Far from a nice chat, coaching can be extremely valuable to business.
But how do we measure this? How can you know you are getting value for money? Quite simply, the value is in the time and space to think, facilitated to ensure clear progress is made. We rarely take time to step back, stop and think. We face a challenge, we find a solution and we run with it.
It’s no wonder with this pattern of working that we often end up realising months have gone by and we have not thought about overall performance, strategic direction, personal goals etc.
By taking that time to think with a facilitator, we become more effective, find ways around our fears and areas where we might lack confidence. It’s a difficult one to quantify – but think of a manager suddenly having the confidence to manage a poor performing team. Imagine you, at your best, performing with greater efficiency and focus. It’s all extremely valuable.
How can we measure the value of coaching?
As with any activity where it is difficult to quantify impact or benefit, the key is in the original objectives. It is only when we know what impact we are aiming for that we can measure whether any activity has been successful. It is for this reason that coaching objectives need to be aligned to business needs.
Consider exactly what you want to see happen and how you would know if it had happened.
Let’s take an example of a senior executive who is performing well in many areas, but struggling to build relationships with key players and influence change. This scenario is a perfect opportunity for coaching. Training in this instance would provide knowledge about what the executive should do, but coaching will more rapidly get to the heart of existing barriers and how to move past these.
To measure whether coaching has been effective in this scenario, we could define some clear objectives. For example, “by the end of a six month coaching programme, this executive will have:
- Built positive relationships with departments X and Y, demonstrated by a 10% increase in the number of projects they are working on together
- Influenced change in at least two areas where they were previously frustrated with a lack of progress
- Created an action plan to move the department toward their vision over the next 3 months”
Maximising your coaching session
So as long as you set clear objectives and measure the business benefit of these throughout your coaching programme, you can be clear on the ROI of the coach.
To maximise the value you gain:
- Define your objectives, being really clear about what would be different if the coaching was effective
- Start with an open mind, then give your coach prompts on what is working well for you
- Keep evaluating what you are gaining from the time and money invested
- Calculate the financial impact of the changes you have made since meeting with coach – whether that is time saved, more productive meetings etc, you should be able to estimate an amount