coaching heads on stairs

What High-Performance Companies Know about Coaching (That You Should Know, Too)

"[Business executives should seek coaching] when they feel that a change in behavior--either for themselves or their team members--can make a significant difference in the long-term success of the organization."

That quote from i4cp Thought Leader Consortium member Marshall Goldsmith underscores our research findings that high-performance organizations (based on revenue growth, market share, profitability and customer satisfaction over time) also are likely to be more effective than lower-performers at leveraging the power of coaching.

Goldsmith called it when he pegged behavior change as a key motivator for coaching. When i4cp surveyed business leaders on workplace coaching, change in targeted behavior was identified as the number-one measure organizations used to gauge coaching success. Further, use of that measure reflected strong correlations with both market performance and coaching effectiveness, meaning that companies tracking behavior changes were also likely to be those more proficient at coaching and achieving better bottom-line results.

Although respondents said they pursued coaching for a number of reasons--nine specific ones were listed in our survey--all of those reasons boiled down to behavior change in one way or another. And those drivers of coaching touched every organizational level from senior executives to individual contributors--testimony to the fact that coaching is a learning technique that can and should be applied far beyond the C-suite.

In the report Creating a Coaching Culture, i4cp explores traits of organizations that have built cultures supporting highly effective coaching practices. Applying the learning method to help individuals strengthen specific skills (behaviors) is among the distinctive characteristics of coaching cultures. It’s also a practice that high-performance firms use at a rate twice that of lower performers.

Coaching individual contributors to maximize their productivity is another distinguishing approach leveraged by high-performance organizations--a tactic seen an incredible 7x more often in those market-topping companies than in their lower-performing competitors. It only stands to reason that ramping up the productivity of individual employees translates to better performance for the organization overall.

What behavior changes could make a measurable difference for your organization? What other coaching strategies are helping high-performance companies outstrip the competition? Leaders of such prominent organizations as Campbell’s Soup and W.W. Grainger have asked those same questions. Download Creating a Coaching Culture (requires i4cp membership access) to explore the ways those high-performers are leveraging the power of coaching to make positive changes in the behaviors that drive business success.

Carol Morrison
Carol Morrison is a Senior Research Analyst and Associate Editor with the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), specializing in workforce well-being research.