Over the years, I have worked with dozens of executives and companies – most focused on improving the value of individuals and teams. During that time I have seem an increased understanding of the value of executive coaching and the contribution that it can make to both the individual and their company. Whether my work was with the CEO, Chairman of the Board or member of the senior team, the ability to learn and improve has been the central driving force. I have written elsewhere about this experience – for example, see Increasing the Returns From an Executive Coaching Investment, Benefits of Executive Employee Coaching to a Business and The Value of Executive Coaching.
Many businesses in today’s corporate world are placing an ever-increasing importance on individual attributes in selecting and developing their staff. This can bring about a number of benefits – particularly where the leadership development of a motivated and unified team is required, such as in a high pressure call center or where the company recognizes that its success depends largely on their corporate culture. However, it does not come without significant challenges, not least of which may be considerable gaps in the essential skills and education required to perform the job. Whilst a formal training course may offer the opportunity for all employees to gain such needed skills and education, it is unlikely that these employees will be able to put into action what they have learned without further guidance.
Executive Business and Corporate Coaching methods is a highly effective way to rapidly increase an employee’s performance. For example, current research shows that approximately 87% of businesses in the UK utilize executive coaching services. Companies are realizing that executive coaching is a high-return investment in key personnel.
Coaching programs may vary widely among businesses but most should have the following characteristics:
- An established corporate policy with regard to executive coaching
- An established resource control center within the company which makes decisions about which employee should be offered coaching and what kind of coaching they should be offered
- A pre-approved budget of coaching services and policies in place which guide the use of those funds
- A pre-approved cadre of coaches – the list will contain coaches who provide a range of services
- Peer-to-Peer mentoring schemes within the company – the company should focus on utilizing in-house mentoring where it is cost-effective
- A policy which allows individual executives to employ the services of a private Executive Leadership Coach
- An established mechanism for monitoring the benefits and costs of both the individual coaching engagement and the net benefits to the company because of the entire executive coaching program
The program’s strategic objectives may range from the development and improvement of specific skills through to a more holistic approach – including career planning and creating a balance between an Executives work and personal life. If a coaching program is to be successful, the design process must take into consideration a wide range of considerations – for instance, the company’s culture and its desired evolution.
Whatever the approach, it is crucial that a close partnership develops coach and the each executive coached. One of the overlooked components of this process is the role of senior management. To guarantee the success of a coaching program the company should assist the Executive Business Coach by:
- Defining the culture, processes and procedures to maintain any and all coaching programs
- Redesigning executive jobs to include executive coaching services for all key executive employees
- Undertaking management assessment of their internal coaches and, where necessary, providing these individuals with the appropriate ongoing training from an Executive Business Coach from outside of the company
- Meeting with each Executive Coach to define the boundaries, objectives and key performance indicators as well as offering guidelines for the coaching program
- Monitoring, measuring and recording effectiveness of a coaching program through implementing comprehensive feedback and review procedures
Most companies employ executive coaching services as a means of providing a particular executive with necessary leadership coaching. However, an increasing number of companies are adopting executive coaching as their core strategy for ongoing staff development. These companies have realized that investment in their rising stars brings value to the company in several ways. Most importantly, they get a better and more productive executive who is more loyal to the company. Utilizing the services of an experienced Executive Business Coach can ultimately guarantee the success of any company within the corporate world.
By ensuring that executive coaching programs are both properly designed and implemented, as well as correctly monitored and integrated within the corporate executive learning culture, business in the next century will be able to look forward to developing a workforce that is better skilled and motivated to meet the ever-increasing demands of working life.
© Dr. Earl R. Smith II