Coaches helping companies to succeed

Executive Coach, Life Coach, Career Coach — these are all terms that are not unheard of by the general public and businesses around the world today

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Case studies and findings from research studies around professional coaching continue to receive attention in a variety of media outlets, by professional associations and elsewhere.

Would you believe that 51 percent of 15,000 individuals surveyed reported they were “somewhat to very aware” of professional coaching? Participants, located in 20 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America, were asked to provide feedback using online panels which were validated to be nationally representative for those aged 25 and up.

This was just one interesting finding garnered from the ‘ICF Global Consumer Awareness Study’ commissioned by the International Coach Federation (ICF), a professional association of coaches and resource for those seeking a coach. ICF set out to benchmark the global general awareness of professional coaching with the study conducted by the International Survey Unit of PwC last year.

What’s being addressed successfully?
In addition to benchmarking consumer awareness, the ‘Global Consumer Awareness Study’ asked respondents questions regarding reasons for why they participated in a coaching partnership. More than two-fifths (42.6 percent) of respondents who had experienced coaching chose “optimising individual/team performance” as their motivation for being coached. “Expanding professional career opportunities” and “improving business management strategies” rounded out the top three areas in which professional coaching is being used most often, according to the study.

How are companies using coaching?
Coaching programs offered by companies vary greatly. Two groups that have been recognised by the ICF for their use of professional coaching are Genentech Inc. and Norway-based TINE Group. In the case of Genentech, a leading biotech company acquired by the Roche Group in 2009, CIO Todd Pierce had a vision of implementing a cutting-edge approach to coaching through the company’s Personal Excellence Program (PEP) which today has offered coaching to more than 400 employees at every level within the IT department in the company’s headquarters office in South San Francisco, California, United States.

Private dairy group TINE is using coaching as a tool to improve leadership within the company. Since 2005, at the wishes of CEO Hanne Refsholt, 400 managers have been through a program that teaches them a coaching leadership style and offers individual coaching. TINE has extended coaching even further by initiating a coaching program for their advisors of farmers—350 advisors have received coach training to work with farmers more effectively.

Satisfied customers
The vast majority, 83 percent, of ‘Global Consumer Awareness Study’ respondents who had experienced professional coaching reported having either a somewhat or very satisfactory experience with their coaching engagement.

With the intention to “create a culture of coaching and development”, Genentech’s PEP has succeeded in increasing employee productivity through increased collaboration and customer satisfaction, improving employee communication and making a significant, measurable business impact. PEP is conservatively producing an estimated 1.5 to 2 dollars for every dollar spent to deliver PEP.

TINE attributes increased global competition—TINE is expanding business abroad to have subsidiaries in England, other Scandinavian countries and the US, improved leadership styles and better customer relations to their coaching program. Coaching has also assisted the company in achieving a reduction of short time sick-leave, a 45 percent              reduction was seen at one facility, and improving employee retention rates.

For more information on professional coaching and tips for selecting a coach, visit