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What is the profitability of leader’s coaching?



If leaders coaching is often considered very expensive, it is because a vagueness still exists on the benefits of the process. We therefore have an expenditure whose amount is known, but advantages that we believe not be able to or know how to measure. This doubt about the profitability of coaching can certainly help explain the gap between French and Anglo-Saxon SMEs in terms of managing managers and use of tools for measuring coaching.

And 99 % of the literature concerning the profitability of coaching is in English. Many factors can explain the difficulty in establishing a link between the learnings carried out during the coach-directing relationship and the company's accounting data. Many studies that are not specific to coaching clearly show the gains of creativity, productivity and profitability of HR interventions aimed at improving the communication, motivation, and commitment of employees. Yes, but here, these programs do not concern the manager but his employees. As we will see the question of the profitability of coaching confronts the manager on his beliefs, on the one hand on his real level of influence in the company, and on the other hand on the definition of the goals sought in terms of vision and mission, and finally on his commitment and his responsibility to want to achieve them. The profitability of coaching is certainly linked to the amplitude of the goals pursued by the manager, and the capacities of the coach to support the ambitious goals of his client. The measurement of coaching efficiency is a key element in the professionalization of coaching.


Back on investment or Return on the value (ROV)

Productivity gains if sought after by companies are certainly not resulting from redoubled attention to financial dashboards, but rather on strengthening the human skills of team members to better satisfy the company's customers. Because in organizations, work is carried out through personal relationships. The key to a return to performance lies in the development and maintenance of the effectiveness of interactions between individuals, the effectiveness of the collaboration of the teams, and the alignment of people with a common vision. Many studies show that the difference that makes the difference in the performance of teams and businesses does not focus on individuals, but on the quality of relationships between individuals. The key factor in individual and organizational performance is in the relationships that connect individuals to themselves, to others, and to a common direction, to the most invisible aspects of the functioning of a team. So why invest in the invisible? In times of financial difficulties, training and coaching expenses will naturally be reduced or even deleted to favor accounting and technical measures. These solutions, which reflect the presence of limiting fears and beliefs, will only worsen the problem. Investing in relationships with oneself and others is only possible if one is convinced of the profitability of the operation. This is the reason why it seems important to show that the tools for measuring the effectiveness of coaching actions and that the latter can be a highly profitable investment for the company.

As soon as the coaching appears in the 90s, the question of the profitability of coaching is a largely ignored subject. Almost 30 years later, little has changed, at least in France, concerning the evaluation of individual and collective support actions. France does not have the same culture of evaluation as in Anglo-Saxon countries. At the end of a coaching, the evaluation consists of a meeting between the coach, the coached and the prescriber, a meeting during which will give his point of view on the improvements obtained, from much more qualitative than quantitative information, and remaining in its confidentiality. It is very rarely called upon the tools for measuring the efficiency of coaching, both for its beneficiary and for the organization which employment, measures that exist and which are key elements of the professionalization of the coach profession.

The results of the coaching are however directly measurable. Nothing could be simpler than measuring improving the motivation of teams at work, customer satisfaction rate or economic performance gains. The tools for measuring the efficiency of coaching seem little used due to a poor understanding of its definition and its mode of use. But also due to some limiting beliefs on the link between individual coaching and organizational performance. The lack of use of these efficiency measures is a brake on the purchase of individual or collective support practices, and for the organization a lost opportunity.


As we will see, two tools are most often used to measure the effects of coaching:

1- The Return on Investment focused on the achievement of a monetary result.

2- The Return on Value (ROV) focused on the contribution of values ​​to the company's customers and prospects. These two measures have advantages and disadvantages.


The Return on Investment of Coaching

The Return on Investment is often mentioned as a key measure of the impact or efficiency of coaching, for target groups (customers, employees) and for the organization (stakeholders, productivity, and other factors). The ROI measures profits that concern the system much more than people. The link between gains for the beneficiary of coaching (motivation, confidence, esteem ... etc.) and financial gains for the system, is far from obvious. This is often a blind area in which there are a lot of reluctance to use the measurement tools.


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