Coaching is one of the most effective tools that firms can use to help unleash the potential of their key employees, said Terdtoon Thaisriwichai, president of the International Coach Federation (ICF)'s Bangkok Chapter.
Research points to a decline in the popularity of classroom training, against the rise of executive coaching as a means to develop staff’s learning and development in many countries.
Nonetheless, Thai companies are still allocating most of their human-resource development budgets to training courses, he said.
Terdtoon said there are four groups of staff for whom firms need to find a coach: talented staff; successors to senior executive ranks; employees in “high-impact” or income-generating positions (such as sales); and problematic executives, or the so-called “toxic managers”. However, in recent years, firms have recognised that they should send problematic managers to professional counsellors, rather than to executive coaches.
Atchara Juicharern, founder and managing director of AcComm & Image International, who is also an ICF-accredited executive coach, said that aside from multinational firms and large Thai corporations such as SCG and CP Group, there are still not many companies in Thailand that use the services of executive coaches.
Many firms also don’t understand the concept and benefits of coaching, she said.
Terdtoon said chit-chat about executive coaches has become a daily feature of conversation among executives in Singapore’s business circles, while in the United States, executive coaching has been among the perks that firms offer to lure job candidates.
Terdtoon, a former executive at Pepsi-Cola, Sony, Nike, Nokia and Maersk, established the ICF Bangkok Chapter just over a year ago.
He said there are currently no more than seven Thais certified as professional coaches by the ICF. The fee for one-on-one coaching in Thailand is currently about Bt300,000 for 10 sessions, each lasting one to one and a half hours.
Time management is one of the most popular issues that coaches are hired to assist company executives with in Thailand, he said.
Meanwhile, to educate the public about the benefits of coaching, AcComm and the Thailand Coaching Institute will jointly host the “World-class Coaching” event in March, where they will invite company executives to share their success stories in creating a coaching culture in their organisations, Atchara said.