Should Executive Coaching start paying its way?
Executive Coaching doesn’t come cheap but ROI is rarely measured in hard data. So, do you scrap it – or keep spending and hope for the best?
The answer is neither. You find a way to measure the results so the numbers add up for your business.
In Australia, you could be looking at anything from $100 to $700 for just one Executive Coaching session. But when you look closely at the paybacks, it often comes down to words like: development, empowerment, better relationships, and behavioural change. Or perhaps it’s simply about having a trusted sounding board in a high-pressure, competitive environment.
All of these are absolutely crucial – but what’s missing? Real commercial returns.
The use of coaching in business has been around since the 1980s and often focused on fixing toxic behaviour in management ranks. Since then, its purpose has broadened to maximise the performance of high-potential leaders.
While coaching has become an expected “staple” for businesses of all sizes, this far-reaching mission often leads to fuzzy outcomes, surprisingly little scrutiny, and imprecise methodologies to prove effectiveness.
At Effectus, we’re passionate about a forging a new frontier in Executive Coaching – and we believe three things are essential to ensure coaching investment more than pays its way.
1. Start and end with targeted ROI objectives tailored to the individual and business.
It might be around performance, retention, or profitability – but make specific, data-based goals. A scorecard should clearly translate those goals into actions, showing how and when they’ll be measured. Coaches need to provide quantitative data on behaviours and specific business results that can be attributed to the coaching relationship. Examples may include:
- 12.5% improvement in leadership capability within 3 months
- 10% improvement in leadership self-awareness within 3 months
- Initiatives identified as a result of coaching delivering $150,000 cost saving within 3 months.
2. Work with purpose in every interaction.
It has to be more than a coffee and chat. Yes, there needs to be personal connection, trust, flexibility and genuinely insightful advice. But this is non-negotiable: every interaction needs to have a clear agenda, focused by a customised scorecard, with SMART goals set for the next session.
3. Value, value, value
From starting with a realistic price structure to providing access to a range of industry experts for specific challenges, coaches should provide added value at every step. It’s not good enough for it to be an expensive yet unquestioned HR investment: it needs to bring more to the table.
Of course, there’s a lot more to taking Executive Coaching into a new era. But it has incredible potential to change how people operate, seriously improve leadership skills, and deliver measured and reportable business improvements. It’s just time to get accountable.