Clients track coaching success metrics but EMPLOYEE RETENTION is a missing part of the value equation.
Here’s why; By contractual agreement and in accordance with professional ethics the company is the sponsor, the coachee is the client, and confidentiality is between coach and client. It is not uncommon for clients to bring issues to coaching which result in a decision to “stay” and not “go.” But bound by confidentiality the coach does not share that info with the sponsor who tracks the metrics.
Here are three scenarios that often have a “decision to stay” outcome.
Whether conflict, or actually smoldering discontent, the path is the same and it starts with ownership. What about this might you control or influence?” Ownership of the situation means initiating conversations or actions to address and to target resolution. In many many cases, lo and behold, this works. Although leaving a role and starting a new one may not be comfortable, you would be shocked how many times clients might choose this path of perceived least resistance to dealing with what is bothering them.
Sometimes client bring career inertia to coaching. Some report feeling leveled out and unseen for opportunities. Others are on a linear ascent but seek new areas of challenge. Some have a vision of work with more purpose. These explorations start with ownership. A coach will not point in one direction or another, but through questions and guided reflection my experience is frequently a client “ah ha.” The elect to design a way forward in an organization where they are already known and valued. Being intentional in relationship with internal champions and creating a regular cadence of career touch-points with their lead energizes and expands career possibilities.
I’ll never forget the goal alignment meeting with the CEO of a Fortune 500 who told me there one measure of success for the engagement; If the employee was still employed when our six month engagement was complete, it was a success. Period. Staving off burnout of the incredibly intense high performer was what mattered to the CEO. This instance of focus on balance and wellness as the prescription for retention was cited and teed up for measurement. That is not usually the case. Wellness and balance surface in a high percentage of engagements, and it is one of the most challenging areas to get traction for change. Clients start with ownership of boundaries that align with values.
Coaching is not a guarantee of employee retention. It is a guarantee of guided ownership of situations that may otherwise derail a valued and tenured employee. Without attaching judgment to any outcome, what I observe in the vast majority of cases is a testimony to the old adage: The grass is not always greener one the other side of the fence. Coaching clients conduct agricultural samples on each side of the fence and make an informed choice.