What Is Workplace Coaching, and Why Should It Be Made Accessible to Everyone?


What Is Workplace Coaching, and Why Should It Be Made Accessible to Everyone?

We get it - the plethora of titles, terms and jargon thrown around can make it difficult to understand exactly what a coach is...

We get it - the plethora of titles, terms and jargon thrown around can make it difficult to understand exactly what a coach is. When onboarding new users, we are often asked about what our coaching entails, and whether it's the same thing as counselling or therapy. 

What is coaching?

According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), coaching aims to produce optimal performance and improvement at work. It focuses on specific skills and goals, although it may have an impact on an individual's personal attributes, too. The process typically lasts for a defined period of time or forms the basis of an on-going management style.

Coaching aims to produce optimal performance and improvement at work. What's not to like?

The CIPD acknowledge that there's a lack of agreement among coaching professionals about precise definitions, but they state the following as some of the generally agreed characteristics of coaching in organisations:

  • A non-directive form of development.
  • Focuses on improving performance and developing an individual.
  • Personal factors may be included but the emphasis is on performance at work.
  • Coaching activities have both organisational and individual goals.
  • It provides people with the opportunity to better assess their strengths as well as their development areas.
  • It's a skilled activity, which should be delivered by people who are trained to do so. This can be line managers and others trained in coaching skills.

How does it differ from mentoring?

Workplace mentoring refers to a professional relationship where a more experienced colleague shares their knowledge and area of expertise to support the development of another employee. There are sometimes skills such as questioning, listening, clarifying and reframing that are associated with coaching.

A key difference between coaching and mentoring is that mentoring tends to be longer term than coaching arrangements - it can last the entire duration that the employee works for the company. 

An effective and successful mentoring relationship should be a learning experience for both participants and provide new insights across areas of expertise, generations or cultures.

An effective mentoring relationship should be a learning experience for both participants.

And what is therapy? 

According to the charity Mind, talking therapies are treatments which involve talking to a trained professional about your thoughts, feelings and behaviour. There are many different types of talking therapy, but they all aim to:

  • Give you a safe time and place to talk to someone who won't judge you
  • Help you make sense of things and understand yourself better
  • Help you resolve complicated feelings, or find ways to live with them
  • Help you recognise unhelpful patterns in the way you think or act, and find ways to change them (if you want to).

The two key differences are that therapists are always (or should be!) qualified professionals who are able to focus on you in a personal capacity. The outcomes can help you and translate across to your professional lives, of course, but the focus isn't necessarily on your work. 

Is there a difference between 'therapy' and 'counselling'?

Again, terms are used interchangeably, which adds to confusion, and you might also hear talking therapy referred to as counselling, therapy, psychotherapy, psychological therapy or talking treatment. 

Mind states that there is little difference between the terms – they all broadly refer to talking therapy (as opposed to other types of treatment, such as drug therapy). But sometimes they might indicate differences in who your therapist is, or refer to a specific type of talking therapy.

The benefits of workplace coaching 

Here at Vyou, we could not be bigger advocates for coaching. But don't take our word for it. 

According to research by the Institute of Coaching, over 70% of individuals who receive coaching benefit from improved work performance, relationships and more effective communication skills. And according to LinkedIn, employees that receive coaching & mentoring within their organisation are 94% less likely to quit.

And they are not alone in their findings:

  • 99% of individuals and companies who hire a coach are satisfied or very satisfied‚Äù and 96% say they would repeat the process. (2020 ICF Global Coaching Client Study)
  • 95% of clients rate their coaches as good‚Äù or excellent.‚Äù (2009 ICF Global Coaching Study)
  • 68% of individuals who hired coaches were able to make back their investment. Those who make a financial gain on their coaching can on average expect 3.44 times the amount spent. (2009 ICF Global Coaching Study)
  • 86% of companies that could calculate their return on investment said that they at least made back their initial investment. 19% indicated an ROI of 50x the investment. 28% saw an ROI of 10-49x the investment. The median ROI is 7x the investment. (2009 ICF Global Coaching Study)
  • According to a study, coaching has a 221% ROI. (International Society for Performance Improvement)
  • 51% of companies with a strong coaching culture report higher revenue than their industry peer group. (Human Capital Institute)
  • Most clients find their coaches through referrals and word of mouth (46%). The majority (73%) of coaching programs last one year or less. (2009 ICF Global Coaching Study)

The rising popularity of workplace coaching

There is no denying that forward-thinking leaders have helped to propel their employees and business goals with workplace coaching - and the statistics show a strong trend that workplace coaching is continuing to gain momentum. 

According to iPEC, 1.5 million searches are made every month by people and companies looking for life coaches, business coaches, and executive coaches.

In 2019, the estimated global revenue from coaching was 2.849 billion USD. (2020 ICF Global Coaching Study) and while face-to-face coaching decreased sharply after COVID-19 (by 74%), online coaching has become wildly more popular, as it's increased by 57%. (COVID-19 and the Coaching Industry).

Why should everyone have access to coaching?  

Coaching allows all employees, from the most junior to CEO level, the opportunity to progress, gain job satisfaction and have high work energy levels. 

Coaching allows businesses to truly support their employees - whilst simultaneously boosting business outcomes. 

Put simply, it makes employees happy. And happiness is good for business. 

To quote Bill Gates:

Everyone needs a coach. It doesn't matter whether you're a basketball player, a tennis player, a gymnast or a bridge player. We all need people who will give us feedback. That's how we improve.”

The accessibility issue 

One of the biggest barriers to coaching is the accessibility issue. 

According to the IFC, as of 2020 the coaching was a $2.85bn global industry - and according to a survey of international coach salaries the average coach makes ¬£149 per hour, and business or executive coaches make ¬£219 and ¬£303 per hour respectively. 

At Vyou, we believe this is an issue, primarily because the cost prices the majority out of the opportunity to receive the benefits of coaching. 

The secondary issue relates to tangibility. Nearly always, team leaders or management will need to prove worth or ROI but when it comes to coaching, they face a challenge because coaching is not tangible. Sure, if you're in an industry such as health coaching, where your clients get tangible results, it can be more black and white but for most coaches, the process and results are far more nuanced - but the long term benefits are strongly proven and supported by the detailed research and surveys listed above.

For coaching to be accessible to all, there needs to be a fresh approach to coaching - which is where Vyou comes in. 

Coaching with Vyou 

Vyou combines AI, self reflection tools and one to one coaching in one intuitive web app. 

A personal, realtime dashboard allows individuals to gain insights on a day-to-day basis, and team leaders can access a team overview which outlines how the team as a whole is feeling and performing. 

Supported by a series of specialist webinars and one-to-one coaching sessions, everyone has the opportunity to explore their own strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for improvement

Importantly, Vyou is designed to combat the accessibility issue by being scalable, accessible and affordable so that everyone, regardless of seniority, can benefit from understanding themselves, advance their own personal development and as such drive their own business performance. 

Want to find out how Vyou can work for you or your employees? Get in touch for a no-obligation walk through. 

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