The ROI of Executive Coaching

Coaching is beneficial to the individual, and by extension, an organization.

While every executive can agree that developing leaders is essential to success, “leadership” is an intangible asset that cannot be quantified on a balance sheet. Certainly, executive coaching is beneficial to the individual, and by extension, an organization – but does it hold up to the challenge of true ROI?

While every executive can agree that developing leaders is essential to success, “leadership” is an intangible asset that cannot be quantified on a balance sheet. As government agencies face the large number of looming retirements, they are under increasing pressure to compete for talent.  When this is coupled with the organizational changes government agencies are facing, CIO’s and IT managers are being required to exhibit a whole new set of competencies.

Many might say that the expense associated with executive coaching is difficult to justify.  Certainly, executive coaching is beneficial to the individual, and by extension, an organization – but does it hold up to the challenge of true ROI? And what are the specific benefits a government agency can expect at the bottom line?

Coaching, Not Training

Executive coaching – sometimes referred to as leadership coaching – is intended to provide continuous, individualized support for professionals in an effort to develop the competencies associated with good leadership. Good leadership, in turn, motivates employees, boosts productivity, impacts service and product quality, stimulates employee morale and retention, and ultimately, helps an agency to focus on its  core mission.

Unlike internal training, which focuses on technical skills and is almost always delivered to a group of people rather than an individual, coaching relies on the relationship between an employee and the coach to achieve changes in thinking, attitude and behavior.  Some of the intangible benefits leadership coaching delivers include:

  • Helping executives understand themselves and gain insight into others, which improves their relationships and their effectiveness as managers;

  • Providing a rich learning environment where individuals can evolve
    professionally and personally;

  • Preventing serious employee issues through support from emotionally mature managers;

  • Building a committed, engaged and proactive workforce;

  • Optimizing decision-making, team performance and innovation;

  • Developing passionate employees who are satisfied with their contributions to and impact on the organization;

  • Encouraging greater mental flexibility to see things from several different perspectives, tolerate ambiguity and uncertainty, adapt to change, learn from mistakes and solve problems in new ways.

Previously, these benefits were not measurable, but several recent studies deliver a compelling argument for the investment in executive coaching and the specific returns organizations can expect as a result.

Real Numbers, Real Results

In 2001, Fortune magazine reported the results of a poll of executives and upper level managers who had six to 12 months of coaching with a Masters or Doctoral level executive coach.  The executives were asked to give a “conservative estimate of the monetary payoff from the coaching you received.”  The survey results showed that the recipients valued the executive coaching at six times the cost of the service.  In other words, a nine-month, $18,000 executive coaching program investment for a vice president produced a $108,000 return on investment.  Another study, conducted by Manchester, Inc., mostly among Fortune 1000 companies, also concluded that a company’s investment in executive coaching realized an average return on investment of almost six times the cost of the coaching.

These studies indicated specific organizational and personal benefits received from an executive coaching program:

Corporate Benefits
of Coaching
Personal Benefits to the
Coached Executive
Executive coaching delivered an average ROI of 5.7 times the initial investment (a return of over $100,000)
Executive productivity
improvements (53%)
Improved organizational
strength (48%)
Quality improvements (48%)
Customer service
improvements (39%)
Retention of coached
executives (32%)
Direct report and supervisor
relationship improvements
(over 70%)
Teamwork (67%)
Working relationships
with peers (67%)
Job satisfaction (52%)

A Competitive Edge

In recent years, many more companies have discovered the competitive edge that executive coaching delivers.  In April 2006, Fast Company magazine reported that many of America’s CEOs and senior executives had embraced the benefits of executive coaching:

  • 43% of CEOs and 71% of senior executives had worked with a coach;
  • 63% of organizations say they plan to increase their use of coaching
    over the next five years;
  • 92% of the executives coached said they plan to use a coach again. 

To find out how executive coaching can deliver clear benefits to your company’s bottom line, click here.

EDIZEN Insights #27
© 2007 by Edizen Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
For feedback or comments: feedback@edizenco.com.
Feel free to call Edizen at 413-788-0077 / Toll Free 866-334-9362.

^ Top of Page