching of employees by managers. We’re faced with a coaching conundrum.

Many organizations provide lip-service to the value that managers’ coaching activities have on the business, workforce engagement, and strategic talent management. Few have succeeded in creating cultures where coaching of employees is a regular, fully supported, and rewarded managerial practice.

Individual leaders appear to experience a similar disconnect between words and daily behaviors. Some are true believers in the power of coaching to drive team productivity, effectiveness, and engagement. They coach employees regardless of organizational mandates because it is simply their style of leadership. The majority of leaders appear to be caught up in a tug of war of competing priorities, well-meaning goals around coaching, and an ambivalent organizational culture. They like to coach, know they should, but don’t get around to doing it with any regularity.

This report presents the following disconnects:

Most managers love to coach, and most employees like to be coached.
BUT… Only 1 in 2 survey respondents in North America and Asia receive coaching
(even fewer in Europe).

Organizations, managers, and employees appear to believe in coaching’s contribution to their success.
BUT… Managers sheepishly admit they don’t spend enough time coaching.

The large majority of managers are expected to coach.
BUT… Only one-quarter have compensation tied to their coaching activities.

Managers who coach regularly describe tangible benefits (e.g., increased team productivity).
AND… Two-thirds of employees who receive coaching say it improved their satisfaction and performance.
BUT… Coaching is often described as an almost-altruistic behavior to support employee needs or a strategy for building a talent pipeline. It is seen as something to do in addition to managers’ daily work.

Managers worry about having all the answers.
BUT… Employees want to be stretched and want help sorting through problems. They don’t want advice.

Organizations and managers talk a lot about coaching skills and processes.
BUT… A trusting, supportive relationship appears to be the most important ingredient in effective coaching.