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How do you know coaching is a waste of money?

It can also be done differently: measure sustainable behavioural change 

- Written by Anne Ribbers and Antonie Bors -

The coaching profession is often topic of discussion. In the Netherlands, a recent broadcast of the Rambam research programme about coaching led to a national discussion. How do you know you have the right, professional and qualified coach? In short: how do you measure quality? A certified coach is one parameter. We also find it essential that the results of a coaching program are clear and measurable. We do this through the unique Coaching Monitor tool developed by the NOBCO (EMCC). We recently coached a large group of team leaders within the Dutch National Police and the tool made sustainable behavioural changes visible.  

Change and collaboration skills

Together with the Police Academy and our partner Groupmapping, we delivered this leadership programme. Groupmapping delivered four onsite training days and we the integrated blended coaching program, which combines face-to-face conversations with online coaching (video conversations, text messages). The program was aimed at strengthening the change and collaboration skills for managers in a rapidly changing VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world. The continuity aspect of our coaching integrated in a learning programme makes it possible to work in small development steps and stay close to our participants in their daily practice. 

Coaching Monitor

Throughout the entire process we followed the (interim) results via the evaluation tool the Coaching Monitor. This tool provides insight into the progress of the trajectories, offers opportunities for timely adjustments, has 360-degree feedback and peer evaluations (colleagues evaluate the growth of the participant). There are a total of five measuring moments, before, during and also a long time after the trajectory. At the start, the participants filled in the VUCA questionnaire, which provides input for defining a coaching goal (individual goals). This questionnaire also measures matters such as personality, mindset and interpersonal skills. Personal learning goals were submitted and tracked by self-report and peer report. In the end the Coaching Monitor generated an individual, visual final report of the achieved results per participant. And what did it show for this targetgroup? A sustainable behavioural change is visible for both the team leaders themselves and their (direct) colleagues.

Real sustainable behavioural change

This case gives nice insights into the behavioural change that has taken place. The sustainability measurement shows that the participants have developed on the basis of individually set objectives. This not only appears to be the case for them but is also noticeable for their colleagues on the work floor. It is also true that they have been able to hold on to their development, which has led to a sustainable change in behaviour. Six months after conclusion of the coaching process, this is still visible and has even increased by 3.8 points compared to the measurement at the start of the coaching.

Coaching Monitor uitkomsten
A very nice result as we are working within the blended trajectories on real behavioral improvements that become visible on the work floor. We see that the mindset of the participants has evolved into a growth mindset, which means that they have come to believe that people can learn, develop and change.

The fact that the coaching by the participants within this programme received an 8.5 rating was a valid confirmation of the quality. By continuously measuring, we show that coaching in this case was certainly not a waste of money but a smart and valuable investment.

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