Research has demonstrated time and time again the tremendous benefits of coaching. According to the International Personal Management Association, training accompanied by coaching can improve performance by 88%, rather than just training alone, which improves performance by only 22%. The Metrix Global Survey proved that coaching produced a 529% return on investment and significant intangible benefits to the business. Moreover, the Geoff Hinsley Study showed that an investment in coaching was way below training expenses, and coaching exhibited an enormous payback of 2,000 to 3,000%. In 2002, the Chartered Management Institute conducted a coaching at work survey and found that 93% of managers believe that coaching should be available to all employees, regardless of seniority.
This rich research data supports the business case for coaching and may help us in encouraging senior leaders to implement a coaching culture initiative at their organizations. However, once we get the green light to assist in a coaching culture change effort, how do we, as change agents, demonstrate our own return on investment and bottom line results in coaching? Crane Consulting has created some helpful guidelines in developing a business case for creating a high performance coaching culture.
Phase I: Discovery
One of the first steps in creating a business case for a coaching culture is to benchmark the current culture. In addition to interviews, Crane Consulting's Coaching Culture Assessment is useful in getting a snapshot of the current coaching culture. The results from this assessment and interviews not only provide benchmark quantitative and qualitative data but also are a way to make your case for the need of coaching throughout the organization and acquire the initial leadership understanding, support and ownership for the change process.
Phase II: Alignment
The purpose of this phase is to ensure that the Leadership Team that leads the enterprise is fully onboard with not just language cues (talking the talk), but is fully skilled in leading the way (walking the walk.) Leaders attend a workshop custom-designed for them that focuses on the specific coaching challenges faced by senior leaders, and fully equips them to model the way of a coach. Additionally, this team determines what strategic challenges will serve as the most-critical-to-improve initiatives and projects that will comprise the basis of analysis of the relative success of the culture change process.
In this early phase, it is also important to invest in internal facilitation resources that will deliver the workshops in partnership with business leaders during the next phase. We look for people who are already passionate about coaching.
Phase III: Rollout
Phase Three is characterized by the conscious application/extension of the coaching development process to the organization at large. We champion the idea of internal change agents partnering with Business Line leadership and introducing the coaching workshop in the ways it makes the most sense. These can be characterized as "leader led" sessions in which the leader is there to interact with his/her team and sharing their personal experience of coaching and passion for making it a way of life in the business. These personal messages make the case much more powerfully that a lone facilitator.
Importantly, the HR practices and systems (hiring, orientation, training, promotion, and communications) that affect people need to be assessed and updated to include coaching becoming a central competency for all.
The Internal Facilitators deserve time and attention during this phase as the workshops roll forward, including making sure they continue to sustain themselves emotionally, learning from one another, and leveraging their collective wisdom as it expands during the change process.
Phase IV: Implementation
Implementation starts for any group, class, or team when their formal workshop process ends. We have developed a series of many focused implementation activities that support the immediate application of coaching to day-to-day activities. For instance, each participant that supervises others is expected to adopt a "coaching for success" protocol that ensures they meet face-to-face with each direct report and conduct a prepared to coaching conversation. The agenda is fixed, yet rotates around these specific topics: performance, development, relationships, their coaching experiences as they coach their team, and the coaching relationship between the Direct Manager and Direct Report.
Regular and systematic collection of data from these various structures fully informs the leaders, teams, and the organization the ROI (result, outcome or impact) of the coaching interventions that have been occurring. We assess both quantitative and qualitative data, and compile information collected in various ways into a deeply meaningful feedback report for the Leadership Team who sponsored the Coaching Culture initiative.
And, obviously, we support the organization finding new and important ways to publicize the ongoing successes of individuals and teams as they continue this journey.