If you invest in coaching, it’s essential to track and evaluate the progress and impact the program has on you and your employees. The best way to do this is to set concrete goals that let you measure the results. This way, if you use a coaching platform or participate in any type of coaching, you’ll always know whether or not you’re getting your money’s worth.

Why You Need Goal Setting For Coaching

A coaching program or platform is a significant investment of your time and money. If you’re going to make this investment, you want to come out with a clear idea of how effective it was. Without a set of metrics, this is harder than you might think. Coaching can produce subjective perceptions as well as measurable results. While both are significant, it’s important to recognize the distinction. Participants in a coaching program might emerge feeling positive and inspired. However, this doesn’t necessarily equate with tangible results.

Suppose the purpose of the coaching is to increase the effectiveness of sales reps. If people subjectively feel the coaching is helpful but there’s no increase in sales afterward, the coaching cannot be called effective, at least not in terms of helping you achieve the goal of better sales results. If you set a goal to improve sales by at least 10 percent within 30 days of completing the coaching, you have a measurable idea of how well it worked.

Types of Goals to Set

To set appropriate goals for coaching, you have to get clear about what you really want and expect from the coaching. There are many potential benefits of coaching for businesses. Some elements are easier to measure than others. Because something isn’t simple to quantify doesn’t mean that it’s not important. For example, improving morale and teamwork are essential for any organization but are difficult to quantify. Sales numbers, by contrast, are a fairly straightforward metric.

Even subjective factors can be quantified to some extent. You might, for example, ask participants to fill out surveys before and after the coaching. If one of the goals is to give people more confidence in their abilities, you can ask them to rate their confidence on a scale, such as between 1 and 5. When identifying goals, consult with as many individuals and departments as is appropriate. People from different areas within your organization can suggest a variety of goals. After you’ve clarified your goals for coaching, the best strategy is to write them down in a way that makes it easy to track progress. If you have multiple goals and a group of people, a spreadsheet can help you keep track of all the variables.

One Way to Measure Coaching Effectiveness

To test a certain coaching program, you could divide people in your organization (or in a certain department) into two teams. One team gets the coaching, the other doesn’t. Then you can observe if the team that received coaching demonstrates significant progress compared to the other group. Keep in mind that it’s never possible to measure results with perfect precision. There are many factors that may affect outcomes aside from the coaching, such as differing intrinsic abilities of team members and unforeseen events in your organization or in people’s lives. However, this type of test can yield some insights into whether the coaching is helping you meet your goals.

Interpreting the Results

It’s best if an objective party assesses the results. If someone has a bias, even an unconscious one, it can affect his or her views on something like a coaching program. When tracking the results of coaching, another factor that you must consider is your time frame. For many important goals, the transformation isn’t always instantaneous. Confidence, social learning, sales training, and other qualities often evolve over time. Even small improvements can, therefore, indicate significant progress, especially if you measure a consistent pattern over time. Coaching can have a profound impact on your organization. It’s essential, though, to have a system in place to track the results.

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