The Essential Elements of Building a Coaching Culture | College of Executive Coaching
Coaching Article

The Essential Elements of Building a Coaching Culture

By Jeffrey E. Auerbach, Ph.D., MCC

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Coaching has been widely used as a developmental tool for executives for more than twenty years but over the past six years there has been an explosion in expanding coaching access to individuals in all stages of their careers. How are organizations affording this increase in coaching services? Largely by training a cadre of ICF certified "internal coaches."

The Essential Elements of Building a Coaching Culture

These internal coaches are trained by ICF Accredited Training Programs such as College of Executive Coaching. The internal coaches are able to provide coaching services at a lower cost than external coaches and benefit from the coaches, as employees of the organization, having deep experience with the culture and business needs of the enterprise. Internal coaching has grown so rapidly because increasingly organizational decision-makers recognize that coaching is the most focused method to empower, engage and develop employees.

Increasingly, organizations are utilizing managers and leaders who use coaching knowledge, approaches and skills to create awareness, increase personal responsibility, adaptability and engagement amongst employees.

Recently, the Human Capital Institute (HCI) and the International Coach Federation (ICF) partnered to research coaching within organizations. In a study of 900 human resources, learning and development, and talent management professionals, leaders and managers, the key research findings include:

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    There is an accelerating business case for investing in developing a coaching culture.

    Of the 900 organizations surveyed, seventeen percent of the organizations already have invested in building a strong coaching culture.

    Organizations with strong coaching cultures had 12% greater employee engagement levels than comparison companies.

    Organizations with a strong coaching culture report have 13% higher productivity than their industry peers.

    Enhanced team functioning, higher employee engagement and higher productivity are common in organizations who have invested in creating a coaching culture.

    A blended approach of utilizing senior level external coaches, specifically trained internal coach practitioners and managers/leaders using coaching skills correlates with the development of a strong organizational coaching culture.

    Training managers to use coaching skills is widely reported to be an essential component of building a coaching culture.

    Eighty-seven percent of respondents in organizations with strong coaching cultures report that their training managers and leaders in coaching skills has been instrumental in building a coaching culture.

    Recently there has been a sixteen percent increase in organizations that are creating internal coaching programs for managers and leaders with a coach-specific training from a program that was accredited or approved by a professional coaching organization such as ICF.

Creating a coaching culture generates a work environment that is full of possibilities, collaboration and creativity, combined with a sense of empowerment—the belief that one’s actions will make a difference. A coaching culture environment invites employees to discover and develop sometimes hidden potential.

If you want to build a coaching culture in your organization the first step is to participate in an ICF accredited coach training program because then you learn firsthand the coaching competencies required as well as experiencing the potential of coaching. At College of Executive Coaching over 90% of attendees say their coach training has been one of the best experiences of their lives.

Most organizations are training their internal coaches to achieve an ICF credential to increase credibility for their Internal Coach Training programs. Or the organization is hiring ICF credentialed coaches for their coaching initiatives. An internal coach training program can usually train a group of 10-12 coaches in six to nine months to achieve the ICF ACC credential. There are currently approximately 22,000 ICF credentialed coaches in the world and about 10,000 of them are based in the United States. Coaching is still a brand new field compared to other professions and the opportunities are great. Although coaching has grown rapidly, comparing that number of 10,000 credentialed coaches in the US versus the number of people in other professions is shocking. For example, there are 200,000 dentists in the US, 450,000 attorneys and 665,000 CPAs. So, considering the small number of properly credentialed coaches, compared to other professions, coaches have a huge number of potential clients to help!

Source: Building a Coaching Culture with Managers and Leaders (2016) International Coach Federation; and Human Capital Institute

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