July 30, 2019

What is the ROI of coaching?

Obvious statement alert: whenever a company makes any investment, it wants to see value in return. Whether it’s about “getting our money’s worth,” “moving the needle,” or something else, decision-makers take a data-driven approach in considering where their resources are going.

The HR space is no exception. People leaders, like anyone else, want to know they’re spending wisely and seeing results. Quantifying those results gets complicated, though, for something like coaching. The impact of coaching flows into all aspects of an organization’s health, and it’s not necessarily possible to isolate the effect of coaching from that of the other initiatives with which it intersects.

We can think of the ROI of coaching in terms of productivity and retention. In its landmark Crucial Conversations, VitalSmarts posited that a single failed conversation costs a company $7,500 in terms of lost productivity and eventual turnover. The formula for our ROI calculator is built around statistics like these.

The cost of replacing an employee can be as high as 1.5x their salary, so if even one person stays at their company because of Bravely coaching, the investment has paid for itself.

But the value of coaching goes beyond tangible savings. It manifests in more subtle ways: helping employees feel more connected to their work, making them more effective communicators, and showing them they’re appreciated and valued. Each of these has a ripple effect throughout an organization.

Any coaching session should leave an employee “better” than they came: with a fresh perspective, a new skill for tackling difficult conversations, a better understanding of their own blind spots, or simply the opportunity for meaningful self-reflection.

The practice of “leaving them better” always includes at least one actionable next step. That often comes in the form of preparation for a difficult conversation, but it can be as small as knowing what they need to talk about at their next session, or trying a new communication tactic in the next week.

Sometimes, the value employees say they’re getting from coaching speaks for itself. Messages from employees like…

  • “I now feel like I can tackle this conversation with my boss instead of giving up”
  • “Your help has been consistent and clear, and progressed from one conversation to the next”
  • “My sessions have really improved my focus at work” 

… say things a number never could.

Our ROI calculator looks at potential boosts to productivity and retention to determine what Bravely coaching could save your company. This calculation is just one piece of the impact Bravely can have on your team.

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