Is Executive Coaching Worth The Money For COOs?

Sep 18, 2023 | COO Best Practices, COO Insights, HR/Talent, Leadership

Are you thinking about spending money on executive coaching? A recent study stated that executive coaching increases productivity and employee retention, but everyone is different. Below you will learn if executive coaching is really worth the money.

As reported by Forbes on July 27th, 2023, by Roberta Matuson.

Is Executive Coaching Really Worth The Money?

Thinking about how to best develop your leaders? Is doing so an investment worth making?

A Metrix Global study found that executive coaching has a 788% return on investment (ROI) based on factors including increases in productivity and employee retention.

Where else can you possibly get this kind of return?

What kind of results can you expect through providing coaching at work? Here’s some interesting data.

The International Coaching Federation (ICF) reports the following statistics on the benefits of executive coaching:

  • 70% increase in individual performance
  • 50% increase in team performance
  • 48% increase in organizational performance

Organizations that offer training alone experience a 22% increase in productivity, but when combined with coaching, that figure rises to 88% (Gerald Olivero, Denise Bane & Richard Kopelman, Public Personnel Management).

Why Your Results May Vary

Of course, it would be great if coaches could guarantee you these kinds of returns. Here’s why your mileage may vary.

1. You can’t successfully coach people who don’t want to be coached

Quite often, the people who are assigned coaches are the very people who have little interest in self-improvement, which may help explain they need a coach in the first place. However, here’s the thing. You can’t want more for someone than they want for themselves. No matter what you do, if they’re not interested in self-improvement, it won’t matter.

What you should be doing is investing in your leaders who have expressed a desire to keep on learning and growing.

2. The coachee lacks self-awareness and openness to change

No matter what anyone says or does, the coachee doesn’t see it that way. Self-awareness is not something a coach can teach someone, nor can they teach someone to be receptive to feedback. No matter how much effort (or money) is put into trying to help the client be more self-aware, there is little that a coach can do to get through. In cases like this, a psychologist may best serve the client.

3. The coach isn’t qualified

There are no barriers to entry in the field of coaching, which means anyone can hang out their shingle and call themselves a coach. During unsettling economic times, like we’re currently experiencing, many people in transition decide to call themselves a coach. Some may have taken an online course or two. When you combine the completion of a well-known course with their experience, they appear to be more skilled than they are.

When selecting a coach, be sure this person has the depth and experience to provide you with the results you seek and the ROI you deserve.

4. The person you want to be coached doesn’t need a coach

What they need is complete honesty from you. If you’ve made a hiring mistake or this person is no longer the right person for the job, do the right thing—release them. Don’t waste your money or their time going through the motions when you already know the end result.

5. The boss isn’t engaged

The executive’s leader plays a central role in the coaching process. We have seen repeatedly that when the boss is engaged in the coaching, the odds of success increase dramatically. We’ve also noticed that when the boss isn’t involved, the person being coached often flounders. Before investing a dime, be sure the boss of the person who will be coached is fully onboard.

On a more positive note, when someone asks for a coach, they are well on their way toward a highly successful coaching engagement that will pay dividends for years.

Additional Leadership Resources

How Does Executive Decisions Benefit Employees?

COO’s Guide to Leadership Styles

Chief Operating Officer Best Practices


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