How do you Measure The Impact Of Learning? – Report by Notion Limited

In the very latest research conducted by LEO, almost all respondents agreed that ‘measuring the business impact of learning is an organisational priority’ with a 71% increase in L&D departments saying they ‘feel executive pressure to measure their learning programmes’1. We were interested to see that ‘measuring impact’ was also a hot topic in a recent Notion webinar. Before the webinar, delegates were encouraged to ask questions about everything they had ever wanted to know about executive coaching. Of all the questions raised, over half related to how to measure the impact of coaching.

This is clearly a highly topical issue that is shrouded in mystery. In the webinar, Notion’s Director of Coaching, Laura Ashley-Timms shed some light on the matter. Measuring the ROI of Coaching has been Laura’s personal passion for well over a decade. It has always surprised Laura that so many organisations don’t measure the impact of their coaching.

Let’s look at coaching as a specific example. According to Notion’s coaching poll of over 700 global organisations, only 1% of organisations properly measure coaching and 60% don’t even try on any level.

It’s hardly surprising then that 94% of organisations don’t know what ROI they get from their coaching.

Confidentiality is a Misused Excuse For Not Measuring ROI

There are many myths that get in the way of measuring the impact of coaching. One that continues to prevail is that executive coaches can’t share the outcomes of their coaching assignments as this would breach client confidentiality and coaching ethics.

Laura couldn’t disagree more strongly, “The people that say this don’t know how to measure coaching so hide behind this confidentiality cloak. This is completely incorrect and it really frustrates me – my advice is the next time a coach says this to you, fire them!”

The confidentiality myth is perpetuated because it works in favour of less commercially oriented coaches and may even relieve the pressure on busy HR departments to prepare detailed reports. But whilst it’s really important to honour the confidentiality held between the coach and coachee, the coaching objectives and outcomes can be shared with full transparency at the start of a coaching assignment and reported on without betraying any confidential information.

So, how do you measure coaching programmes?

Laura offers 7 quick steps to follow:

1. Establish and agree on measures upfront and expect results like these ranging from 5 x to 100 x ROI in the first 6 months or less

2. Ensure proper matching and contracting

3. Don’t allow the words ‘it’s confidential’ to phase you

4. Do have specific paperwork you want your coaches to use to track and measure success

5. Do follow up and ensure you receive the paperwork

6. Do ensure programmes don’t run and run – set timebound programmes with clear objectives

7. Do collate results and report them and showcase good examples

Here are some examples of the results you can expect if you follow these 7 Steps:

Laura says, “With the right set up at the front end and some simple disciplines it’s super easy to measure an ROI and ROE for each and every assignment. If you don’t have an external provider already doing this for you then get in touch with us because we do this for all our clients and we also teach this to all the internal coaches we train too.”1