The biggest frustration I hear from my HR business partners is around selling talent development to management and having a seat at the corporate strategy table. Selling talent development and coaching is no easy task. We know it works. Yet the benefits are difficult to measure, and reports that do exist tend to come from within the industry, making some question their validity. With my sales and marketing hat on, I offer you a combination of a few hard numbers, the qualitative impact we can point to, and a rationale that resonates with many of my clients.
Coaching Fills a Void
Today’s organizations are leaner. Technology and globalization have shifted spending away from headcount and we are left with what I call the Snack-well’s effect. By removing the fat, we’ve also lost critical taste and nutrition in the form of organic boss-subordinate talent development. High potential middle managers need skills they are not getting from busy senior leaders. The same senior leaders are needed to focus on complex decision making and communication. They are stretched and are often not at their best, while middle managers are not prepared for succession. Coaching fills a development void. It is a sophisticated form of mentoring that is adapted to today’s complex business environment.
Results Can be Measured
Measuring coaching’s impact points to three leading indicators:
- Leaders get further, faster: Individual and group coaching improve trust, conflict management and collaboration, which have a profound impact on innovation. In today’s world, staying one step ahead is non-negotiable.
- Employees are more engaged: The Gallup organization leads the research on engagement. According to Gallup, workgroups that focus on strengths and employee engagement enjoy up to 29% increased profits.
- Companies retain more talent: The cost of employee turnover depends on level, and is estimated at 40%-150% of annual salary. Delaying an employee’s departure by even two months pays for a coaching engagement. In my experience, employees who are coached stay at organizations several years beyond where they would have without intervention.
Coaching today is a $1B industry in the US, $2.4B worldwide, and grew 20% from 2011-2015. It’s easy to see why. Companies with robust talent development strategies have C-suite employees who are able to focus on top priority tasks and middle managers who get the skills they need to be more effective and properly train towards c-suite positions. Those same companies enjoy improved productivity and profitability.
I hope this post is useful to you. Please feel free to write back with requests for more or other information!
All my best,