How does corporate coaching work?
The short answer is, “Corporate coaching works inconsistently.”
Corporate coaching is commonly an internal form of talent development. Think of three pillars in talent development: (1) acquiring people, (2) developing people and (3) retaining desired people. Corporate coaching can be used to develop and retain desired employees. Not everyone is a desired employee.
Like all organizational responses, the success of any initiative designed to provide corporate coaching depends upon the organizational culture. Culture can be described at three levels: (1) artifacts (observable structures or processes, often hard to decipher), (2) stated beliefs and values (goals, values, not always aligned with artifacts), and (3) basic underlying assumptions (unstated or unconscious patterns that often define outcomes. See Schein, 2010.) Get the point? Corporate coaching may or may not work consistently. Consequently most organizations require external consultants to design and deliver results.
Now it is 2016. The trend toward packages that “Assess-Debrief-Design” for Individual Development Plans (IDPs) is now a large market led by KornFerry and DDI and others. Sadly, they are limiting themselves by selling those services as “corporate coaching packages.” Too often they are assessment requirements, often driven by HR or legal compliance needs. By analogy, after a physician diagnoses a concern they recommend but cannot require treatment. So it is with too much corporate coaching. Another provider that delivers corporate coaching globally is(Disclosure: I am one of 28 engagement managers, we provide unparalleled corporate coaching services.)
On a related note, corporate coaching is not a commodity. There is a trend away from resource-based views of talent as a fixed commodity (like a manufacturing unit) to a dynamic resource with unlimited potential and higher engagement. (But that is for another post or direct discussion!)
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