Through what modalities is coaching delivered (internal coaches, external coaches, and managers using coaching skills)? What particular employee segments (entry-level to executive, high-potentials and all employees) receive coaching? How is it decided who receives coaching?
Is there a movement for more organizations to develop strong coaching cultures? Are strong coaching cultures more common in small or large organizations? Do more financially successful organizations embody strong coaching cultures compared to less successful ones?
How and where is coach-specific training offered to internal coach practitioners and to managers/leaders who are using coaching skills? Do managers using coaching skills have a focus on improving performance or increasing potential of their direct reports (or is it a combination of both)?
For organizations that measure employee engagement, how have engagement levels changed for different employee segments because of intervention from external coach practitioners, internal coach practitioners and/or managers/leaders using coaching skills? Which segments have the largest increases in employee engagement?
A strong coaching culture is a feature of an exceptional organization. Organizations with strong coaching cultures value and invest in professional coach practitioners and managers using coaching skills, encouraging them to support employees at all levels in order to grow their skills, enhance their value, and reach their professional goals. In 2014 research conducted by the Human Capital Institute (HCI) and the International Coach Federation (ICF), we classified 13% of respondents’ organizations as having strong coaching cultures.
The top reported benefit of coaching is increased employee engagement. Increased employee engagement produces many positive organizational outcomes, including decreased absenteeism, lower turnover and higher productivity. Unfortunately, most employees are not engaged. Eighty-seven percent of organizations cite culture and engagement as one of their top challenges. In addition, recent research from HCI found 67% agree that low employee engagement is a concern for their companies.
Managers play an important role in determining the level of employee engagement in their employees. Only 30% of the U.S. workforce is engaged and managers account for 70% of the variance in engagement scores. Using coaching skills in their interactions with subordinates is one way for managers to improve engagement. Managers who focus on employees’ strengths and help them set goals have more engaged employees.
With this research conducted in partnership between HCI and ICF, we explore the prevalence of coaching cultures in today’s organizations and determine if increased employee engagement is an outcome of building strong coaching cultures.