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Cath Everett

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Training not supporting business objectives

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While a huge 86% of organisations have introduced coaching or mentoring programmes, nearly two thirds fail to directly support corporate objectives but focus instead on developing individual talents.
 

To make matters worse, 15% of employers have put no measurements in place to assess the outcomes of their coaching and mentoring initiatives. These are the findings of an online poll undertaken by recruitment consultants Hays Senior Finance and coaching and mentoring specialists LeaderShape.
 
Chris Gulliver, a director at Leadershape, said: “This is a very expensive missed opportunity for UK plc in fast-moving times. Increasing amounts of money are being spent on coaching as a universal panacea, but many companies have no comprehensive overview or sense of purpose.”
 
But the research also revealed that, while almost three quarters of employers use internal staff to undertake coaching and mentoring activities, only 16% of coaches and 28% of mentors receive any training or support themselves. Some 29% of team or group facilitators also received no help.
 
“There is a clear lack of framework and training given to those who are delivering many of these programmes, with the obvious outcome that they simply don’t understand how to use coaching effectively and spend money wisely. In what other area of business would money be laid out with so little thought to evaluating its impact?” Gulliver said.
 
Nonetheless, more than half of those questioned said they planned to expand their coaching provision over the year ahead. Some 85% indicated that expenditure in this area would either remain static or rise this year, with 37% expecting a small increase and 2% predicting a significant boost.
 
A second study undertaken by the organisers of the World of Learning Conference and Exhibition, meanwhile, indicated that the single biggest difficulty for learning and development professionals was making the business case for purchasing products and services (24.5%).
 
Next on the list was finding the time to research the options (20.5%), followed by making informed comparisons of the options available (18.1%). Some 13.9% found it challenging to weigh up cost versus quality issues, while 13.2% found it tricky to set up an appropriate budget.
 
In news elsewhere, Appraisal360, a provider of online feedback software, intends to launch a new Profiler tool at the World of Learning Conference in September to enable customers to create bespoke personal and professional development questionnaires. Practitioner workshops for users will start from mid-October.

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