I recently attended a masterclass run by the ILM on how to demonstrate the value of coaching, and by inference, mentoring.
An interesting presentation showing that measuring coaching is like visiting a sweet shop – too much choice! The debate is gaining ground to find the ‘holy grail’ for measuring the return on investment, and yet no-one seems near to finding a solution. I am not sure there is a definitive answer to this complex and perplexing problem, if indeed it is a problem.
First of all, what is the measurement for: investment, improvement, sustainability, development? And who wants it measured - the coachee, the sponsor, the stakeholders, the coach? It was clear from the presentation and elsewhere, that the relational nature of coaching is a critical success factor, but how do we measure this?
Given that coaching is the 4th most popular development method after in-house training and on-job activity (CIPD 2014), wouldn’t it add value if you could demonstrate its value?
I sat in the masterclass making copious notes about the different ways of measuring. Would it be a hard or soft measure and how would you position that with a client (coachee). Would it include quantitative or qualitative results and how would you collect the data for that? How would you present it back to show value?
What factors influence measurement seems to be something we need to be very mindful of in order to provide a method that suits those involved and yet potentially be different for each one. As the debate rumbles on, I wonder if we have a professional duty to show the value we provide by setting our stall out at the outset. Discussing ways of measuring success at the beginning gives those buying and engaging in coaching activity an outcome based approach. The trick for us it to find the right measurement(s) that satisfies everyone.
How do you measure your success? Do you report that back to your clients and if so how? Considering there is no definitive way of measuring, perhaps we as a community can share what we do for the greater good of us all?
Trish Stretton MA, FAPC
Director People face2face Ltd