The executive coaching market has exploded in the past few decades as organizations continue to see the value of providing coaching opportunities to their employees.
In 2016, IBIS World showed that business coaching was an $11 billion dollar industry in the United States alone. However, this same report showed that much of the industry was made up of small or independent operators who work with clients individually. While this can be great for leaders seeking their own coaching services, these independent operators may not have the scale, processes, or methodologies required for enterprise-wide leadership development program engagements.
On the other hand, a comprehensive coaching company – a firm dedicated to the business of coaching – can bring together structure and resources, and can manage the coaching relationship across the wider organization. By hiring a coaching company, you not only gain a single point of contact for all your coaching engagements with a cadre of select coaches, but you also gain a partner who can help your company work toward common business objectives and goals. Here are three reasons why a coaching company may be a better fit for your next coaching engagement.
#1. Scale and Resources to Work Across the Organization
Imagine you’ve identified 40 leaders for coaching opportunities within your company. What alternative makes the most sense – bringing in a number of independent coaches, each with their own styles, approaches, contracts and fees, or hiring a single coaching company who can provide a consistent approach with all of your leaders?
A coaching company gets visibility across the entire organization, and can work with company sponsors to identify goals and desired outcomes that align with overall business objectives. The coaching company can also serve as a buffer between the organization and the leaders, getting input from all stakeholders while maintaining the confidentiality and privacy required for a successful engagement.
#2 Consistent Approach, Tools and Methodologies
On the surface, bringing in a coaching company may require a larger investment than an independent coach, at least upfront. But organizations that work with a coaching company gain access to all the processes, tools, methodologies, and expertise that the company has built over time.
In these companies, coaches regularly receive training on proven techniques and are instilled with similar values, approaches, and methodologies. They have the resources at their disposal to help achieve a wide variety of objectives, and coaches with specific areas of expertise can be assigned to leaders with those unique challenges. Imagine trying to get this level of consistency with individual coaches from different backgrounds – it would be a nearly impossible task.
#3. Clear and Measureable Results
Measuring the results of coaching can be difficult. Often, coaches will provide qualitative results with no data to back it up. But by taking a consistent approach with a single company, it becomes much easier to provide real, quantitative data as well.
Instead of hearing “We have really seen an impact in your leader’s ability to communicate with their team,” you could instead get clear, data driven metrics based on results before and after the coaching engagement. And with visibility across the organization, the coaching company can also demonstrate how these individual improvements have contributed to the overall business results.
According to Harvard Business Review, 70 percent of coaches say they provide a qualitative assessment, but less than a third give any quantitative data on behaviours. Even more concerning, less than a quarter provide quantitative data on overall business outcomes. Make sure you’re demanding these quantitative results from any coaching company you’re considering for your organization.
My Challenge to You – Take a Comprehensive Approach to Coaching
Leaders may seek coaching on their own in order to improve their skills. In these cases, independent coaches can be incredibly valuable. But from an organizational perspective, hiring a coaching company that has the scale, resources, consistent approaches, and data driven metrics required to help you achieve your objectives can be a better option. To get started:
- Identify employees for coaching opportunities
- Determine your desired business outcomes, and
- Align employees’ objectives with these larger goals.
Jennifer Collins is CEO and Managing Director of Hazell and Collins Associates (HCA). Learn more about HCA’s Leadership Strategy and Coaching Services.