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How Does Your Organization Measure Coaching’s Impact?


It's easy to measure the effectiveness of a sports coach. Just look at each season's wins and losses - and how those numbers and other statistics have changed since the coach joined the team. It's not so easy to evaluate the effectiveness of coaches in the workplace. I've recently written about the Institute of Leadership and Management's coaching survey that shows an explosion in the popularity of coaching as a management technique. The survey also found that a large number of organizations are failing to measure the specific impact of their coaching initiatives. The ILM study, which was conducted by telephone in February and involved 250 UK companies, found that 93% measure coaching outcomes. But 60% do not evaluate coaching specifically. Because of that, it's often not clear what is driving the results. Seventy percent of the respondents said their organizations measure the impact of coaching via their existing appraisal system. Forty percent responded that they gather information on coaching during 360 degree evaluations. In both types of evaluations, the focus is on individuals and their overall performance. Coaching is unlikely to be the only factor. Only 40% reported that their companies undertake "specific evaluations of coaching interventions", while just 49% try to evaluate against key performance indicators and business goals. There is a lot of work to be done. Just like major training programs and other development initiatives, workplace coaching needs to be objectively and specifically measured. Goals must be identified and should be connected to business outcomes. Many of the techniques I've outlined in previous posts on measuring the effectiveness of training programs could be used to assess coaching. The ILM survey showed that the vast majority of respondents (95%) believe coaching programs have positively impacted both organizations and the coached individuals. (The survey was limited to people who are responsible for management and leadership development in their organizations.) Without hard metrics specific to coaching, however, it's impossible to quantify coaching's impact - or make informed adjustments to the program to improve its effectiveness. It's great to hear stories of how coaching improved an employee's attitude or motivation, but that in itself is not actionable. Improvement (or lack of improvement) against specific business goals is. If the aim of a coaching program is to boost the number of new orders generated by the sales team, an analysis can be done of the team's performance before and after coaching. Assuming there are no other variables, the impact of the program would be clear. Most importantly, specific measurements uncover the value of coaching. Unless clear business benefits can be demonstrated, coaching programs are likely candidates to be cut when the budget tightens. By the same token, those that can prove their worth are more likely to receive extra funding at budget time. What's your organization's experience with measuring the impact of coaching programs? What lessons did you learn along the way? Please share your stories here. Reference Creating a Coaching Culture (2011). Institute of Leadership and Management

2 Responses

  1. ROI Case Studies

    I am the project lead for the West Midlands Coaching Pool which is a partnership of 20 public organisations. Over the years we have continuously tried different mechanisms to establish the value of coaching to the organisations involved. We have collected some fantastic case studies and data about how coaching is impacting directly in the work place:

    Our most recent work has looked at demonstrating ROI for a number of our People and Leadership projects which has identified some truly outstanding outcomes that delegates have attributed directly to the leadership development and coaching they have received:

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