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By Dominic Welling | Published Sep 10, 2009

Coaching, mentoring is key to recession blues - CIPD

Additionally, more than half of the survey respondents (51 per cent) agreed coaching was a key part of learning and development, said the CIPD.

The survey, which took the opinions of 500 companies, found that coaching is being used at all levels to build on good performance (23 per cent), improve poor performance (20 per cent) and also form part of leadership development (23 per cent).

The survey which informs the Taking the Temperature of Coaching Report is to be launched at the CIPD's coaching at work conference to be held on 24 September.

The conference aims to bring together everyone with an interest in and responsibility for coaching, and to explore how to best use coaching and mentoring at work, what the pitfalls are and how it can be used to deliver even more, organisers said.

John McGurk, adviser with the learning and talent department for the CIPD, said: "It is not surprising that so many are turning to coaching and mentoring to improve performance.

"When budgets are tightened, it is a relatively inexpensive way to develop staff and it also has the benefit of being tailored to an organisation's specific needs. As well as this, coaching has great scope to improve employee engagement, empower people and boost morale at a time of great uncertainty.

"At the conference, we will look at how those using coaching and mentoring can make sure that they really reap the benefits throughout the organisation. It is vital that coaching's impact is measurable and tightly aligned with the business agenda, as well as helping individuals to develop. Otherwise, it runs the risk of being seen as something which only takes place in the executive suite."

Jason Witcombe, director of Evolve Financial Planning, agreed that coaching plays an important role in company culture.

Mr Witcombe said: "Coaching or mentoring is one of those skills that a lot of companies fail to look at, and it is one of the best ways to develop and motivate staff.

"It is much more valuable than many of the traditional routes to development, like sending somebody on a course or hiring a speaker.

"Call it coaching, call it mentoring, it is just useful for staff to be able to sit down with someone on a fairly regular basis and let them know what is going right, what is going wrong, and to help them to feel more a part of the company."

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