The authoritative Ridler report presents "the voice of organisational sponsors of coaching" from a wide range of large UK businesses. The 2016 report has recently been published and includes some interesting findings.
72% of organisations expect to increase their spending on coaching in the next two years, for both external and internal coaching.
72% of organisations expect to increase their spending on coaching in the next two years
- The value of external coaches’ diversity of experience of working with clients from a range of organisations
- External coaches’ greater objectivity and impartiality about their coaching clients, as they have no prior knowledge of them
- The greater readiness of senior leaders to share confidential business and personal information with an external coach
- The belief that it is easier for senior leaders to be completely honest about their strengths, development areas and career goals with an external coach
Where internal coaching was employed, the main drivers are:
- To contribute to the broader development of a ‘coaching culture’ (88%)
- To make coaching more easily accessible when it is needed (81%)
- To act as an accessible centre of excellence which the organisation can draw on (76%)
- To widen the availability of coaching to less senior executives who have not traditionally had access to coaching (73%)
- To be able to coach more individuals for a given budget (64%)
This certainly reflects our experience that organisations regard external and internal coaches differently and employ them for different purposes (see our earlier article Executive Coaching - Internal or External Coach?).
While most of our work is carried out face-to-face we are increasingly asked to conduct sessions over Skype or phone. While we have long done this for clients working internationally we are also seeing this demand increase in our parental leave coaching programmes, for people working from home, and so on. The Report similarly found that remote coaching is more widely used than in earlier years:
- 42% of organisations ‘frequently use telephone or video as a medium for executive coaching’ (compared with 29% in 2013).
- 42% of organisations surveyed agree that ‘remote coaching works well as a stand-alone coaching medium’ (23% in 2013).
- 88% of organisations agree that ‘remote coaching is more productive after the coaching relationship has been established face-to-face’ (84% in 2013)
Currently 32% of organisations surveyed use group coaching. This is set to rise, with 53% expecting to increase their use of group coaching over the next two years. Benefits and strengths of group coaching were considered to be:
- Group members benefit from the perspectives of their fellow group members, as well as the coach.
- Group members benefit from knowing that others in their group are experiencing developmental challenges.
- Group members can learn from understanding each others’ approaches to addressing business and leadership issues.
- Group members develop their capability to coach each other.
- Group members increase their network in different parts of the organisation.
These important benefits (among others) are behind the core role of group coaching in our Leadership Development Programmes.
Perceptions of Executive Coaching
Back in the 1990s when many of Managing Change's coaches started their coaching careers, executive coaching was regarded as being a distinctly covert affair and only really for those struggling or on their way out of the organisation. Over the years, thankfully, this perception has changed as the purpose and image of coaching has developed. It is now seen predominantly as an investment in high performing and talented executives and leaders - those whom organisations wish to retain and develop. The number of those perceiving that others were having executive coaching due to under-performance has fallen from 10% in 2013 to 6% in 2016.
Fees for External Executive Coaching
How much are organisations paying for external coaches? Predictably fee rates rise in line with the seniority of the coachee. The report looked at fees paid by organisations on an average hourly basis for four levels of executive:
- Group CEO/main board director (or Senior Partner/Executive Board member): At this level fee rates vary hugely with most (28%) being at the £500 per hour level but include £1,000 per hour (15%), £1,500 (8%) to over £2,000 per hour (11%). 40% are over £1,000 per hour.
- Senior Executive (or experienced Partner - more than five years partner experience): There are similar peaks at this level, with 20% paying £400 per hour, and 12% paying £1,000 per hour. 21% of fees are at or above £1,000 per hour.
- Senior Manager (or Junior Partner - less than five years partner experience): 75% of fees paid at this level are at or less than £500 per hour with 19% at £300.
- Middle Manager (or professional fee earner - more than five years post-qualification experience): 91% of fees are at or less than £500 per hour with 30% at £200 and 25% at £500.
For further information, see the Ridler and Co web site - www.ridlerandco.com/ridler-report/