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Coaching and Change Management Report

Over the last years HCI and ICF have studied how organizations build a strong coaching culture leading to high performance (see HCI index) and this year the report explores how coaching strategies can be used to build change management capabilities.

77% percent of HR practitioners and leaders report that their organization is in a state of constant change with priorities and strategies continuously shifting, and 85 percent report unsuccessful major change management initiatives within the past two years.

This year’s research (432 completed questionnaires) ties in with what I’m experiencing as an external professional executive coach and from rating 50+ applications on the global ICF prism award on Impact; Standards; Strategy and Sustainability of rolling out a coaching culture.

From a practitioner perspective, I work with senior leadership teams who are feeling overwhelmed with their stakeholders expectations (i.e. constant change) and who want to increase their internal capabilities in order to achieve sustainable growth.

From the ICF Prism Award, I had the privilege to be part of the global judging panel in 2016 and 2018 that honours businesses and organizations with coaching programs fulfilling rigorous professional standards; addressing key strategic goals; shaping organizational culture and yielding discernible and measurable positive impacts – rating organizations such as Airbus; L’Oréal; 3M; TATA consultancy; BT; Google amongst others.

Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) was named the winner of the 2018 ICF International Prism Award during a ceremony in September (2016 GlaxoSmithKline). You will find past honourees case studies on the ICF global site.

Some of the previous noteworthy KPIS from HCI-ICF report findings on coaching cultures that drew my attention and accentuated my Return on Expectations ROE/ROI with my clients over the years:

  • Strong coaching cultures correlate with higher employee engagement and better financial performance.

  • Improved team functioning (57%), increased employee engagement (56%) and increased productivity (51%) are cited among the most important indicators of coaching by more than half of all respondents

  • 66% of respondents from organizations with strong coaching cultures rate their employees as being “highly engaged,” compared to only half from organizations without strong coaching cultures. In terms of financial impact, 51% of respondents from organizations with strong coaching cultures report their revenue to be above that of their industry peer group, compared to 38% from all other organizations.

  • Millennials “ability to learn and progress” is now the principal driver of a company’s employment brand

  • Learning function defined as a highly strategic business area that focuses on innovation and leadership development

This year the report underlines how coaching (internal professional coach practitioners, external professional coach practitioners, and managers and leaders who use coaching skills with their team members) is one of the most helpful ways to develop change management capabilities:

“Coaching is one of the most helpful ways to develop change management capabilities. Using coaching to lead an agile culture is correlated with greater confidence in employees’ capabilities in planning and executing change.”

"The most frequently cited applications for using coaching for change management activities include addressing leadership style, strengths and blind spots; overcoming resistance; building resilience; building change readiness; and finding processes and tools. Using coaching to develop managers/leaders to lead an agile culture is correlated with respondents’ greater confidence in employees’ abilities to plan and execute change."

The most impactful learning channels for achieving the goals of the change management initiative were coaching as defined above – internal/external/conversational; peer learning with meeting face-time with senior leaders and on-the-job learning with action learning assignments.

To view the On-Demand version of Building a Coaching Culture for Change Management webcast click here:

PS: HCI developed an index of seven talent outcomes (investments in training, internal mobility, employee engagement, diversity and inclusion, quality of hire, retention and leadership bench strength) and eight critical business performance indicators (large-scale strategic change, customer satisfaction, regulatory compliance, talent attraction, innovation, profitability, shareholder value and labour productivity) for evaluating the relative strength and weakness of respondents’ organizations leading to a high-performing organizations.

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