Building a Commercial Case for Coaching

6 mins

On the 21st of September, Associate Directors on our UK team, Peter Fahy and Hanna...

On the 21st of September, Associate Directors on our UK team, Peter Fahy and Hannah Russell held an in-person breakfast roundtable which brought together Senior HR Professionals from Financial Services to discuss coaching advocacy and how to build a commercial case for coaching. 


The conversation was facilitated by Cressida Hamilton, an Executive Coach and former Managing Director of HSBC. Cressida has a wealth of expertise in business and coaching which our HR Community were able to tap into.  


This roundtable was part two in our series exploring coaching, you can read part one here which covers how coaching can be made more accessible across the organisation for staff at all levels. 


The Business Case for Coaching: 


Coaching is a strategic tool that organisations can use to foster diversity, equity, and individual growth while also addressing specific business needs and challenges.


Cressida initiated the discussion by emphasising the importance of establishing a strong business case for coaching within organisations. She shared insights into how coaching can drive positive outcomes and benefit both individuals and the overall business. Cressida discussed the value of data-driven initiatives and their role in shaping the coaching advocacy agenda.


During the session participants discussed: 


The different use cases for coaching: 

Various use cases for coaching within organisations were shared. These included; leadership development, onboarding and transition coaching, performance improvement, conflict resolution, team dynamics enhancement, career advancement and transition support, diversity and inclusion initiatives, stress management and well-being, change management during organisational transitions, skill development, and personal development. The conversation showcased coaching's versatility in addressing diverse organisational and individual needs, with tailored coaching programs serving as valuable tools for talent development, performance enhancement, and fostering a positive workplace culture.


How to measure success of coaching initiatives: 

In terms of setting measurable outcomes to ensure coaching impact, participants emphasised the importance of clearly defining objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs) before initiating coaching engagements. They highlighted the need for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals to gauge progress effectively. Moreover, the importance of aligning these outcomes with an organisation's broader business objectives was stressed, as this ensures that coaching initiatives contribute directly to the company's success metrics. Participants also discussed the value of regular check-ins and evaluations to track coaching progress, adjust strategies if necessary, and demonstrate the tangible impact of coaching programs on individual and organisational performance.


Clarity and transparency as the key to effective coaching:

These are foundational elements for effective coaching. It was underscored that organisations must be explicit about the objectives and expected outcomes of coaching engagements. This clarity helps coachees understand why they are receiving coaching and what is expected of them, reducing potential misunderstandings. Moreover, maintaining transparency regarding the coaching process, including the confidentiality of sessions and the role of the coach, fosters trust and openness in the coaching relationship. When coachees have a clear understanding of how coaching aligns with their professional development and the broader goals of the organisation, they are more likely to actively engage in the process, leading to more impactful coaching outcomes. Clarity and transparency, therefore, emerged as fundamental principles that create a solid foundation for successful coaching initiatives.


The effectiveness and use of group coaching versus one-on-one sessions: 

Group coaching can be a potent tool for fostering connections, leadership identity, and communication within teams or similar roles. Group coaching is especially beneficial when middle managers face shared challenges, enabling them to collaboratively develop solutions and strengthen their leadership skills collectively. However, it was also noted that one-on-one coaching remains essential, allowing for personalised attention to individual needs and goals, addressing unique challenges, and providing a safe, confidential space for coaching conversations tailored to the coachee's specific circumstances. The effectiveness of group versus one-on-one coaching often depends on the context, objectives, and the individual preferences and needs of the coachees.


Coaching for resilience and wellbeing: 

In addition to coaching advocacy, the event touched upon coaching for resilience and wellbeing. Some participants expressed their interest in coaching programs aimed at building resilience within the organisation. Cressida and others emphasised the need to address both individual and structural factors contributing to wellbeing and performance challenges.



Thank you to Cressida for facilitating this discussion which provided valuable insights into the strategic importance of coaching within organisations. Cressida and the participants engaged in a candid discussion, raising important questions and sharing valuable insights. 


If you would like to join further events in this series or any of our other future HR events across the globe, see our events page here and join our HR Community here