Positive Impact: How 360˚Feedback Provides the ROI for Coaching

by Patty Prosser

We are often asked by organizations, how they can effectively gage the success or return on investment (ROI) of a coaching engagement.  And our response is easy- you simply measure it!

I know that coaching is often subject to interpretation – about its structure, its purpose, and its perceived benefits – but if set up from the beginning with a goal and a process for getting there, any coaching engagement should be able to measurably demonstrate progress.

Whether you are considering engaging a coach to help a leader to rise to the next level or correct behavior, a well-thought out and documented process, from the start, is a must. Coaching engagements should always include some sort of 360˚ feedback, at the beginning and at the end, to help assess its overall effectiveness.

Typically, we conduct the first 360, right after the goals have been established for the engagement with the organization sponsor and the client. Participants should include the person to be coached, their boss(s), 4-8 peers, their direct reports and a mix of “others” who frequently interact with the individual (other staff members, customers, etc.). Look for a tool that allows for written comments for both positive behaviors and opportunities for improvement and guarantees “confidentiality”.  The results provide a baseline to assist the individual in understanding their strengths and opportunities and contributes insight for coaching.

More than 85% of Fortune 500 companies use 360 ˚ feedback in some form or fashion; We find that our clients are using it as part of their overall leadership development strategy.  This feedback approach can also be an effective way to help team members work more effectively together. Not only can it help increase positive problem-solving, but provides organizations with data that organizational initiatives are working!

Most importantly, when used as part of the coaching process, and again administered at the end of a coaching engagement, 360˚ feedback provides a way to truly measure the success of coaching the engagement- and therefore the ROI for the investment.  Regardless of how it’s used in an organization, 360˚ feedback can be a valuable tool to help organizations retain and grow talent.

At The Center for Leadership Excellence, when a 360 evaluation is used as a part of the coaching process, it is proven invaluable.  Using a 100-person sample, participants that engaged in our coaching process, showed dramatic improvement in targeted areas in 89% of our sample, after 12 months. Now that’s a positive ROI!

For more information on our 360˚feedback process and The Center for Leadership Excellence’s Coaching programs, contact Patty Prosser, pprosser@cciindy.com or 317-727-6464.

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