During the COVID-19 pandemic, you have had to do more with less. Your budget may have been cut and you need to figure out how to get a big bang for your buck on your Training & Development (T&D) efforts.
PowerPoint presentations delivered via Zoom are wearing you out and might be putting your team to sleep.
But your team’s need for support has only grown as they have adjusted to working from home, shifted to meet new and evolving business goals, and are doing it all while doing more to support their families.
Along with these challenges, however, this crisis has also revealed opportunities. One you might not have considered before is training and development and, specifically, internet-based leadership coaching.
Digital leadership coaching is not just for the C-Suite anymore.
It can benefit your team at all levels of the organization, helping you to:
- Attract top talent and speed up the onboarding process
- Retain talent and build them into better managers and leaders
- Foster mentoring, inclusivity and effective change-management within your teams
While online coaching is a one-on-one process, the impact to your organization and culture goes much deeper.
Nearly half of the coaching participants on Pluma interact with over 26 colleagues during their workweek, and over a third directly manage more than six team members. An investment in these culture carriers reverberates throughout your entire business.
Cosmetic store giant Sephora turned to online coaching for around 150 participants. As the Senior Vice President of Stores Gregg Ardizone put it, “We recognized quickly the need to adapt to the changes brought on by COVID-19 and provide support opportunities, like digital coaching, to our retail leadership teams. We viewed the pandemic as an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to Sephora employees and ensure they had the tools they need to succeed.”
That “force multiplication” makes online digital coaching an affordable, scalable, impact-driven solution for your training and development dollars.
However, to make the case for this investment to management, requires demonstrating quantifiable impact. The key ingredient to making that case is measurement.
Begin with measurement and reporting in mind
The ability to show measurable impact is invaluable. Before you begin a coaching engagement, develop and implement a plan for measuring and assessing participants’ experience in the coaching program.
Ask your coaching platform provider to explain what results you can expect to see, including specific behavior changes, measurable employee engagement and satisfaction, and what concrete goals you can expect participants to achieve.
Define and track metrics including improvement in participants’ abilities to manage change, think strategically, develop and coach others, foster innovation, and delegate.
Measure the effect of the coaching experience on how participants feel as employees and leaders within the organization.
Customize development metrics
To achieve real ROI on an investment in leadership coaching, your organization’s unique culture and values must be at the forefront from the beginning.
Work with your coaching provider to customize the onboarding assessment and 360° evaluation, incorporating the behaviors most important for successful leadership and management within your organization.
Once you create a values-based framework, work with participants to choose a subset of core development areas to be the focal points of their coaching engagement.
At Pluma, we evaluate across three main categories within the framework of each organization’s unique culture and values:
- Behavioral change
- Sentiment/Engagement change, and
- Goal achievement, which includes the subcategories of personal development, team development, and business development.
Measuring and reporting results
Measurement begins with an onboarding process that includes administering a self-assessment and 360° assessment.
Establishing the baseline before beginning, allows you to demonstrate that changes in participants’ behavior, perspective and approach to problem solving and decision making are a direct result of the coaching program.
Ideally, a coaching platform will include a dashboard that gives you direct access to insights and analytics about your coaching programs in real time. This component is helpful for a small program and is essential if you plan to implement a broad-based coaching program.
As you scale the number of employees involved in a coaching initiative, it becomes challenging to talk to each participant to assess how the experience is affecting them.
With a well-designed dashboard, your team can measure progress and answer leadership’s questions such as:
- Are participants progressing toward achieving the goals they set?
- Are participants’ behaviors changing in line with company goals?
- Do they report feeling more engaged at work?
- Are they satisfied with the overall coaching experience?
In short, you will be able to demonstrate a return on your organization’s coaching investment based on metrics you’ve established.
Immediate and sustained returns on coaching investments
Leadership coaching that is available to a broad spectrum of employees is proven to be a cost-effective L&D investment.
Here are some top-line results Pluma has observed at companies that have implemented a digital coaching program.
Real ROI. Companies have measured an average of seven-times return on coaching investment, according to a recent global survey of coaching clients by PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the Association Resource.
Increased Performance. A meta-analysis of coaching studies published in The Journal of Positive Psychology shows that organizations that use coaching increase employees’ performance by 32%.
Better Results. Organizations that spend on employee training and development outperform the S&P index by 35% according to the Harvard Business Review.
Reduced Burnout. According to a study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine, coaching participants saw a 17% reduction in burnout.
Programs delivered via a well-designed digital platform are scalable and provide the data your human resources team needs to back up that claim.
Online executive-quality leadership coaching is a data-driven training and development investment that will help you earn and keep valuable company dollars in your human resources budget and, ultimately, translate into more dollars for your company’s bottom line.
And, even more importantly, you’ll build the next generation of leaders to guide your organization’s continued growth and evolution.