Critical Coaching and Mentoring Skills Are Lacking in Organizations – According to New Study by the HR Research Institute

Despite their importance, coaching and mentoring remain areas of weakness for most organizations. Whereas 52% of surveyed HR professionals agree that coaching is an important practice in their organizations, only 38% say that more than half of the coaches in their organization are highly effective.

The free research report, The State of Coaching and Mentoring 2021, is now available for download.’s Research Institute conducted the study of HR professionals to take an in-depth look at the current state of employee and coaching and mentoring programs and their impact on employees, their future development, and business performance.

The study revealed that today’s coaches and mentors tend to lack a high level of effectiveness across eight key skill areas, from building rapport to guiding conversations toward positive outcomes. Both coaches and mentors are especially bad at holding difficult conversations. Just 25% of HR professionals consider their coaches to be very effective in this area, and 21% say the same about mentors in their organization.

As a result of the pandemic, organizations have increased coaching (34%) and mentoring (30%) efforts to some degree. Further, nearly three-quarters (71%) of organizations are relying on remote coaching and mentoring at least to some degree due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Looking at companies that report a larger proportion of effective coaching and mentoring, they are more likely to:

  • view coaching and mentoring as important practices
  • have specific skills training for their coaches and mentors
  • be very effective in all key coaching and mentoring skills

“The pandemic disruption has forced many organizations to adjust to new business models and ask employees to take on new roles, including virtual coaching to help maximize engagement and productivity” stated Debbie McGrath, Chief Instigator and CEO of “As we go forward, I think the need to coach and mentor our employees is going to become even more critical.”

Download the full report which includes details on ten key takeaways to help HR departments gain insights into how to leverage coaching and mentoring to ensure successful outcomes.


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