Why We Can’t Afford Coaching Right Now, and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves.

Today I had an unusual block of time in my day suddenly open up at the last minute. This almost never happens, so I was eager to use the opportunity to do some of my “want to do” items and some fun things, and also to follow up with companies that have expressed an interest in coaching services. These interactions got me thinking about the difference between companies that choose coaching and those that don’t.

The companies that I work with are filled with highly capable, highly motivated leaders, driven to do more and who are connected with a larger purpose. My ideal companies are those that have big important missions and goals. Their established culture values their people who are their most precious resource. Their people embody their brand.These companies are eager to map a plan to maximize their resources, to invest in their people, and to come together around their company mission. They see this work as paramount to the success of their company. They are energized, and ready to go. Their efforts pay off year after year.

Then there are the companies that aren’t ready yet. Typically they have three predictable barriers to engaging in coaching: “It is not in this year’s budget” “We don’t have the time to commit to coaching” or “I want to do it but I’m so busy that I just can’t take the time to plan for the engagement.” Let’s address these three common reasons for NOT engaging in coaching.

“We weren’t able to budget it this year.” If you lose one highly valued highly skilled person this year who might have stayed if they were offered coaching, what will that number show on your year end financials? Typically, roughly it costs one and a half to two times that person’s annual salary to replace and train their replacement. What is the cost to engage them? Coaching is not inexpensive for sure, but it is not one and a half times the employee’s salary. What is the cost of a disengaged or actively disengaged employee who stays? How does this person effect your company culture? It’s not good. Coaching conveys to your valued leaders that your company thinks enough of them to invest resources in them. The money spent on coaching will be paid back tenfold year after year, by an engaged and loyal leader who knows and uses his or her signature leadership strengths, and who is a positive influence for your company culture. It is a win-win for leader and company.

We don’t have the time for coaching! I would challenge you. You don’t have the time not to do coaching. Coaching is designed to be flexible and tailored to the individual needs. No matter how important you are, no matter how important your job, if you don’t take the time required to stay grounded, focus on what is important, and strategize for the future, sooner or later, you will crash and burn. It does not have to be that way. Find a coach who has some flexibility in his or her schedule, then commit, and make it happen. When you are committed to something, when it is really important to you, you will find the time to make it happen. If you have a real emergency, your coach will certainly partner with you to work around it.
Special note; This one is my favorite. We know we want coaching, but we are just so darn busy, we can’t take the time to plan our coaching program. Mercy. You need coaching more than you think. Please, for heaven’s sake. Block some time. Talk to an expert, who knows about professional coaching. Look for someone who is experienced and credentialed. Ask them where they were trained. Ask them how long they have been coaching, and what their coaching program includes. You must take the time to get to know them. The coaching collaboration and partnership is essential. As coaching is evolving as a discipline, multiple companies are beginning to specialize in vetting coaches for projects or companies. You don’t have to do it all yourself. But you do need to take some steps to get started. You will not regret it. Coaching is a great way to build a positive corporate culture, build employee capabilities, loyalty, and improved satisfaction. Do you have the time for that? I think you do.

Written by: Terry Hoffmann

Terry Hoffmann specializes in partnering with organizations to create, deliver, and enhance their coaching programs. She coaches physicians, executives, and teams to drive profitability, foster loyalty, enhance provider and staff engagement and satisfaction, and create high performance work cultures. Terry's educational background includes a Graduate Certificate in Executive and Professional Coaching from the University of Texas at Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Management, Master's degree in counseling psychology from the University of North Florida and a Bachelor's of Science in psychology from Colorado State University. She holds a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) credential through the International Coach Federation and a Board Certified Coach (BCC) through the Center for Credentialing and Education.