How Do We Prove the Return on Investment of Coaching Certificates?

Dear No Playbook:

To begin to make your case you should ask: What exactly do I hope to accomplish through certification? Will it affect the effectiveness of my current coaches? Will they gain enough in proficiency of skill through certification to justify the cost?

Certification courses can vary significantly based on the objectives. The education goal of an internal coach is likely to differ from that of a “manager as coach.” A standard certification course reinforces the common model and helps establish a community of practice. It can help coaches understand the process of coaching. However, a lot of coaches who have been through certification find that the basics they learned are not pragmatic enough for the actual job. Thus your organization may need an additional process to ensure that its business objectives are achieved.

Using coaching to conduct 360 interviews is powerful when they are administered by a skillful coach—as well as onboarding coaching and shorter-term (six months or less) coaching that targets skills development. The amount and level of training is determined by the particular circumstances.

Options include workshops (conducted by facilitators) and group learning methods could meet your organization’s specific needs. Also, an essential practicum could help newly trained coaches to develop confidence and fully experience a “real” coaching engagement.

Choose wisely. Decide on the type of support you want your coaches to provide. Then consider the options and associated costs for acquiring that training. Take a strategic approach: Be sure the objectives you want to achieve match your organization’s goals, strategies, corporate culture and other talent-development initiatives.

Consider options. Get help from the experts. External consultants offer help in developing internal coaching practices. Look for a provider that offers a solid learning framework, synergistic processes and accelerated development for coaches. It’s also important that your program be efficient and promotes a “community of practice” culture.

Build to last. To sustain and improve an internal coaching practice, you first have to create a culture of coaching. Identify your internal coaching talent and build a team of coaching mentors. Make sure the solutions you choose are scalable and flexible enough to accommodate your organization’s needs and priorities. Consider how you will manage increased coaching activity and establish metrics and measurement, such as evaluation of coaching effectiveness and business impact.

Following these steps will give you the playbook you need and help you carry out the needed cost-benefit analysis. One way to do this is to compare the total costs of training your coaches to the costs of using external coaches. Leverage current research around the return on investment of coaching to enrich your analysis. These steps help persuade senior management and other key stakeholder to embrace the program and enable your organization to develop and sustain a culture of coaching.

SOURCE: Ellen Kumata and Colleen Gentry, Cambria Consulting, Boston

LEARN MORE: Organizations whose senior leaders frequently coach post above-average business results. Yet managers charged with coaching often need lots of coaching help themselves.

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.