Here at the CIPD we’ve been tracking trends in learning and development (L&D) practice for the last seventeen years. Our 2015 annual Learning and Development survey found that three-quarters of organisations use coaching or mentoring as part of their L&D portfolio, with a further 13% predicting that they will introduce it in the next year. It’s also reported to be one of the most used and most effective methods – in particular coaching by line managers. During the next two years 65% of organisations predict that the use of coaching by line managers or peers will grow in use, with just 3% saying they expect it to decline. So it’s clear that coaching is becoming ubiquitous within organisations, and is an essential part of L&D practice.
But we also know that there are many changes in the wider world of work, and a big driver for those changes is technology. Disruptive technologies are developing at an unprecedented rate, as new platforms, tools and techniques emerge before old ones of have had time to embed. Some even predict that in future half of the jobs we know and do today will be automated.
So where does that leave coaching? Today technology helps to enhance the process of coaching, whether that be through matching suitable coaching pairs or groups, or through virtual online coaching. In future there may be an increased need to use predictive analytics and big data to track the success of coaching, to truly understand the impact that it has and how to enhance coaching capability.
But perhaps automation will also impact the coaching world. What if advanced algorithms could suggest which questions to ask a coachee depending on a complex calculation of their situation, challenges and responses? Coaching professionals may be developing coding skills rather than honing traditional techniques.
While the future is difficult to predict, what’s clear is that coaching will continue to have a place in organisations, to help drive performance for the benefit of individuals, businesses, economies and society. What form and shape that will take is unknown – and for the collective coaching community to influence.
About the author
Ruth joined the CIPD in December 2013 from Tesco PLC, where she was an Organisation Development Manager. She is responsible for research exploring the latest trends in learning and development. She has a particular interest in how insight from the field of neuroscience is applied in the workplace. Ruth is a Chartered member of the CIPD.