Coaching has been growing considerably as a key element of workforce development. Whether it is part of an ongoing programme of continuous improvement or used specifically to support an individual through a period of change, it can be extremely helpful.

It involves a team leader or manager helping people to develop greater self- awareness, to improve their skills and take on new responsibilities. Coaching is generally seen to be a helpful relationship where the coach provides tips, guidance and support.

The findings in this survey are unequivocal.

Managers value coaching and are not getting enough of it. Managers recognise that what is good for them is good for everyone.

Previous research conducted by the Chartered Management Institute such as Achieving Management Excellence, published in June 2000, has shown that coaching is increasing in popularity as a learning tool. While 41 per cent of small organisations undertook coaching activities in 1996, this increased to 74 per cent in 2000.

In today’s fast moving business environment there is a strong case now for coaching to be made available to all employees. Everyone needs a critical friend at work to support their own growth. Organisations which recognise the importance of this kind of investment will increasingly be seen as the kind of employers people want to work for.

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