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Hays reports millions being spent on coaching without a business purpose


Hays Senior Finance reports that while multi-millions of pounds are spent on coaching across the UK, 15% of organisations admit they have absolutely no measurements in place to assess the impact of their programmes.

A new survey from Hays Senior Finance, working with expert coach/ mentors LeaderShape, shows that coaching is often undertaken without evaluating the return on investment. The survey also shows that 68% of businesses fail to use coaching directly to address corporate objectives and outcomes are often simply referenced at a personal level.

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

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.”

The survey showed 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 that these appointments would benefit from confidential support during this period.

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. However, 16% of coaches and 28% of mentors do not receive any training or support themselves, while companies describe 29% of team or group facilitators as untrained.

Chris Gulliver from LeaderShape commented: "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.

“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?”

Chris Gulliver added: “Coaching is not regularly applied where it can often be most effective – within the leadership teams. And it is clear that many services are being given to staff, often in difficult situations, by people who are themselves untrained and unsupported. We believe it is essential to upskill internal providers by training them in a range of coach mentoring and facilitation options. It is equally important to track observed outcomes against business objectives. Otherwise businesses could waste time and money and miss the opportunity to boost success.”


Notes to Editors

About Hays
Hays Senior Finance is part of Hays plc (the “Group”) the leading global specialist recruiting group. It is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Australia and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe. It operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments.

The Group employs over 6,700 staff operating from 345 offices in 28 countries, recruiting across 17 specialisms and numerous sub-specialisms including Finance jobs, IT jobs, accountancy jobs, architecture jobs and health and safety jobs.

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