85% of managers favour individual coaching as best training for critical skills

One-on-one coaching is rated the most effective method for developing employee skills in communication, critical thinking, collaboration and creativity, according to a survey of more than 2,000 senior managers and executives by the American Management Association (AMA).

When asked to rate training methods, individual coaching was considered either more effective (41%), or most (44%) method. Coaching outranked professional development training (72% across both categories), in-house job training 69%), mentoring (78%) and job rotation (60%) among training modes in improving such skills.

“Organizations are looking for the right way to develop communication, critical thinking, team building, innovation and other core competencies considered so important in today’s business environment,” says Sandi Edwards, senior vice president for AMA Corporate Learning Solutions, which offers advisory services and tailored learning programs to organizations. “Sometimes known as the four Cs, communication, critical thinking, collaboration and creativity have emerged as the primary training objectives for most of today’s global organizations. Our survey looked at how employers approach the challenge of developing these competencies.”

"One-on-one coaching has always been the most effective way to develop an individual,” Edwards notes. “It may be very effective, but not efficient, especially for large, global organizations faced with developing a diverse employee population. So the question has become how to work with employees and managers at all levels in order to bring out their innate abilities and to discover new ones, and to do it as quickly as possible with as little waste and duplication.”

According to Edwards, large, complex organizations must rely on a mix of training methods to advance the workforce. “And coaching will inevitably be part of the mix, especially for high potentials and senior team members.”

AMA partnered with P21, a nationally-recognized advocate for 21st-century educational readiness, and surveyed 2,115 managers and other executives in AMA member and customer companies about the importance of the four Cs to their organization today and in the future.

With more than 85 years’ experience and headquartered in New York, American Management Association (www.amanet.org) is a leading provider of comprehensive leadership, management and talent development. AMA’s specialized division, Corporate Learning Solutions, partners with corporations and government agencies to provide results oriented training solutions that are aligned with business, culture and workforce strategies.