Measuring results from coaching engagements is a must. There is global research from the International Coach Federation that shows strong benefits (60% smarter goals, 40% improvement in work quality). Measures will depend on the coaching objectives.
The following are some facts and principles to help you maximize your coaching results.
First the Facts
A study conducted by the International Coach Federation surveyed 210 coaching clients about the value and of coaching. The study revealed the following benefits:
- 62.4% smarter goal-setting
- 60.5% more balanced life
- 57.1% lower stress levels
- 52.4% more self-confidence
- 39.5% enhanced communication skills
- 35.7% project completion
- 43.3% improvement in quality of work
Seven Ways to Maximize ROI on Executive Coaching
My coaching process ensures we take the following seven steps to maximize coaching ROI:
- Goal-alignment between the leader and the organization. In some cases there is a lack of alignment at a deeper level between what the organization is looking for and what the individual is truly committed to. A critical step I take at the start of all coaching engagements is to assesses the readiness of the leader for the kind of change the organization is looking for. I actively work with the leader to align the objectives of the organization and the objectives of the leader to ensure commitment to the coaching process.
- Set success measures upfront and ensure accountability. Success measures will vary depending upon the coaching objectives. At the start of the process we identify how success will be measured both by the leader and by the organization. This is most often seen by the organization in terms of a shift in specific leadership behaviors and results from those shifts. It also shows up in employee engagement scores. My clients often report back a greater sense of “ease” with which they exercise their leadership and a higher level of engagement they experience in their work.
- Ensure strong trust. When the coach is hired by the organization, the leader has a hard time fully revealing their vulnerabilities due to lack of trust (see point #1 above). If possible, allow the leader to choose for themselves among a roster of possible coaches to allow buy-in and trust to be established. My clients depend on me to be non-judgmental and create the space for them to show up as they are vs. as they are expected to be. From this place of empathy and trust, I am honest and direct with the leader. This is what creates breakthrough in results.
- Bring credibility. Beyond trust, I bring relevant experience, insight, expertise on the issues that the leader is facing as part of their development. Throughout my 20-year corporate career across different functions and countries, I have asked the right questions that created paradigm shifts for the people I worked with.
- Empower the Leader. My goal is always to have the leader move forward with greater levels of engagement, empowerment and energy. This is particularly true for many women leaders who are less self-confident than would be warranted by their talents. It is critically important that the coaching relationship help the leader understand and operate from their strengths vs. just fixing their weaknesses. My clients understand that they hold the key to success in our coaching work via their curiosity in expanding their self-awareness and their courage to try new behaviors.
- Ensure an Integrated approach. To engage women leaders in particular, it is important for the coach to work with the leader as a “whole person”. Women tend to draw fewer boundaries between their work and family lives and each impacts the other. The “whole person” approach better engages the leader and uncovers deeper insights on how they can achieve their leadership potential. There is also a growing body of research that demonstrates that when people are able to bring their “whole selves” to work they are more creative and productive, generating better results and well-being for themselves and their teams.
- Equip with Tools to Sustain Results. My coaching process incorporates tools from the very beginning that help the leader to sustain the results beyond the coaching period. Research has shown that simple habit changes require 21 days of practice to have impact. I have created a set of “Transformational Tools”, leadership practices that the leaders start to experiment with that over time become more ingrained in their mindsets.
We measure coaching impact in the following ways:
- Success criteria in terms of qualitative behaviors and quantitative measures (e.g. employee engagement scores)
- 360 degree feedback process to understand baseline of performance
- Mid-term assessment with leader and their manager
- End of term assessment with leader and their manager
- Final development plan to continue the process of development aligned with manager
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