The Commercial Case for Executive Coaching: Talent Retention & Development
Attracting and retaining talent is a critical challenge faced by leaders. It's become even trickier since 2020, with a shortage of skilled workers, especially in fields like technology. National studies show that competition for top-notch professionals is becoming more intense, making it tougher for companies to fill job openings. Plus, with an aging workforce commonly found in the developed world, this problem is only likely to grow.
In response, leaders need to build employer brands that attract and retain their best employees and provide them with the opportunities to grow. They need to create workplace cultures where people feel included, belong and can contribute to meaningful work, as well offering financial rewards.
This is all tall order when many companies are simply trying to survive in a challenging economic climate, with higher interest rates, greater market instability and more challenging socio-political backdrop than we have seen in two decades.
While no single intervention solves all problems, coaching is one lever organizations can pull which can address at least two of these challenges: employee development and helping employees to feel more engaged, motivated and connected.
How can executive coaching help talent retention?
There is good evidence that coaching is a better way to help people learn(1). Our research suggests it can be both more efficient and more effective than traditional training, as it builds on what people know and gives them the power to direct the learning to the aspects each individual find more challenging. In short, coaching is a highly personalized and on demand solution that can help everyone from new leaders up to senior executives to learn, change and perform in a dynamic environment and helps people to feel heard and empowered by the process.
As just one example of the many research studies(2), our work at EZRA with hundreds of clients has shown the positive impact coaching programs can deliver. In our collaboration with PVH, the parent company for Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, PVH saw impressive results on retention thanks to coaching, as well as positive changes to inclusion, trust and self-development. This highlights how coaching can really change things for an organization and it supports wider research, which has demonstrated the commercial value of coaching over the past twenty years.
(1) Passmore, J. & Rehman, H. (2012). Coaching as a learning methodology – a mixed methods study in driver development – a Randomised Controlled Trial and thematic analysis. International Coaching Psychology Review. 7(2), 166-184. https://doi.org/10.53841/bpsicpr.2012.7.2.166
(2) Athanasopoulou, A., & Dopson, S. (2018). A systematic review of executive coaching outcomes: Is it the journey or the destination that matters the most? The Leadership Quarterly, 29(1), 70–88. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2017.11.004
OECD, (2023) Economic Outlook Report. Retrieved from https://www.oecd.org/economic-outlook/june-2023/