Coaching comes under fire

Business coaching is being undertaken without clear links to business goals
and with little or no measurement of success.

These are the findings of a recent survey called Does Coaching Work?, by
business improvement specialist Morgan Clarke Consulting.

The research found that although organisations are investing considerable
time, resources and finance, there is a risk that coaching will fall out of
favour as business leaders question the justification for the investment.

Findings suggest there are few formal frameworks or contracts agreed between
coaches, line managers, the coaching sponsor and the coach, and therefore the
business benefits are not being captured.

Worryingly, the research also found that follow-up during and after coaching
tends to be informal and discretionary, with little rigorous review of
progress. Conspicuous exceptions to this are organisations where the coaching
takes place in a very specific business improvement/development context. In
these instances, there tends to be more clearly defined outputs and more
structured follow-through to assess achievement against objectives and targets.

Less than half of the 12 participating companies have clearly defined
objectives for the coaching, and only two of the companies have formally agreed
measures for evaluating progress.

By Stephanie sparrow

…But it rings the right bells for Vodafone

An intense team-coaching process has
been effectively trialled at mobile phone giant Vodafone.

The scheme, developed by independent training specialist Apian,
relies on the coaching to be run by a team leader, guided by a comprehensive
support package.

"Using benchmarking, sociometric and psychometric
instruments, the system supports the process of embedding new behaviours into
the team’s everyday working life-producing measurable, ongoing results,"
said Apian spokesman David Tinker.

At Vodafone, Alison Jones – who was HR consultant at the time
of the project – said she took one team within the business and followed a
programme of coaching over a five-month period, concentrating on team
interaction, performance and leadership processes.

"It almost becomes second nature to deliver key
performance indicators and the team kept them to the forefront of their
minds," she said.

Jones set out the four major benefits of the coaching

– The team members were close

– It was more articulate as a team

– It produced benefits in morale

– Feedback about the team after the programme was highly

"Coaching is also one of the core facets of Vodafone’s
‘Great Place to Work’ strategy," said Jones. "It can bring
empowerment, working together, value and respect, as well as inspiration to the

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