Training budgets are declining while leadership coaching appears to be continuing to increase. But this increase in the demand for coaching isn’t going to continue unless coaches can show business results. Verity Gough writes in TrainingZone:
It appears now is the time for coaching to come into its own, for coaches to be savvy about how they market themselves and ensure that they can offer clients a good return on investment.
I’ve written in a past blog post about the importance of measuring the results of coaching. My experience with the evaluation of coaching is that, when coaching is done well, it can have a significant impact on business results.
In one situation, an employee who would have been fired before her manager received coaching, was retained and became a valuable contributor to the organization. The manager learned how to listen to the employee and give feedback more effectively. The organization avoided the substantial cost of firing one employee and hiring and training another employee to fill that position.
In another situation, an executive who was ready to quit his job because of tension with his CEO, stayed in his position in large part because of coaching. Coaching helped this exec understand how he could relate effectively with his boss; know what was realistic to change and what couldn’t be changed. Their relationship improved and the exec did not resign and, in fact, is now working well with his boss. The savings from not having to replace an executive and preventing disruption in operations can be enormous for an organization.
In still another situation, a manager would not give negative feedback to his team members and would not help someone leave a job when it was a bad fit. Coaching helped this manager accept his role and develop capability in giving honest feedback to employees and moving them to other positions or out of the organization when they could not perform well in their jobs. Unsuccessful employees are very costly; the organization can suffer from poor performance, lost productivity, and low team morale.
Each of these examples demonstrates the impact of coaching…when it is done well. We need more studies of what kinds of coaching under what kinds of circumstances can have positive business outcomes for individuals, teams, and organizations.