An emphasis on a coaching culture could offer much-needed help.
The Mayo Clinic classifies job burnout as a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity. It's not a medical diagnosis, but according to 2023 research from the International Coaching Federation and Human Capital Institute, it's one of the critical challenges affecting a coaching culture at work.
The report, Defining Coaching Cultures, examines how organizations have countered increased mental fatigue and burnout caused by the pandemic with an increased investment in company culture—specifically, coaching.
"With burnout, if you're working too hard or unhappy with what you're doing, coaching offers a great opportunity to explore other options or different ways to do things," says Robert Garcia, vice president and chief staff officer of International Coaching Federation Coaching in Organizations.
The study, which gathered information from 470 respondents, including HR, L&D, and talent management professionals, indicates that organizations are more serious about investing in coaching than before the pandemic. In 2023, 33 percent of companies had a dedicated coaching budget, representing an 8 percent increase from 2019.
According to Defining Coaching Culture, a higher coaching budget yields increased commitment, greater job satisfaction, better employee relations, enhanced team functioning, and improved employee intelligence.
"The six elements of the strong coaching culture composite provide a practical roadmap for organizations to enhance their coaching capabilities and subsequently boost leadership, employee engagement, and commitment, among other advantages," Garcia explains.
Those six elements are employees who value coaching; senior executives who value coaching; accredited, coach-specific training for leadership; all three coaching modalities (managers and leaders, internal coaches, and external coaches); coaching is a fixture in the budget; and all employees have an equal opportunity to receive coaching.
The numbers show that coaching availability is trending upward. While most coaching opportunities still go to senior-level, high-potential, and midlevel employees, 85 percent of survey respondents said they work with managers and leaders who use coaching skills.