Most executive coaching programs fail because the program’s progress has not been properly measured. This article explores three steps to developing an evaluation framework.
Moving forward with a leadership development program is the first step toward helping your organization meet your goals. Yet all too often I see companies spend time and money on executive coaching programs, only to abandon them at the most critical point. Oh, they are not aware they are abandoning them. They complete the sessions. They even follow through with the strategies developed. There may even be some efforts to ask those who have been coached what they got out of the program. But where they fail is by not properly measuring the program’s progress. The kind of measurement that shows, unequivocally, whether the program is working in a specific situation, as well as what aspects are working well, and what could use improvement. As matter of fact, according to the AMA/Institute for Corporate Productivity Coaching Survey, while a sizeable number of organizations use some methods to measure coaching success, measuring the true impact of coaching remains a somewhat infrequent exercise. In another study, McCormick polled 500 readers of Personnel Today. Of the respondents, 67% said their organizations did not measure coaching initiatives, and another 20% said they didn’t know if coaching measurements were in place.
There are a number of statistics out there that indicate leadership coaching yields a high return on investment. A study done by the Manchester Consulting Group, for example, showed that executive coaching was beneficial for all participants, and resulted in ROI averaging 5.7 times the initial investment. So there’s no doubt that coaching provides value. Your question should be, How do I prove the value of coaching to my particular organization?
The only way to truly measure the ROI of your leadership development program—and therefore the only way to get the most out of it—is to develop a structured measurement method.
How do you develop an evaluation framework? There are three basic steps:
- Determine ahead of time, before you begin the coaching process, what you want to evaluate. Ask yourself, “What are the main goals of the coaching program?” While some things are easier to measure than others—for example, financial gains—you can measure just about anything, including “feel good” things like the well-being of your employees, their perceptions of one another, and teamwork.
- Assess your identified areas before you begin coaching. Once you’ve determined the specific areas you would like to work on, evaluate them to get a baseline.
- Assess again. Once the coaching program is complete, redo the assessments to determine how the area compares to prior to coaching. The actual type of assessment you run will depend on the area measured. For example, an assessment on financial benefits may require spreadsheets and number crunching, while less easily measured areas—say, employee happiness—may require assessments such as employee questionnaires and 360-degree feedback.
How important is measuring the success of your leadership development program, really? After reading the AMA study, the point that really stayed with me was this: those who felt their coaching programs were successful overwhelmingly had formal, structured coaching measurements in place.
No matter what your goals, anything can be measured. Let us prove it to you! Contact TurnKey Coaching Solutions today at 281-469-4244, and let us show you how an executive coaching program can improve your bottom line.