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The ROI Of Coaching:

ROI (Return On Investment) is a way to divide the gains of your investment by investment cost. 

There are really four different ways to look at ROI across the spectrum. The input, the output, the outcomes and the value creation. The coaching engagement can be looked at from an organizational, leadership and development, or individual based goal perspective. Along with multiple ways of looking at goal achievement, there are external coaches, internal coaches, coaching supervisors and the employee or leader being coached

How do you measure ROI and what is the starting point? 

  • Make it accessible and easy for people to get started.
  • ROI does not always have to be financial. There are nonfinancial measures of ROI such as shifts in feelings, happiness or confidence
  • Understanding that ROI doesn’t have to be measured in every single coaching engagement

Bear in mind the following perspectives for ROI:

  • You should always be looking to measure ROI, as it helps you see the Employee life cycle.
  • ROI is different in the first 90 days on the job when onboarding. 
  • High Potentials (HiPo’s) have their own needs as well. The need could be individual, situational, such as remedial coaching or coaching towards a culture fit.  

Take a coaching culture approach to ROI and the importance of coaching individuals:  

  • Successfully transformed organizations look at the following cultures: coaching, learning, and growth.
  • It’s more about the resulting mindset and behaviors than the programs themselves.
  • In the end it is how do you coach each other? How do peers coach peers? How do you coach people to grow and develop new skills?

How do you think about coaching at scale and complimentary one-on-one coaching and how does that equate to a difference in ROI such as an increase in revenue, a decrease in cost, an increase in internal movement of people.

How can ROI be quantifiably measured? 

  • Financial metrics are identified through “Money Talk”, a conversation framework developed that can be accessed at   
  • With Money Talk, coaches can see how their client has changed or grown over the time they’ve worked with you as a coach. Are they a better influencer or communicator? Are they better able to engage their team? 
  • Listen for examples that can be monetized. The coach is then asked to get validation from someone else in their organization such as someone in Human Resources, the CFO, or their direct manager.

Increased competencies can be quantifiably measured. The top 10 Executive Leadership Competencies that have the most value as outlined by Korn Ferry:

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Interpersonal relationships
  3. Listening skills
  4. Empathy
  5. Influence
  6. Leading during times of change
  7. Communication
  8. Strategic thinking
  9. Building executive teams
  10. Working with ambiguity

Aside from the 10 competencies, here is some additional input on how ROI is important:

  • It has been calculated that the cost of not hiring a coach for organizations is €300,000 and that cost includes the executive search costs, the internal recruiting teams, scheduling interviewees, the evaluations, the reference checks. 
  • If someone needs coaching and a coach is not hired, it is a huge cost to the organization and a massive culture drag.

ROI is really important to getting the buy-in and being able to show what matters. 

  • ROI is the “so what” behind whatever work you are doing.
  • Who and What are important for what is being measured. 
  • The conversation with the CHRO is different from the conversation with the business executive who may want something more financial.
  • The skills that are important in your business and the market must be transparent and built into a system that ties to performance management, career compensation, learning programs, and coaching. 
  • Try using a Digital Badge system. Badges can be earned for activities ranging from learning to gaining expertise. Employees who gain these skills from participating in the program show increased revenue and decreased turnover.   

Inspired by:

Paul Tripp

Lisa Edwards

Nadine Greiner

Tanya Moore