By Carole Gaskell

Coaching can have a dramatic impact on your culture, your people and your organisation’s bottom line. When successfully woven with the fabric of an organisation, coaching can accelerate talent and leadership development and improve retention, drive innovation and help companies achieve competitive advantage.

All too often, coaching takes place in a vacuum of one-to-one coaching for senior executives and/or ad hoc skills workshops for managers. As a result, organisations miss out on the true benefits of an all-embracing coaching culture where people throughout the business are empowered to learn and develop, to think for themselves and to achieve their full potential.

Experience has shown that for an organisation to reap the genuine bottom line benefits of coaching, skilling alone is not enough. Coaching must become engrained into the organisation’s own DNA — embedded into the living culture of a business.

We have partnered with a variety of organisations to develop, deliver and maximise the strategic (monetary and intangible) value of coaching - from Executive One-to-One Coaching initiatives to wider applications of Coaching as a Managerial Style and Embedding Sustainable Coaching Cultures. With them we have worked together to demonstrate the ROI, and have gained several fundamental insights into measuring the effectiveness of coaching:

1. Begin by defining the business strategy and identifying the “critical issues” facing your organisation — be courageous — put a cost on them
2. Align the coaching to address the business goals that leaders value the most, only then agree desired results, objectives and specific measures of success
3. Build evaluation methodology into the coaching process at the outset and integrate this with existing business and HR processes to keep things clear and simple
4. Create shared ownership of the evaluation by engaging evaluators from many levels and functions within your organisation
5. Manage perceptions and expectations, provide best practice examples and communicate quick business wins
6. Remember you need to hold the strategic value and intent throughout. When you believe in the monetary and intangible value coaching adds to your organisation and expect to achieve transformational change, it WILL happen — what you measure is what you get.

Carole Gaskell is founder and CEO of Full Potential Group