Workplace stress: Can it be reduced by coaching?
Workplace coaching is becoming increasingly popular and it has been suggested that it could be useful in tackling stress (Hearn, 2001). However, there is a lack of research investigating the effectiveness of coaching in reducing stress. Indeed this was the aim of the current study. The research consisted of three parts and two large organisations participated. Part I measured stress before and after coaching (N=31). It was found that coaching did not significantly reduce stress. Part II investigated the relationship between coaching and stress (N=103). Participation in coaching did not have a relationship with lower stress levels. Nevertheless, high levels of coaching effectiveness were reported by the participants. In Part III a qualitative design was employed and employees were interviewed about their experiences of coaching (N=9). Four main themes emerged from the analysis. It was found that coaching helped the participants to manage and reduce stress indirectly; the coaching relationship was very important; coaching helped to increase confidence; and the provision of coaching was viewed as a sign that the employer cared for their employees. Citation: Gyllensten, K. and Palmer, S. (2006). Workplace stress: Can it be reduced by coaching? The Coaching Psychologist, 2, 1, 17-22.