How should you measure the value of coaching?

I’m currently working on my final essay for my PostGrad in Personal and Executive Coaching and decided to focus on the evaluation of coaching. In the current economic climate when businesses have to justify every penny they invest in staff training and talent development it’s really important for all service providers to be clear about the benefits they bring. However, there are no real industry standards when it comes to measuring the benefits of coaching.

My initial reading for this essay has focused on the available academic research into the evaluation of coaching (which is very scarce!), and industry surveys by organisations such as the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development. I’ve also read a number of studies – including indepth case studies – by commercial coaching providers. The common theme throughout is the assumption that the key objective of executive coaching is to improve leadership effectiveness and performance by increasing self-awareness of the client and changing behaviour.

Unsurprisingly there are many studies of coaching that find a positive link between coaching and behaviour change (e.g. Saling, 2005), but there seems to be a distinct lack of hard research into the direct relationship between leadership behaviour and staff morale, employee engagement, creativity, productivity and other measures of business success.

I think most people would agree that leadership behaviour has an obvious effect on team performance. But do we need more hard evidence? I’m not sure it’s necessary, but if anyone has found any rigorous academic research into the link between leadership behaviour and staff productivity, I’d be very grateful if they could let me know…….






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