When I left Accenture, one of my colleagues described me as the voice of humanity. I think that was because I banged on about people creating profits, so if an organisation starts by creating a great employee experience for those people, then the profits will fall into place.
That explains why I had a reaction the other day to talk of Return on Investment for coaching. Now of course I believe that coaching needs to be effective for the business as well as for the individual, and yes it would be great if we could measure that return financially. But as Anthony Grant argues, it’s a really inexact formula -and indeed there is not one single formula that can be compared across the board.
I do also hear Peter Hawkins’ voice echoing in my ear, that coaching within organisations is not employee assistance. When done properly, with a three or four way contract, it ensures that both the individual AND the organisation get what they need from the coaching.
Yet we work with the indivdual. And it is all about enabling the individual to flourish and thrive in the context they choose to live and work in. That flourishing will naturally lead to better results for all, including financial returns, however immeasurable, but it starts with the individual; and it ends with their impact on society.
At the individual level, Anthony Grant talks about measuring the return on wellness and engagement, as those lead to profit later. There’s such humanity in that. So I’m asking myself, how do we measure a Return on Humanity? Grant has some ideas, to use the Positie and Negative Affect Scale (Watson, Clark and Teelgan, 1988) and the 12-item Gallup Q12, but I feel like we’re missing something. What’s missing?
Maybe something about the ripple effect that the individual then has on society? How do we measure that?
I’d welcome your thoughts, as I don’t have the answer, yet.