- A rapidly evolving business environment. Targeted development interventions have become popular in helping individuals adjust to workplace changes. The changing face of work is well documented and may traditional support mechanisms are no longer in place. The change in our economy of being predominatealy production based to the provision of services has changed the nature of work. In addition to this the rise of the tele-worker, the knowledge worker (Drucker), and changing workplace management strucutres are all contributing to changing worker needs.
- The structural features of modern organisations. Organisational downsizing and flatter structures mean that individuals often have to quickly fit into the higher performance requirements or upskilling to fulil their new roles. In the new organisational structure individuals are required to assume more responsibility and be more involved in solving problems and involvment in the future of the company. Coaching can support individuals achieving these changes.
The number of businesses in the UK has ballooned from just 160,000 to 3.7 million since the mid-1950s. But of these, less than a third (1.1 million) employ people. Although large employers remain dominant in the labour market â€“ for example, the 7,000 businesses that employ 250 or more people account for 45 per cent of non-government jobs â€“ the size of the average workplace has been falling since the 1960s (CIDP Web).
As Drucker says more and more people are no longer employed full time and that the rise of the short term contract is changing the way that people are positioned in the workplace. One is contracted on the basis of a particular skill that they may have that can contribute to a specific company need.
- The need for targeted, individualised, just-in-time development. The development needs of individuals can be diverse and in smaller organisations there are often too few individuals with specific development needs to warrant the design of a formal training programme. Coaching offers a flexible, option, which can be delivered ‘just-in-time’ to strengthen under-developed skills.
- The increasing use of ICT technologies will enable more opportunities for more specialised coaching services to be made available. Following the trend of the granularisation of many educational services that in using modern communications media enable learning to be, just in time, just for me and just enough. Coaching offers opportunity for the individualisation of services using new communications.
- Financial costs of the poor performance of senior managers. There is a growing acceptance of the costs associated with poorly performing senior managers/executives. Coaching provides an opportunity to undertake pre-emptive and proactive interventions to improve their performance. Andersonâ€™s study of a Fortune 500 firm who engaged the services of a coaching organization reported that three-quarters (77%) of the 30 respondents indicated that coaching had significant or very significant impact on at least one of nine business measures. Follow up interviews with these respondents revealed that sixty percent were able to identify specific financial benefits that came as a result of their coaching. Overall, productivity (60% favorable) and employee satisfaction (53%) were cited as the most significantly impacted by the coaching.(Anderson, M.C., Executive Briefing: Case Study on the Return on Investment of Executive Coaching, p.3)
- The Bottom Line: Coaching produced a 529% return on investment and significant intangible benefits to the business. Including the financial benefits from employee retention boosted the overall ROI to 788% (Ibid) Figures such as this demonstrate the cost effectiveness of a successful coaching relationship.
- Individual responsibility for development. There is an increasing trend for individuals to take greater responsibility for their personal and professional development. It is recognised that learning is a lifelong requirement if one wants to maintain ongoing employability. Many people are unsure of their specific skills or may find it difficult to understand how previously attained skills may be applied to new situations. Coaching can help individuals identify development needs, plan development activities and support personal problem-solving.