• Managing people

Coaching and Mentoring

An important report into the methods and outcomes of coaching and mentoring in organizations across Europe

Thursday 30 November 2017


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Acknowledgement that the human element – individual and team performance – forms the basis for organizational performance, has caused organizations to focus less on strategy and more on people in recent decades, a trend reinforced by new insights from behavioural science.

Responding to this trend HR professionals have turned to mentoring and coaching to develop their people. How these two complementary approaches are being applied in Europe in 2017, and with what success, is the focus of a recent research project commissioned by EMCC, sponsored by The Henley Centre for Coaching, and undertaken by a team of researchers in 50 countries led by Dr Jonathan Passmore, director of Henley's Centre for Coaching.

Click on DOWNLOAD THIS RESOURCE above to read ‘The State of Play in European Coaching & Mentoring: Executive Report’

The research involved 2,791 participants from 45 European countries. 48% of the participants were aged 30-49 and 43% aged 50-65. 60% were female and the majority were not members of any professional coaching body.

Several findings emerge from the research which will be valuable to HR professionals as they plan future coaching and mentoring initiatives. The findings appear under these eleven topic headings:

1. Mentoring

This looks at access to mentoring, time spent, and evaluation practices. The results indicate that mentoring is most frequently used for supporting leadership development and that the average mentor is contributing 3-7 hours per month to mentoring, although many are contributing more hours per month.

Mentoring is defined as: ‘A long-term relationship that meets a development need, offered by a senior or more experienced individual to a junior or less experienced individual where the less experienced individual receives guidance, advice and support to help their development’.

2. Management of Mentoring Schemes

This section considers the benefits of mentoring and shows that most organizations (53%) run both formal and informal mentoring, with mentoring making a large contribution to higher staff morale (57%) and improved communication in the organization (62%).

3. Coaching Practice

Respondents reported here on time spent coaching and supervising, on the focus of coaching work, and on individual and corporate funded coaching fees.

Coaching is defined as: ‘A Socratic-based future-focused dialogue between a facilitator (coach) and a participant (coachee/client), where the facilitator uses open questions, active listening, summaries and reflections which are aimed at stimulating the self-awareness and personal responsibility of the participant’.

4. Reflective Practice and Supervision

This is about how coaches bring their work to a supervisor for reflective and collaborative learning for their own personal development in order to benefit clients. The focus here was on methods of self-reflection, personal reflection time, fees paid for reflective practice and the frequency of supervision.

5. Continuous Professional Development

In this section about methods and time spent on CPD, coaches typically responded that 16-30 hours should be spent per annum, with reading forming the most popular activity, followed by attending conferences and networking.

6. Conceptual Models and Approaches

Coaches were asked what models they had been trained in and what models they used in practice. The results suggest a close alignment between training and practice, with one exception: motivational interviewing.

7. Diversity of Approaches

Here coaches stated what approach they would use with a client needing support with issues such as career change, workplace stress, or improving presentation skills. Behavioural rather than cognitive coaching was the preferred method for the majority of the issues considered.

8. Evaluation

Does coaching work? Answering questions on sources of feedback and impact the coaches who responded to this section revealed most were evaluating either informally at the end of a meeting or formally at the end of an assignment.

9. Contracting for Corporate Coaching Assignments

This section looks at multi-party agreements (between the coach, the individual client, and the organization’s commissioning manager) and considered issues such as: written and verbal contracts, complaint procedures, confidentiality, etc.

10. Ethics

This section looks at sharing ethical codes, and asks how the coach, client or organization typically reacts to unethical behaviour. (E.g. if the coach pays a fee to secure the contract, or theft of commercially sensitive information by the client.) The results highlight the importance for organizations of contracting specifically about information and its management, and the importance of hiring external coaches who are qualified and who are members of professional bodies and thus abide by an agreement ethical code of conduct.

11. Commissioning Coaching

Responses to this section showed that commissioners considered the coaches experience and professional qualifications the two most important factors. In terms of who was the ‘primary client’ 40% said the organization and 40% said the individual and the organisation were of equal importance.

Click on DOWNLOAD THIS RESOURCE above to read ‘The State of Play in European Coaching & Mentoring: Executive Report’

Set in the heart of the Thames Valley and conveniently located for London, Henley is one of the oldest and most respected business schools in Europe. Number 20 in the world for the combined ranking of open and custom programmes (FT 2019), it is part of an elite group of business schools to be triple-accredited for the quality and capability of faculty and output.

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