Although the client organisation believed in the power of coaching to improve performance at all levels of the business, budget holders, and others, were able to employ coaches without any central reference and without controls as to the outputs and effectiveness of coaching, the length of assignments or other measures of performance. Spending on coaching was an unknown figure, although privately client contacts estimated it in hundreds of thousands of pounds per annum.
Firstly, figuring out the current cost of coaching
The Vybrant team was able to create a good estimate of the annual spend on coaching at around £440,000 at the outset of the project. Working closely with the client’s internal HR and L&D staff the team created a coaching audit process to assess the suitability and effectiveness of coaches working in the business. The team implemented the audit in all the major European countries plus Canada. They also suggested an upper limit on fees, thereby eliminating some of the most expensive coaches altogether (fees were only used as a selection criteria in this way, setting an upper limit at the outset of the project).
Creating the tools for informed coach selection
They then created a coach database, giving HR Business Partners the tools to make objective assessments of coaches likely to be best able to deliver a particular assignment and then compare their costs. This had the effect of setting up an efficient Best Value process which was automatically operated each time a coaching request is initiated from the business.
Lastly the project required good communications and change processes to get enthusiasm as well as compliance from budget holders and others to use the new coaching selection system properly.
The client’s annual spend was costed at around £440,000 before the project. Immediately after the project annualised costs were running at £300,000 – a saving of over 30%, and £140,000 saved in absolute terms in year one. The project fees were around 15% of the pre-project annual spend for one year.