A four month long survey conducted amongst fifty sample companies designed to ascertain the main business benefits of coaching found that the process yields significant and tangible rewards that were easy to identify. Respondents were asked to specify the main benefits for their organisation which included:
• increasing awareness of problems and opportunities around them (63%)
• improved skills: acquiring a new skill or improving on an existing one (50%)
• improving working relationships within their team (50%)
• being able to see other people’s perspectives (47%)
• gaining increased clarity of work / life balance (43%)
• increased overall motivation (43%)
• improved overall performance (43%)
• the coached member staff seemed happier (40%)
• able to perform more effectively in a new role (40%). This is a specialist area of ours – see our 101 day programme for more details
• altered approach to work situations: able to change tack according to specifics (37%)
• agreed goals were obtained; even the stretch goals that were under control of the coached member of staff were more likely to be achieved (45%).
Interestingly, 23% of companies also noticed an overall increase in sales and revenue, even when this wasn’t the specific aim of the coaching process.
However, when comparing organisations using coaching and those not using it, only 3% of companies understood the significant financial impact that coaching could have on their business. Therefore, companies need to investigate ways of measuring any financial upturn following coaching as they are currently unable to accurately measure its positive effects.
Coaching can have a negative impact as well as positive ones. For example,15% of companies reported that some of their members of staff had become ‘too reliant’ on the support of a coach, ‘not wanting it to end’; whilst the cost of coaching was reported as a problem by another company. Companies therefore need to be aware of achieving the right balance.
Only 3% of companies reported that the member of staff decided to leave and find another career as a result of coaching. Furthermore, 93% of companies found that employees rewarded the value placed in them through coaching by performing better at work, and by staying put.
Interestingly, only 10% of companies offer coaching as part of their standard employment package for senior members of staff. However, many companies can offer coaching as a sweetener to attract new high performing employees.
Coaches are often left in the dark about the reasons they are hired. Currently less than 18% of companies give coaches clear cut reasons why they are required and the results expected of them. Companies could greatly enhance the relationship between the coach and member of staff being coached by giving more contextual information and setting clearer objectives.
93% of companies said that they would hire a coach again and were on the whole ‘delighted’ with the experience which exceeded their expectations. The 7% of companies who saw no positive effects of coaching usually had no management involvement during, or after the process. These companies would do well to review their reporting systems to monitor what their staff and organisation actually got out of coaching.
Currently, only 20% of companies set out clear, specific goals at the outset of the coaching relationship. Companies would get more out of coaching and be able to measure those benefits more meaningfully if they were more specific about what they want at the start of the coaching relationship.
Currently, less than 10% of companies let the coach and member of staff meet before the sessions. It is highly recommended that this should be done before an individual commits to the relationship because it is one of the keys to getting results.
It was also noted that by just coaching a handful of employees, morale was raised across the organisation because the company is seen as investing in the team.