Coaching is a big investment for the organisation and for the coachee. The costs go way beyond money which is the tip of the iceberg. So it makes sense that you take appropriate steps to ensure a high return for the organisation and the coachee. When the coaching produces the desired outcomes, the return to the organisation far outweighs the investment. A recent global survey by PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the Association Resource Centre found that the mean ROI in coaching was 7 times the initial investment and over a quarter of coaching clients reported a stunning ROI of 10 to 49 times the cost.
Based on my experience of coaching hundreds of senior business executives, the following 5 things are requisite to produce a high ROI on coaching.
1. The coachee must be a ‘STRONG’ request for coaching. They should never be told they have to take on coaching. You can offer, suggest, even enrol them, but the desire and motivation must come authentically from them – they must be hungry for it. Have them put together a ‘business case’ for the coaching and present it to HR and their manager. If they are a request for the company to make the investment, then have them make the case for that investment. If you are not convinced after they make their case, tell them you are not aligned.
2. Clearly define the organisation’s expectations for the results to be produced in coaching and the consequences if they are not produced. For example, we expect that your productivity will significantly improve and we will measure that by how well you respond to emails in a timely manner and that you will not take work home and leave work no later than 6pm. Until you demonstrate an improvement in your productivity, you will not be considered for promotions in the future. Ensure these expectations and measures are included in the coaching outcomes and never work with a coach who does not have clearly defined outcomes for their programme that the coachee and organisation are aligned on.
3. Have regular reviews of progress against the coaching outcomes – we call these sponsor meetings and should include the person’s manager and HR if they were originally involved. Hewsons coaching has 12 sessions, so we have sponsor meetings every 3-4 sessions. Address any lack of progress against those outcomes.
4. Coaching works most effectively when the person’s manager is being fully accountable for the success of the coaching outcomes. This means the coachee’s manager supports the coaching and is proactively having conversations with the coachee about the progress of the coaching. The coachee must know their manager is invested in the outcomes of the coaching.
5. Ask the coach “What advice do you have for us to ensure we get the best ROI on this coaching for the organisation and the coachee?” Do you think that the advice they give you will set you and the coachee up to get the best ROI and value? If you are not convinced, speak to another coach.