Novations research finds use of executive coaching is in decline

The use of executive coaching could be waning. That is the finding of a US survey which found that the coaching of corporate executives may have passed its peak.

The poll, by Boston-based training company Novations, asked more than 2,000 HR and training executives: ‘Which of the following best describes your organisation’s use of coaching?’ The answers were as follows:

  • We rely less on coaching: 33%

  • We rely on coaching at about the same rate as in the past: 48%

  • We rely increasingly on coaching: 19%

“This is the first data that suggests the use of coaching may be slowing,” said Novations executive consultant Michelle Knox. “Executive or employee coaching increased dramatically over the past decade, so it’s understandable that such enormous growth would slow somewhat, but now it appears there may be a downturn.

“No doubt this is due to senior management pressure for greater accountability and cost containment.”

She added that half of all major organisations had never embraced coaching in the first place.

These findings echo those of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s 2007 learning, training and development survey. It found that 63% of organisations surveyed said they provided coaching compared to 79% in the 2006 survey.

The Novations research was recently undertaken by Equation Research and was based on e-mail responses from 2,046 senior US and global HR and training and development managers.

According to the International Coach Federation, there are about 30,000 coaches working worldwide, and executive coaching is the most common speciality – practised by 19% of them.

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