We're Providing Coaching, But How Can We Measure Success?

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Krista Skidmore, Flashpoint Krista Skidmore, Flashpoint

Coaching is a hot topic. It is frequently used for leadership development these days and maybe you’ve heard about how it can transform leaders, teams, and organizations. The International Coach Federation defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”

Are you wondering if it might benefit your organization and how you could measure that impact?

Each leader and each company is unique, so coaching can't be a one-size-fits-all approach. A successful coaching engagement starts with defining what success looks like and understanding how best to measure it. Then it’s about matching the coachee with the right coach, identifying areas of focus, and clearly defining the desired outcomes.

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Now, let's dive in a little bit deeper . . .

WHAT DOES SUCCESS LOOK LIKE?

Many leadership coaching engagements focus on similar topics according to The Conference Board's Global Executive Coaching Survey (2017):

Leading teams and people development (82%)

Executive presence and influence (74%)

Strategic thinking and vision (45%)

Relationship management (42%)

Communication/presentation skills (32%)

To measure coaching, it's best to start with the focus area(s) of the engagement and determine how you would measure success in that area. For example, you will look at different measures of success if the focus of the engagement is on development (to prepare a leader for a future role) in comparison to performance (reducing gaps and building capabilities in a current leadership role). 

HOW TO MEASURE COACHING SUCCESS

You can certainly measure coaching engagements in a few different ways, but it always starts by getting agreement on what success looks like up front, both at the organizational level and the individual leader level. We ask coachees, their managers, and the coach to complete evaluations throughout the process and we show them the questions we'll be asking. Not only does it create a more transparent process, but when coachees know that the coach will be evaluating their level of engagement, they are definitely more likely to be engaged!

Other ways we commonly measure coaching success include:

Progress made between pre- and post-360-degree assessments

Completion or progress toward individual development plans/action plans

Annual goal achievement

Leader/employee retention

Leader/employee levels of engagement

Rate of promotion or promotability 

A study by Brandon Hall Group shows that coaching is highly effective-even surpassing classroom training’s effectiveness for leader development (2016-2017). If you're not using it yet (or not using it widely), it's time to start and that begins by being able to show results!

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