How to Create a Coaching Program Within Your Company
Breaking into the world of coaching can be overwhelming when you first graduate from coach training – what now? What next? Who do I coach, and when?
As a life coach, you possess unique skills that can be an asset in many different contexts. Especially if you’re newly graduated from a coach training program, you have the certification to prove it! And a great place to begin showcasing what you can do is within your current role or workplace.
But how exactly do you successfully pitch a coaching role or program to your boss or inside a company?
Here’s the steps to present a convincing and effective case for an internal coaching program (led by you!)
Gather Facts Around the Benefits of Coaching
Before you can sell anyone on the idea of coaching, you need to be crystal clear about its advantages. Coaching has been around for many years, and is fairly familiar within corporate environments.
- The ICF Studies and ICF Research Portal
The International Coaching Federation is the gold standard in accrediting and promoting professional coaching. Their research can be a goldmine of well substantiated studies and facts.
The 2022 ICF Consumer Awareness Study shows most coaching clients report the following outcomes:
- improved work performance
- better business management
- more efficient time management
- increased team effectiveness
- greater self-confidence
- enhanced relationships
- more effective communications skills
- better work-and-life balance
- an improvement in wellness
Additionally, 86% of companies say they at least made their investment in coaching back. In fact, 19% saw a ROI of 50 times their investment, while another 28% saw a ROI of 10 to 49 times the investment. (ICF Report)
The ICF maintains a research portal where you can search for any topic or phrase to find endless articles, studies and scientific research to back up the stated benefits of coaching. This is a great place to look, once you’ve identified areas your company may be more interested in enhancing.
Here’s just a few examples of how to build your case.
The Outcome: Coaching supports individual growth, helping employees set and achieve personal and professional goals.
FACT: 80% of people who received coaching saw improved self-confidence, and over 70% benefited from improved work performance, relationships, and more effective communication skills. (The International Coaching Federation. (2016). ICF Global Coaching Client Study.)
The Outcome: A coach can help individuals identify barriers to their effectiveness and work through them.
FACT: Training combined with coaching was effective in improving individual performance by 88% as compared to 22% with training alone. (Executive coaching as a transfer of training tool: Effects on productivity in a public agency.)
FACT: Coaching has a 221% ROI. (International Society for Performance Improvement)
Enhanced Employee Well-being
The Outcome Coaching can boost morale, reduce stress, and improve work-life balance.
Fact: Coaching had significant positive effects on performance and skills, well-being, coping, work attitudes, and goal-directed self-regulation. (The effectiveness of workplace coaching: A meta‐analysis of learning and performance outcomes from coaching.)
Retention and Engagement
The Outcome: Employees who feel supported and mentored are less likely to leave the company and more likely to be engaged in their roles.
Fact: When employees strongly agree that their manager helps them set work priorities and performance goals, they are almost 70% more likely to be engaged. Additionally, Gallup's research shows that a mere 2 in 10 employees strongly agree that their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work. (Employees Want a Lot More From Their Managers.)
PRO TIP: You should be ready to easily and comfortably speak about the advantages and benefits of coaching to anyone who asks – confidence makes all the difference here!
Research and Tailor Your Approach
This is where your knowledge of your own company comes into play, alongside your ability to deliver solutions. The more specific you’re able to be, get specific. The more you can show that you’ve spent ample time thinking about this and preparing, the more effective your pitch will be.
- Understand Your Audience
Know the challenges, objectives, and dynamics of your company. If high turnover is a concern, highlight how coaching can increase retention. If productivity is an issue, emphasize how coaching can address this. Showcase your ability to notice what’s important to leadership, and how you can help be part of the solution.
- Competitive Analysis
Showcase companies that have successfully integrated coaching and the results they've achieved. There’s several great articles linked below that can be a jumping off point for your own research, and to provide facts and fodder for your pitch.
Structure Your Pitch
Putting together a structured pitch can make your request much more convincing, demonstrating your abilities and sincerity from the get-go.
- Start with a personal story or a compelling statistic about coaching.
- Discuss the benefits tailored to your company's needs.
- Suggest a pilot program or phased approach to introduce coaching, allowing for a trial period before a full-scale roll-out.
- Explain how you’ll track the success of the program, e.g., through feedback surveys, productivity metrics, or retention rates.
Anticipate Concerns and Objections
Your boss or other key decision makers may not be familiar with coaching, and occasionally programs like this can feel like “one more thing” on their plate. Be prepared with answers for any concerns they might have:
- Bottom Line Impact / Costs: Have a clear idea of the budget required. Highlight potential ROI and long-term benefits against the initial investment.
- Time Commitment: Address concerns about how much time it will take for employees to participate.
- Scalability: If the program's success means there will soon be a need for more coaches, be prepared to present a clear plan for how this could happen.
Offer to Start Small
A pilot program can be a less intimidating way for a company to try out your coaching services. In order to get buy-in you can highlight that starting small reduces risk, requires a smaller budget, and can serve as a proof of concept.
Offer to coach a few employees, or even just one employee around a specific topic. Be prepared to showcase the effectiveness of the engagement, and show up with as much enthusiasm as you would for any new client. Showing what you can do with a small amount of support prepares you well for showcasing to leadership how you’ll handle even more responsibility and workload.
Be Passionate and Authentic
Your passion for coaching and genuine belief in its benefits will be your strongest selling point. While you don’t want to go overboard with too much enthusiasm, feel free to speak honestly about your personal experiences (keep it professional!) and share success stories from your own experience.
If the environment is right, you can be open about your journey as a life coach and the changes and success you’ve seen with implementing the work of coaching with others, as well as in your own life.
After your pitch, remember to be gracious and professional in thanking your boss for their time. Send a concise summary of your proposal with the information that they might need to make a decision or get sign off.
You may not get the answer you’re looking for right away! New ideas can take time to percolate, especially if your company doesn’t have a history with coaching. So set up some reminders on your end to regularly touch base, offering updates or sharing relevant content to keep the idea at the forefront.
As coaches, we have the power to bring about transformation, not just in individuals but also within organizations. By approaching your company with a well-researched, specifically tailored, and passionate pitch, you’re taking a chance – and opening the door to potential opportunities. Plus, this is a win-win partnership for you and your company – an opportunity for you to “put wheels” on your coaching and gain experience, and for your company to flourish and thrive.
Remember, every great journey begins with a single step, and your first step as a coach might just be inside a company or organization you already know.
Ready to Get Coaching?
People enroll in Lumia's coach training program for a variety of reasons. Some come with the clear intention to build a career in life coaching. But not all plan to “go pro”. Many of our students seek to apply coaching skills to roles they may already be playing - as business owners, managers, advisors, human resource specialists, therapists, personal trainers and career mentors. Sound like you? If you'd like to learn more, come check out Lumia Life Coach Training!