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Motivations of internal workplace coaches: what attracts them to the role? A mixed methods study

Robson, Mark and Boak, George ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4489-3096 (2024) Motivations of internal workplace coaches: what attracts them to the role? A mixed methods study. European Journal of Training and Development.

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Internal workplace coaches are employees who, in addition to their main job, volunteer to provide coaching to work colleagues who are not their direct reports. The purpose of this paper is to explore what motivates these individuals to volunteer to be an internal workplace coach and to continue carrying out the role.

To explore the experiences of internal coaches, a questionnaire was devised and issued; it attracted 484 responses – the largest survey response to date from this population. Following analysis of the questionnaire data, semi-structured interviews were carried out with 20 internal coaches from private, public and not-for-profit UK organisations. The responses were analysed in relation to motivation theory, principally self-determination theory.

Individuals were motivated to volunteer for the role, and to continue to practise as coaches, in the most part to satisfy intrinsic needs for competence, relatedness and autonomy. The research presents rich information about how coaches perceived these needs were satisfied by coaching. In general, there were only moderate or poor levels of support and recognition for individual coaches within their organisation, indicating limited extrinsic motivation.

Practical implications
The practical implications are that organisations can draw on the findings from this study to motivate individuals to volunteer to be internal coaches and to continue to act in that role.

Many organisations use internal coaches, but there is very little research into what motivates these volunteers.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/EJTD-10-2023-0156
School/Department: York Business School
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/9760

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