Coaching is becoming one of the leading development interventions
in the corporate world. In a recent study by the Corporate Leadership
Council, executives ranked coaching fourth in importance. The coaching
profession has grown significantly over the last decade and many
executives find it a wonderful "perk" to have a coach while other
organizations find it imperative to provide their executives and key
management staff with coaches. Coaching provides a customized
development process for the individual as well as a confidant for the
most senior level staff members. How do you, as an individual or
organization seeking or using coaching, make sure you're getting your
money's worth? Here are 10 Ways to Ensure a Greater Return On
Investment from your coaching dollar. You can learn more about the ROI
of Professional coaching services at one of the upcoming
Corporate Coaching Live Events sponsored by CoachVille.
- Develop a standard criteria and process for selecting coaches:
Many coaches are selected for engagements based on word of mouth.
Develop a standard process for interviewing and selecting coaches
based upon specific criteria or competencies as you would any other
- Develop Service Level Expectations:
Spell out the exact expectations you have of the coach such as
number of meetings, length of meeting, reporting back to individuals
within the organization such as the clients direct manager or HR
professional, any written development plans, etc.
- Involve the Coaching Client in the Process:
The coaching engagement is a relationship between the coaching
client and the coach. Making a good match is key to successful
engagement. Make sure the coaching client is involved in selecting
his or her own coach.
- Link Business & Development Goals to the Coaching Engagement:
Often times coaches are brought in to assist in the development
of the key staff member, yet the development that is requested is
not connected to the business strategy or goals. Ask, "How will the
coaching, or the skill development or project support assist the
company in attaining their goals?"
- Involve the Coaching Client's Direct Manager:
The coaching client's direct manager
should be integrally involved in the coaching process with regular
meetings with the coach or, even better, three way meetings between
the coach, "coachee" and their direct manager to discuss progress.
- Provide Additional Support:
The coach is often not a member of the client's organization;
supplying the coaching client with a mentor or similar support can
help the coaching client more effectively implement the development
that is taking place with the coach.
- Assign a person in the Organization to Manage the Coaching Process:
Frequently, centralizing the requests for and selection of
coaches can streamline the process. It can also ensure that coaching
is being used where it's the most effective intervention and that
the coaches selected are appropriate for the assignment.
- Develop Measurable Goals:
If the coaching objectives are not identified prior to the
engagement, ensure that the coach and coaching client develop
measurable goals. How will you know if the engagement is successful?
Some of the outcomes of coaching may difficult to measure but going
through the exercise will greatly increase the effectiveness and
efficiency of the coaching engagement.
- Develop Coaching Plans:
Ensure that the coach and the coaching client develop a detailed
plan to achieve the goals that are developed. The coach often works
"in the moment" but a plan of action or outline, to help the client
get from point A to point B will lead to greater success.
- Measure the Impact of the Coaching:
It's often hard to actually measure quantitatively the impact of
coaching. There are often many variables going on in the business at
the same time. Where it is feasible make an effort to measure the
return on the coaching. Some measurements might include employee
satisfaction, turnover rates, process times, increased sales, etc.
as well as measuring qualitative data such as how the individual
felt about the coaching, did they achieve the objectives, what value
does the coaching client put on the coaching experience, to name a
Patricia Hirsch. MCC, MBA, RN