As many as nine out of ten organisations plan to increase their investment in coaching over the next 12 months, reveals the findings of a survey by global digital coaching platform CoachHub.
With that increase in investment, there could be an opportunity to democratise coaching to various levels, says CoachHub’s 2023 Business Trends in Coaching survey released today.
The Total Economic Impact study (Forrester 2022) specifically examining the potential impact of deploying digital coaching states that over a three-year period, an organisation could see an estimated return on investment (ROI) of 260% - which no doubt reinforces the rationale behind businesses are putting their money into it.
“The evidence shows that the learning and development industry is fast embracing the benefits of virtual delivery. There is a clear demand therefore for a coaching model which responds to the needs of the user at a time and a place that suits them,” says Professor Jonathan Passmore, senior vice president (Coaching) at CoachHub.
“It has never been a better time to democratise access to coaching, ensuring that coaching is for everyone, regardless of seniority or job title.”
Global business shifts
According to the survey, organisations are most interested in making changes in the areas of digital transformation, the shift to hybrid and flexible work and culture change - themes that have assumed higher importance in the present world.
“Events over the past few years have irrevocably changed ‘business as usual’ in nearly every sector of the global economy including Asia. Industries are rapidly transforming as economic pressures are mounting, economic uncertainty is growing with inflation and so are the challenges of attracting and retaining talent in this diverse region. Businesses are increasingly keeping an open mind to identify out of the box solutions to address these challenges and zooming into transformative, personalised learning and development opportunities,” says Tim MacCartney, Senior Vice President APAC at CoachHub.
The top strategies being used to support those business changes include reskilling and upskilling (47%), restructuring of the workforce (37%), increasing talent mobility/internal hiring (36%), and focusing on engagement and retention (35%).
Coaching is a key strategy that many organisations are leveraging to execute against these priorities.
Over and above leadership development, employee well-being (28%), women in leadership (24%) and inclusive leadership (22%) are all areas where organisations see the potential for coaching as a tool to deliver change.
Interestingly, even in the new world of work, the dominant method of coaching at present is still face to face (physically present) 38% whereas the use of digital/ online coaching (video enabled) and virtual (phone enabled) follows at 34% and 22%.
In 2023 and beyond, businesses would like to see coaching help with continued professional development (46%), performance increases (45%) and learning new skills (42%).
Role of AI, VR to grow though trust in coach bots is low at present
The survey notes that the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in coaching emerged marginally as a critical tool in coaching approach (29%) but a close equivalent do not see themselves using it in the next five years (26%).
Nearly 61% organisations believed that virtual reality (VR) can enhance people development and 28% said that VR could be used to bring teams together from across the world for team coaching.
While there seems to be interest in AI and VR, less than half of the respondents said that they would not trust a coach bot more than a human coach (48%).
The survey covers APAC (including Asia), apart from EMEA, LATAM and the United States, Canada and Mexico.
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