Does Coaching Get Results? A Rare Inside Look.

While there are plenty of skeptics out, Coaching does get results.  Documented research and the hands-on application of coaching, has proven this.  If the coaching process is done properly and effectively coaching can yield a return on investment far greater than most people realize.  What does successful coaching that gets results look like?  Consider this rare inside look at how a Coach took an outside-in approach to helping an employee increase and maximize performance, not to mention saving his job.

Dear ________

I wanted to take an opportunity to thank you [again] for the workshops a few years back that have proven to be extremely valuable to me as a manager, mentor and coach and would like to share a recent success story with you if that’s OK?

We had an employee who has been with the company for many years – in fact he celebrated his 12th anniversary w/the Company on July 6th.  He had slipped into a ‘rut’ over time and in coaching sessions had revealed to me that while he was “happy and content” with his current position and responsibilities, he felt he had been overlooked in compensation and promotion opportunities over time.  (My perception based on his behavior and demeanor was quite the opposite – that of unhappiness and discontent.)  I committed to him 2 years ago that I would personally do what I could to move him up, but that he had to “buy in” and take greater initiative before I could advocate any advancement.

As he continued to make some improvement, I recommended him for an officer promotion (with no additional compensation) a year ago, but was denied by leadership since they hadn’t observed the initiative necessary for advancement.  I felt this would compel him to accelerate his efforts, but realized then and especially now that “rewarding” with an expected improvement isn’t likely to have the same impact as “rewarding” for observed improvement.

In the meantime, he continued to do just enough to get by and with a change in leadership, it was suggested that we let him go (outright w/no relocation or reassignment to another department).  While this might have been justified at the time, I felt 11 years tenure w/the Company had some value and that he had untapped talent and skill that would undoubtedly add value to our department and to the company as a whole.  I appealed for one last chance to coach him up, we put him under a stringent “performance plan” with required dates to reach expected competency in various areas.

The short story is that we are meeting at 3pm today to review his progress.  As a result of his efforts, I have recommended and gained support from 3 levels of management (up to the Chief Credit Officer) to not only promote him from_______ to ______ but to promote his functional title resulting in a pay grade advancement in addition to a slightly more aggressive incentive plan – conditional upon a 9-12month timeline with increased responsibilities and expected competency in specific areas every 90 days.  (This is an “open-end” comp change plan that may be extended if thresholds are not met as timely as expected.)

The end result will be that his salary will increase over time by ____ potentially within a 12 month period… Beats the heck out of 2.5% per year in my book!  We now have a committed associate who is punctual, smiling when he reports to work and smiling when he leaves.  Where he was once very stand-offish and unapproachable, he now exhibits a sense of humor and positive banter among his fellow associates.

In my opinion, today’s environment is much different than that of ______.  No longer (at least for now) do our associates “choose” to work for us due to plentiful opportunities elsewhere.  Unemployment is at unexpected levels so if we lose them today, they could potentially be unemployed for quite some time.

The outcome could have been quite different had this associate not accepted accountability and made sure that he reached deep within himself to make some personal changes.  I am proud of the progress he has made and will be delegating and depending on him much more heavily in the months and years to come.  His peers within the department and across the company have noticed, commented and documented the positive changes they have observed, up to and including the same leaders that advocated his termination only 5 months ago.

My intent w/this email is NOT to boast (for in fact I am humbled), but to testify to the effectiveness of the “Coach Approach” rather than dictatorial management style.  What a great tool to bring out the best in others, and what personal satisfaction comes from it as a result.

I sincerely hope that all is well with you and yours.  THANKS again!  I APPRECIATE YOU!!

Respectfully,

_____________________

The testimonial above clearly shows that coaching does get results.  Factor in the value of not having to hire, train, and develop a new employee, that you didn’t lose an employee with 11 years of experience, and that the person is an “officer level” candidate, you can see a cost savings of six figures — potentially getting close to seven figures by the time everything is said and done.  Coaching can directly and indirectly affect the bottom line.  Take the time to coach and get the results you need.

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About the Author

Chris Stowell

Christopher Stowell is currently serving as CMOE’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing where he works with multi-national organization to develop their people. His special interests lie in coaching teamwork, strategy, e-learning, and assessment design, and delivery. Chris has a special talent in helping companies assess their organizational effectiveness and identifying key issues and opportunities in order to advance their performance and achieve long term results. Additionally, he has extensive experience in designing, coordinating, and facilitating customized adventure based experiential training events for high performance teams.