Sherpa study: coaches drop ROI as value measure

Return on Investment (ROI) has been abandoned as a means to measure coaching’s effectiveness, according to research. Other trends revealed include coaching becoming even more exclusive, increasing interest in neuroscience and confidence in coaching at an all-time high, according to US-based Sherpa’s 9th Executive Coaching Survey 2014 (bit.ly/MqaNkm).

In what the researchers call a “startling discovery”, the survey showed the number of consultants who use ROI to measure coaching’s value dropped from 33 to 22 per cent this year. Only 11 per cent of executive coaches try it.

The most popular measurement (28%) among external coaches of the value of executive coaching is 360 feedback, taken before and after coaching, a method pioneered by Marshall Goldsmith. Other methods included wellbeing and engagement (21%) and performance reviews (20%), the most popular among internal coaches. In fourth place is the newest measure on the market, Sherpa’s Impact on Business measure (13%). ROI trailed, and Effectiveness of Learning (Kirkpatrick) came in last (7%), except in Australia, where it came in first.

Coaches and leaders in Europe, Africa, North and South America see the application of neuroscience in coaching as the industry’s most important trend. Some 76 per cent of executive coaches say it should have a role.

Executive coaching is once again becoming the province of senior leaders and top executives. The number of organisations that reserve coaching for top executives only is growing, year by year, with a six-year ‘winning streak’.

The survey also found the number of organisations with coaching skills programmes has fallen for the first time. It attributes this, in part, to problems with coaching definitions – some equate it with training, for example, including the US Office of Personnel Management: “Coaching, in its simplest form, means to train, tutor or give instruction.”

However, confidence in coaching is higher than ever, according to Sherpa’s Coaching Confidence Index. To calculate the index, Sherpa considers rates charged by executive coaches, the number of clients they serve, predictions about demand for coaching and the amount of time executive coaches spend in marketing their services, among other factors. This year’s index has leapt to a record high of 166 (2006 = 100).

Internationally, the credibility of coaching is highest in Brazil. Canada saw a 10 per cent gain in “very high” responses this year. China also saw steady progress, with judgments of “mediocre” virtually disappearing. Japan saw a big move from “somewhat high” valuations into the “very high”. Germany kept last year’s levels of positive opinion, as did the US, UK and South Africa.

Coaching’s credibility is reaching new heights. Those who say it is “somewhat high” or “very high” jumped to 90 per cent in our 2012 report, and again in 2013, improving in 2014, to 93 per cent.

Over the years, coaching has shifted away from problem-solving towards pro-active leadership development. The latest report highlights a deepening of this. It also found male coaches are more likely than women to work with people in need of leadership development, while female coaches are more likely than men to work with individuals in transition.

 

Coaching at Work, Volume 9, issue 2

UEL awards UK first MA in Career Coaching

A former student at the University of East London (UEL) School of Psychology has gained an MA in Career Coaching – the first of its kind in the UK. Meanwhile, one of the modules within UEL’s MSc in Coaching Psychology, Coaching for Career and Professional Development, has just been validated as a CPD module, which […]

NEWS: mixed feelings about chartered institute

The profession is divided about whether we need a chartered institute of coaching in the UK – our question on this in the annual Coaching at Work Readers’ Survey 2013 stirred up strong responses.
Forty per cent of respondents came out in favour of setting up an institute, 33 per cent were against and 27 per cent did not know.
Forming a chartered institute came third on the list of priorities for 2014 (24%), after becoming more aligned with business (36%), followed by evaluation/return on investment (33%).
Accreditation was down to number four (22%), with supervision and playing a stronger role in sustainability coming in joint fifth.
Meanwhile, a spin-off from the Coaching at Work-led Accreditation Forum, the Chartered Institute of Coaching sub-committee, has started exploring demand and viability for such an institute. Some coaching sponsors, including GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), KPMG, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and News International, members of the forum, are keen to see one set up.

NEWS: Nelson Mandela

As the world mourned the death of Nelson Mandela on 5 December, we asked what inspired you and what we can learn from South Africa’s first black president. Mandela: What will his legacy mean to you? When I look at Mandela I see the face of my own father and I’m reminded of how far […]

NEWS: survey

Survey: 54% predict coach income boost The results are in for our Coaching at Work Readers’ Survey 2013, evoking strong feelings on subjects, such as chartered institute status – yet plenty of positivity, too. As we enter 2014, there do indeed seem to be green shoots of economic recovery appearing. This year, income in coaching […]

David Megginson, EMCC Ambassador, shares his experience of the 21st EMCC conference in Athens

David Megginson, EMCC Ambassador, shares his experience of the 21st EMCC conference in Athens 21-23 November 2013, Athens It was good to be at a conference at the beating heart of European civilisation, and close to the home of the protagonist of mentoring’s foundation story. The EMCC Greece team welcomed and guided us socially and […]