New report highlights gaps in leadership and management skills - 1st November 2011

A new Work Horizons report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is calling for the government to use its position and influence to encourage UK businesses to recognise and rectify gaps in management and leadership skills.

The report, 'Good Management – A New (Old) Driver for Growth', is launched today ahead of next month's Growth Review. It concludes that, despite the evidence that good management skills are a crucial driver of growth and a series of public commitments by the UK's governments to drive change in this area, improvements have been too slow. The CIPD says that as a result the UK's skills profile continues to lag behind other OECD countries.

Katerina Rüdiger, the CIPD's skills policy advisor and author of the report, said: "Headline grabbing proposals which call for making it easier to 'sack the slackers' are at risk of masking the real question we should be asking: why are so many UK workers still under performing? ”

"The reason is not stringent employment legislation – indeed the UK has one of the most de-regulated labour markets across OECD countries – but a crisis of management and leadership skills. Firing under performing workers does not address the root cause of this problem; the Government should instead focus on supporting employers to improve management capability. ”

"One third of the UK's workforce has managerial responsibilities so it's not difficult to see the potential for improved management and leadership capabilities to unlock productivity and address the problem of workplace performance in a way that works for everyone: employers, individuals and the UK economy.”

"I think we're at a crossroads,” continued Rüdiger. "Policy efforts to date have skirted around the real issue and any policy initiatives in this area have been uncoordinated, short-lived and ineffective. What we need is a new approach, but the magic bullet policy makers have been searching for does not exist.”

"What we should not do is to turn back the time and re-instate a workplace that is built on low trust and command and control. In fact we need to do the opposite and encourage employers to implement progressive workplace practices and help them to identify gaps in management and leadership skills. These are often deeply rooted in organisational culture and at the most senior levels of an organisation, which means many employers do not recognise their potential shortcomings. For policy measures to resonate, therefore, they must help employers define what ‘good management' looks like and encourage them to report on their investment in developing management capability."

The recommendations outlined in the report include:

  • Improved voluntary human capital reporting: the Government's consultation on the Future of Narrative Reporting should be seen as an opportunity to encourage more employers to report meaningfully on people management information that provides insight into the drivers of sustainable performance.
  • Government and intermediaries should promote the tools and support that is already available and identify best practice.
  • Cross-departmental collaboration and increased long-term political commitment, including a new focus on management and leadership skills development in business support provision. This should be designed in collaboration with employers so that it responds to workplace realities.
  • Sector Skills Councils and Local Enterprise Partnerships should be encouraged by Government to promote leadership and management as ‘skills for growth' essentials.
  • Clarity on the management and leadership skills required and the training and qualifications available.
  • Integration of more people management elements in existing provisions, such as MBAs.
  • Advice on quality interventions for employers and individuals.
  • A review of management and leadership capability and development within the public sector, so that the Government can lead by example.

Source – Training Reference

Entrepreneurship & Enterprise Conference - Birmingham Hippodrome - 12th October 2011

Employment and the economy are unlikely to recover quickly unless there is substantial growth in existing and emerging small businesses.

In the main, the public sector will be reducing employment whilst large and multinational organisations will be cautious about recruitment whilst the current financial climate continues.

Despite the well meaning and well structured initiatives to enable the inactive labour force to return to employment, this will not be fully effective without the creation of new employment or self-employment prospects.

So – how will micro-businesses be created and developed; how will growing SMEs be stimulated and supported and how should we harness and re-develop the natural UK ideas and enterprise culture that will reinvigorate the economy?

This one-day conference will explore:

  • Emerging developments in entrepreneurship and innovation in new ventures
  • Policy objectives and strategic priorities for enterprise growth
  • How education stimulates the first steps into Entrepreneurship
  • The role of a Local Enterprise Partnership in driving economic growth
  • The creation, role and development of Social Enterprises
  • The finance and investment perspectives
  • Starting in Business including the challenges facing young people

The conference will be chaired by Dr David Rae, a leading innovator and researcher in business management, enterprise and learning who will lead the "Question Time" style panel and audience debate in the late morning session. The panel members will address questions sent in advance by delegates and live questions on the day.

Dr Rae will be supported in the debate and the plenary sessions by an exciting mix of speakers describing their different approaches, experiences and successes. Greg Chammings (BIS) will start off by describing the Government's strategic priorities and expectations for growing enterprise. The relationships with the new Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) and CCIs will be provided by Louise Bennett whilst other leading experts in their field will outline how entrepreneurs learn and can be developed to create new opportunities. This will include Sabirul Islam: author and motivational speaker narrating a case study of how young people can realise business start-ups.

Delegates will have the opportunity to submit questions and opinions in advance and to join in the live debate on the current challenges facing entrepreneurship and enterprise in the UK.

Attendance at this conference will provide an excellent opportunity to network and share good practice and experiences.

CIPD publishes Coaching Climate report - September 27th 2011

A new report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) investigates how coaching and mentoring are developing in organisations and aims to help HR professionals and coaches to deliver the best possible value from their initiatives.

The CIPD Coaching Climate report found that this year 77% of respondents report coaching activity, compared to 90% in 2009. However, the CIPD says the coaching landscape is far from bleak with more than four-fifths of those using coaching reporting that they're doing more of it than two years ago.

The report says coaching is utilised most as a tool for improving performance and is used nearly as much to improve poor performance (43%) as to build on good performance (48%). Although the bulk of coaching, in keeping with previous data, is delivered by line managers or in-house coaches, the proportion by external coaches has nearly doubled (up from 14% to 20%).

When looking at the extent to which organisations work on specific agendas most coaching assignments were found to focus on developing skills and competence (67% always and frequently), with supporting career transition (54% always and frequently) another key area. The focus on improving understanding of business, commercial and financial issues (26% always and frequently) was low. The CIPD says that in a tough economic environment understanding business and commercial issues should be top of the list for HR professionals, however the report highlights just how low down on the agenda it actually is, with only 5% of organisations always doing this and 10% never addressing the issue.

Dr John McGurk, adviser learning and talent at the CIPD, said: "The report demonstrates the value of coaching, and the need to use it to improve performance and build capability. It is good to see so many firms boosting their use of this important part of the learning and development toolkit.

"Although budgets remain tight it is encouraging to see that a relatively small number of organisations report decreases in their coaching budgets, compared to the number reporting decreases in overall funding in our Learning and Talent Development survey earlier this year.

"The report also identifies areas for improvement, particularly in the development of HR capability around business savvy, the ability to apply business knowledge and understanding to key people and performance issues and to fulfil strategic objectives. Our Next Generation HR research project challenged practitioners to develop and trade upon their insight within the organisation and link this to the business, driving real insight about how good people management can make the difference."

Source Training Reference

DDI/CIPD survey examines leadership development programmes - September 13th 2011

According to new research from talent management consultancy, DDI, and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), only a third (36%) of UK leaders and one in five (18%) UK HR professionals rate the quality of leadership as ‘high' in their organisations.

The survey - 'UK Highlights: Global Leadership Forecast' - found that only 38% of both UK leaders and HR professionals rate their organisations' leadership development programmes as highly effective. Twenty per cent of leaders and 24% of HR professionals rate the programmes as ineffective.

Based on responses from 56 HR professionals and 367 leaders in the UK, the survey identifies the key leadership skills needed to ensure success in the next three years – driving and managing change (identified by 69% of leaders), making difficult decisions (34%) and executing organisation strategy (32%).

Three drivers of leadership quality are also highlighted in the findings: leadership development, talent management and management culture.

Vanessa Robinson, head of HR practice development at the CIPD, said: "Leadership development budgets remain tight, particularly in the UK, yet effective leaders make a real difference to the success of organisations. If UK organisations are to continue to be successful on the world stage, then leaders need to be equipped with the key skills that our survey identified.

"UK organisations, like the rest of the world, should focus on opening up decision making in their organisation and creating a set of shared and meaningful values for their employees. Earlier research from the CIPD has looked at this issue of creating a sense of shared purpose and the value that can be achieved for both the employees and the organisation as a whole.

"Talent should be another important focus for UK organisations. Given the higher external failure rates of leaders and the significant costs associated with external hires, effective succession, or ‘grow-your-own' tactics, will be an increasingly important talent strategy. HR's role in ensuring these talents are developed will be pivotal, especially as the UK population ages, and hence the senior-level workforce expands."

Steve Newhall, managing director of DDI, said: "The lack of ability to fill vacant leadership positions coupled with the inconsistent approach to high potential development paints a worrying picture for UK business. With a significantly high failure rate of external hires in the UK, identifying and nurturing internal talent is vital. To ensure organisations do have the leadership coming through that they need, they simply have to focus the finite development budget on those with most potential.

"The findings of the survey must be read in the context of a severe recession. Organisations in the UK suffered greatly and their leaders were under intense pressure. So the poor picture of UK leadership is perhaps not surprising. But the report tells us that leadership really does matter and good leadership makes an immense difference to the success of the organisation. Leaders themselves are telling us the skills they need and what development and talent management processes are most effective. If we in the HR and development profession listen to who are in reality our customers, we can play a pivotal role in the success of our leaders and our organisation."

The opinions from UK respondents were compared to the total group of 1,897 HR professionals and 12,423 leaders from over 74 countries worldwide. The survey found:

* HR professionals from the UK and around the world report using formal workshops, manager coaching and special projects most frequently to develop their leaders and UK organisations, compared to the global comparison, report greater use of more formal training

* Leaders themselves in both the UK and global samples identified formal workshops as the single most effective development method

* Coaching from internal mentors is more widely accepted and utilised by UK leaders (48%) than those worldwide (45%)

* Computer-based learning such as web-based training (37%) and virtual classrooms (22%) are used less frequently by UK leaders than leaders across the globe (global- web-based training 43% and -virtual 27%)

* 81% of leaders in the UK reported that their individual performance expectations were tied to corporate goals and strategies

* 57% of the UK leaders reported that their performance management systems generally took into account not only what, but how their objectives were achieved

Source – Training Reference

ILM calls for coaching to be made available to all staff - 27th July 2011

Despite being acutely aware of the benefits of coaching, only half of UK companies actively coach all of their staff, according to research by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM).

The report, 'Creating a coaching culture', says that 80% of companies use coaching as a staff development tool, with 95% reporting benefits to the organisation and 96% seeing benefits to the individual being coached. But coaching is predominantly targeted at senior level employees, with 85% of companies surveyed coaching senior managers and directors, compared to just 52% providing coaching for non-management staff.

Penny de Valk, chief executive of the Institute of Leadership & Management, said: "Coaching is the single most cost-effective development investment an organisation can make as this learning naturally spreads across the workplace. Yet our research suggests that a limited segment of the working population receives coaching. Companies direct it at the lucky few rather than embedding a coaching culture across an organisation."

The survey of learning and development managers found that 83% of companies use their own managers to provide coaching for staff and that 65% use external coaches.

According to the survey, a third (34%) of organisations offer no training or support to their internal coaches - they are selected on the grounds that they are line managers (53%), senior staff members (46%) or a member of the HR department (43%).

De Valk continued: "At present many coaches inside organisations are chosen informally. Managers expressing an interest in coaching are encouraged to "have a go", but coaching is a specialist management skill, you do not become a great coach just by reading a book, it calls for training, experience, ongoing development and support. A willing attitude or natural aptitude is not enough.

"Encouraging staff to coach others without suitable support may well restrict the scope and effectiveness of the coaching provided. Without appropriate training for internal coaches and a support structure, organisations will struggle to apply a consistent approach to ensure they obtain the maximum benefit."

The survey questioned participants about the value of coaching to their staff. The majority of respondents (95%) said coaching was a direct benefit to their organisations, with 96% seeing benefits to the individual. A broad range of specific benefits were identified, ranging from improvements in communication and interpersonal skills, to improved business knowledge and skills in specific areas and increased motivation levels. However organisations still tend emphasise coaching's ability to address specific performance (26%) or behavioural issues (8%).

"Coaching should not be seen as a remedial tool, it is about delivering a high-performance culture, rather than a tool to address individual weaknesses," said de Valk. "All levels of employee, and certainly all managers and leaders, can and should benefit from a coaching approach to management."

The survey also found that 85% of organisations make coaching available to their managers and directors. The larger the organisation, the more likely it is to use coaching. 90% of organisations with 2,000+ employees used coaching in the past five years, dropping to 68% amongst those with 230-500 employees.

The CIPD Annual Survey Report 2010 Learning and Talent Report - 22nd June 2011

The CIPD Learning and Talent Report for 2010 has recently been released with some interesting statistics regarding coaching.

Coaching now takes place in eight in ten (82%) of all organisations, however only a third (36%) have a system to evaluate it. Systems mainly rely on the collection of post course evaluations (58%), individuals’ testimonies (56%), on assessing the impact on business key performance indicators (KPIs) of coaching (44%), and measuring the return on expectation (40%).

When considering coaching interventions, seven in ten organisations either only frequently or occasionally discuss with the line managers and coaches the organisation’s expectations of the intervention (71%), and assess the likelihood that the individuals team will benefit before embarking on it (69%).

While using interventions, a third frequently discuss the progress of individual coaching interventions at appraisal and performance reviews, and two in ten (18%) frequently collect and analyse data about the coaching at agreed intervals.

For more information the full report is on the CIPD website.

Government launches next phase of Growth Review - 16th June 2011

Skills, the rural economy and medium sized businesses will be at the centre of the next stage of the Growth Review, the Government announced this week.

Building on the programme set out in the first Plan for Growth, published at the Budget, the next stage of the review will focus on:

  • Education and skills – looking across the whole of the education system from schools, FE colleges, universities and other training providers to consider how to maximise economic growth
  • Infrastructure – considering how to eliminate barriers and encourage greater investment in UK infrastructure
  • Logistics – covering rail, road, shipping and air freight interests and cutting across the wholesale industry, looking at opportunities and barriers to growth as the logistics sector evolves in response to the increasing complexity and globalisation of supply chains
  • Mid-sized businesses – examining businesses that have expanded beyond the definition of SMEs, considering how to increase the number of firms that show significant growth at this level
  • Rural economy – scrutinizing the constraints, opportunities and risks impacting on economic growth in rural areas and considering specific issues including labour market characteristics
  • Open data – investigating the potential growth benefits and risks of opening up access to public sector data assets

Business Secretary Vince Cable formally launched the next phase of the Growth Review during his visit to Rolls Royce in Derby, where he welcomed the company's commitment to 200 new apprenticeships and broke the ground on a new Learning and Development Centre. He also hosted a round table event with a number of mid-sized businesses from the Rolls Royce supply chain. Dr Cable said: "We are launching the second stage of the plan for growth with one central purpose - creating the right conditions for business to start up, invest, grow and create jobs. "We are seeing the evidence this week of successful rebalancing of the economy towards exports and manufacturing, with the announcement of major commitments from Nissan and BMW, and today the commitment from Rolls Royce to an expansion of their Apprenticeship programme."

What type of ROI can you expect from business coaching? - 27th May 2011

MetrixGlobal conducted a case study on ROI of business coaching. The conclusion was that: “Business Coaching produced a 529% return on investment and significant intangible benefits to the business.

Including the financial benefits from employee retention boosted the overall ROI to 788%.”

This study focused on leadership development and concluded that business coaching is a very effective developmental tool, especially for decision-making, team-performance and the motivation of others. It reports specific financial benefits as a result of business coaching, especially related to productivity and to employee satisfaction.

Another more recent study looked at the impact of business coaching in delivering results against key business goals in an organisation. Triad, completed this study for, but the client organisation remains confidential. The key findings concluded that ROI was 10:1, at a conservative level, with a long-term return in the millions. They found abundant evidence regarding improved staff retention, creation of a positive work environment and increased revenue.

67% of SME’s with aspirations to grow - 16th May 2011

Evidence shows that 67 per cent of SME employers have an aspiration to grow over the next two to three years, but only about 20 per cent will actually grow each year.

The Government wants to work with businesses that have potential to grow and enable these firms to overcome the barriers to growth.

To demonstrate this commitment, the recent re-launch of leadership and management fund in England enables high growth SME’s the ability to access up to £1,000 to match fund business coaching.

For more information on how to access the funding contact us today.

Sir Richard Branson tops 'nation's preferred coach' poll - 2nd May 2011

Sir Richard Branson has been voted the nation's preferred coach in a poll carried out by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) to mark the launch of their 'Perform at Your Peak' professional coaching campaign.

The Virgin boss received almost a quarter of votes (22%), with Karren Brady, businesswoman and adviser to Lord Sugar on The Apprentice, coming in second with 11% of the vote. Rugby World Cup winning coach, Sir Clive Woodward, was close behind with 10%.

The survey of over 1,350 managers found that the majority of managers (63%) are not performing at their optimum level, with 79% of those questioned believing their performance would improve if they had a coach at work.

Penny de Valk, chief executive of the Institute of Leadership & Management, said: "It is worrying such a high proportion of managers say they are not performing at their optimum level at a time when the UK economy is still so fragile. Managers need to be confident in their ability and direction if they are to lead their staff effectively and contribute to the country's economic recovery.

"Developing managers' coaching skills is the single most cost-effective development investment a business can make, and the wise CEO will ensure coaching is introduced across their organisation to help staff work at the optimum level."

59% of respondents said that they had previously received coaching at work, with 92% saying their performance had improved as a result.

De Valk continued: "The results show that coaching really works. Rather than simply advising or providing answers coaching is a facilitative process which allows people to formulate their own ideas and solutions.

"However, it is crucial that those organisations asking their managers to coach provide them with the skills and support to do so. Coaching carried out by poorly trained or inexperienced people will tend to be one-to-one instruction, which can drive dependency. True coaching - by trained coaches - ensures staff work out their own solutions and approach, rather than being given a moment in time solution."

On Wednesday 25 May 2011 the Institute of Leadership & Management will be hosting a speed coaching session at Canary Wharf, with Olympians Roger Black and Steve Backley.

Source – Training Reference

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“I never cease to be amazed at the power of the coaching process to draw out the skills or talent that was previously hidden within an individual, and which invariably finds a way to solve a problem previously thought unsolvable.”

John Russell, Managing Director,
Harley-Davidson Europe Ltd

An International Coach Federation survey of 4000 companies found that the reported benefits of coaching included:

  • Improved individual performance
  • Improved profit, client service and competitiveness
  • Development of people for the next level
  • Management/staff relationship improvement
  • Improved retention