Maybe as an executive coach I’m a little biased! Or maybe it’s a result of a little knowledge…
An interesting study was conducted by Metrix Global, a survey company, on behalf of a US Fortune 500 company and the executive coaching company they use to develop their leaders.
The study investigated the benefits and Return on Investment (ROI) of coaching. At the same time they wanted to get the answers to these questions:
1. How did coaching add value to the business and what was the return on investment?
2. How could coaching be best leveraged in the future, especially if coaching was to be expanded to other business regions?
60% of the 30 leaders who responded to the survey company identified specific financial benefits resulting from the coaching.
Further results were:
Identified as positive by percentage of respondents
|Annualised Financial Benefit||50%|
The study tabulated program costs for all 43 leadership development participants to discover a 529% return on investment produced by the coaching process.
Clients with customer or people responsibilities produced proportionally greater financial benefits. However, there were widespread benefits throughout the group participating in the study.
How Coaching Can Be Leveraged
The study was specific to the Fortune 500 company. However, there are lessons we can learn from the surveys recommendations:
- Provide a coaching process so that everyone knows the direction you’re headed
- Prepare clients for coaching and don’t force coaching on anyone. Anyone who hasn’t been coached doesn’t realise the benefits and needs to see how it works
- Offer clients the ability to select their coaches. It’s important that clients and coach can work together
- Coaching should be strongly supported by the management and top executive.
- Coaches must be informed about the reality of the the company’s business, ethics and culture.
- The coaching relationship must follow its own path. Because, as compared to training, coaching enables the coachee to find what works best for them
- Include measurement within the coaching process. Often tying coaching results to money is a good first approach. Others include perceived improvement in employee and customer satisfaction
“What about coaching entrepreneurs then?” you may ask.
The short answer is it depends. Often entrepreneurs have an idea, or a company they want to grow. The way entrepreneurs work is that they think of ideas, set them going and then cancel quickly if it’s not what they thought. Equally they’ll stay with an idea that looks to everyone else as though it’s run out of steam. Often they find it difficult to talk through ideas, or “hare brained schemes” as their friends and relatives call them.
So it’s very important to pick a coach with a deep understanding of the entrepreneurial mindset. It’s vital that the coach acts as a sounding board and at the same time a devil’s advocate. The coach must be strong enough to ask the difficult questions and to keep the entrepreneur focused on agreed actions.
The next question is, “how do I find such a coach?”
And obviously my answer is that I’m such a coach, having worked with a mixed bag of entrepreneurial clients from across the world including Scandinavia, the UK, Germany, The Netherlands, Australia, Singapore and New Zealand.
If I’m not your cup of tea – you’ll know whether I am from reading this blog – there are many others around the world. Some of the more forward thinking coaches have blogs that allow their clients to see their thinking.