How to Build a Coaching Strategy that can Positively Transform your Organisation. Part 5: Adapting & Evaluating your Coaching Strategy

How to Build a Coaching Strategy that can Positively Transform your Organisation. Part 5: Adapting & Evaluating your Coaching Strategy

Some say that coaching is just a trend, and we need to validate coaching’s contribution to the bottom line if it’s going to have a strong future.

I agree. Well, at least partly.

Coaching certainly appears to be around to stay, but if we want it to remain at your organization, strategy evaluation and improvement is absolutely critical…

Unfortunately, many organizations completely skip over this important step. Not great news!

So how can you best evaluate the effectiveness of your coaching strategy and make sure that it’s going from strength to strength?

Step 1: Decide what you’d like to measure for a Successful Coaching Strategy

Coaching success looks different for every organization.

What would signify total coaching success at yours? Some examples taken from The Institute for Employment Studies’ “Practical Methods For Evaluating Coaching” report include:

  • Positive changes in sales/turnover
  • ROI
  • Productivity
  • Product/service quality
  • Cost-effectiveness/cost-benefit
  • Task time/product development time/ production time

People-based indicators, like:

  • Staff absence/sick leave
  • Customer satisfaction or complaints
  • Employee attitudes/corporate climate
  • Retention and motivation levels

Retention and motivation levels Individual-level indicators, including:

  • 360-degree feedback ratings
  • Manager or self-assessment
  • The achievement of coaching objectives

Step 2: Outline the evaluation methods

Once you have a list of the indicators you’d like to measure, tie-down what kinds of methods you’ll use to measure them. This will depend on the resources available.

Alison Carter from the Institute for Employment Studies has some great advice: If you want to measure behavioural change, try using face-to-face interviews or telephone interviews and impact questionnaires.

Make sure to get the perspective of your client and others.

And when looking at business results, which can be measured simply by looking at the figures (but gets a little more complicated when you try to calculate ROI), remember to take baseline figures before you start your coaching programme.

Carter also recommends attitude surveys as a simple and non-resource-intensive method of gathering people’s reactions to coaching. They’re particularly useful when implementing coaching as a style of management, she says.

Who’s using these types of strategies?

Well, T-mobile used surveys to evaluate their “Coaching to Inspire” programme in 2001.

The Dutch-UK steel maker Corus decided to use standardized documentation to collect data about outcomes that would be useful to the company in 2003.

And the NHS in Wales used a variety of evaluation methods for their coaching programme a few years ago, including questionnaires, collecting data on the perceptions of the coaches involved, and asking coach/coachee pairs to write “learning vignettes” about what they were working on, and how successful the coaching relationship had proved to be.

Step 3: Measure the impact of the organisation's coaching strategy

Once you’ve chosen the most convenient and effective methods to evaluate your coaching strategy at your workplace, all you have to do is start collecting data!

However, it can be helpful to talk about how you’ll be evaluating your coaching programme with everyone involved beforehand, to ensure compliance with data collection, as well as draw everyone’s attention to the results the organization is hoping to achieve during the coaching programme.

Step 4: Report on coaching activity and outcomes

When you do get those positive results from coaching, be sure to report them! And, of course, enjoy them.

That’s all for this series. I hope you it’s been useful to you.

We cover all of these steps in more detail during our ILM Level 7 programme.