Opinion on PeopleWise paper: ‘Coaching – the STAR for strategic talent development’

Oxen Park's Claire Burgess gives her opinion on the summer 2018 PeopleWise white paper 'Coaching – the ‘STAR’ for strategic talent development'

You can find the white paper here.

As a coach, it’s a regular challenge that despite the rise in popularity of coaching it’s still notoriously difficult to demonstrate the effectiveness of coaching within a business setting. This paper goes a long way in showing how coaching can be demonstrated to add value, and therefore is useful for both practitioners and ‘consumers’ of coaching.

The paper leads with a strong evidence-based discussion of the evolution of coaching and cites a number of studies which show how coaching has shown a benefit - highlighting also the benefits of a combination of training and coaching. It’s a positive move from what they refer to as often the more ‘anecdotal’ feedback from coaching intervention success. The authors highlight the importance of aligning coaching to business objectives, a move which they describe as shifting from a “purist” coaching approach and instead they advocate a clear 3-way setting of objectives with the coach, coachee and business. From a business coaching perspective, this allows a clearer tracking of coaching effectiveness with links to business outcomes/strategy set out from the start.

Their 8 key principles as a ‘checklist’ to ensure the coaching offer is value-added is useful for both coaching practitioners and businesses themselves, and sets the parameters and expectations of the coaching from the outset. It brings together elements of coaching best practice (such as qualified coaches, a range of coaching interventions such as group and peer coaching) and business needs (alignment to strategy, 3-way processes) and if followed is likely to take large strides to move towards the elusive coaching ROI measure that many coaching interventions can lack.

By Claire Burgess, Oxen Park, MSc in Occupational Psychology