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Too many employers are not measuring the impact of their coaching programmes, research reveals

While multi-millions of pounds are spent on coaching across the UK, almost one in seven employers (15%) admit they have absolutely no measurements in place to assess the impact of their programmes.

According to Hays Senior Finance and LeaderShape, coaching is often undertaken without evaluating the return on investment. Their survey reports more than two thirds of businesses (68%) fail to use coaching directly to address corporate objectives and they confess that outcomes are often simply referenced at a personal level.

According to the data, the majority of coach-mentoring programmes are for individuals, with nearly three quarters (72%) deployed to develop individual talents or address personal worries. 

The survey that if a senior finance professional leaves within three months of starting a new role not only is there a financial cost, but it dampens staff morale. The vast majority of respondents (96%) agreed these appointments would benefit from confidential support during this period.

More than half of UK companies responding to the questionnaire said they wish to expand their business coaching provision. And budgets for coaching continue to rise, with 85% of companies reporting that their business spend will hold firm or grow next year; 37% of survey respondents expect a small increase this year and 2% expect significant budget uplift.

But one major concern revealed by the Hays Senior Finance/LeaderShape survey is the lack of ongoing professional development for providers.  Internal coach-mentors are the preferred choice by those who use coaching, with 73% of companies using in-house support. But 16% of coaches and 28% of mentors do not receive any training or support themselves, while companies describe nearly one in three (29%) team or group facilitators as untrained.

Chris McCarthy, director at Hays Senior Finance, said:  "In far too many cases companies are leaving it to individuals to set the framework for their own coaching or mentoring – with little or no reference to business needs. They then fail to check the standards of their programmes and show little concern for the outcomes. Support can be extremely effective when a professional starts a new role, but it is essential it is carried out in the right manner by people who understand the specific needs of these individuals."