Out of more than 300 organizations, fewer than 50 percent do not have mentoring and coaching programs, although most consider them valuable, according to a study by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp).
Of the organizations that do have coaching and mentoring programs, fewer than 20 percent said they would describe them as “good” or “excellent.”
“Three out of five respondents said they considered coaching to be quite valuable or very valuable yet, 82 percent reported their coaching programs were only ‘average’ or below,” said Jay Jamrog, i4cp senior vice president of research. “There seems to be a tremendous missed opportunity here. Our study shows that the most common use for these programs is to develop executives and other managers.”
This phenomenon may indicate a potential problem for organizations in regard to leadership development initiatives.
“In an age when so many organizations are saying there’s a shortage of leadership, they’re underutilizing one of the best tools available,” Jamrog said.
According to the study, 49 percent of organizations have formal coaching programs, and 47 percent have formal mentoring programs.
In terms of how many employees use coaches or mentors, however, the study found that more than half of organizations reported usage by 5 percent or fewer of their employees — 52 percent regarding coaches and 62 percent regarding mentors.
Increasing the number of employees use coaching or mentoring programs is critical to stave off future situations in which leadership lacks.
“By boosting both the quality and usage of these programs, organizations might make a huge dent in today’s and tomorrow’s leadership shortages,” Jamrog said.
A majority of organizations surveyed (68 percent) said they do in-house searches for coaches. Even more (93 percent) do so for mentors.
Fifty-five percent of organizations surveyed said that they go by colleagues’ or other companies’ recommendations when conducting external searches for coaches. But the top qualification for coaches, according to 71 percent of organizations surveyed, is business experience — recommendations and consulting experience were runners-up.
In regard to training mentors, a majority of organizations either do so in-house, using the internal learning department, or do not provide any special training (44 percent and 39 percent, respectively). Thirty-two percent said they use current mentors to train future ones.
The study, titled “The Coaching/Mentoring Practitioner Consensus Survey,” was conducted in May in conjunction with HR.com.