A digital media company offering professional services to large, multi-national clients struggled to meet its clients’ daily demands. Pressure was intense, and employees on the delivery side of services struggled to satisfy clients, resulting in a high-stress, intense work environment with long work hours. Moreover, the delivery side of the business lost credibility with other teams within the organization, causing account managers to leave the organization. Complicating the issue was that employees in Delivery Services lacked the necessary skills for their jobs, and in some cases also lacked the natural talent or work ethic to develop those skills. Morale was low, and turnover was high across the business, and especially so in Delivery Services.
Upon termination of the Delivery Services Manager, one of the individual contributors within Delivery Services expressed a desire to lead the Delivery Services team. This individual was given the role and had confidence from the Executive Team and senior leaders that he would succeed in putting the Delivery Services team on course.
We identified the primary individuals and groups who had something to lose or gain as a result of this coaching client’s success or failure. After conducting an interview-style needs assessment thru individual interviews with all of the stakeholders as well as collecting data from a rater-style 360 assessment using with the client’s manager, peers and direct reports, we identified three areas in need of development, then documented these areas through the coaching plan: Reduce project overages and improve accountability, improve performance of the team and improve the perception of the team throughout the organization. Moreover, the coaching client identified two measurable areas linked to his coaching goals that could be monetized and translated into ROI: increasing utilization and improving profit margin.
The coaching client and the coach created a Coaching Plan and had 13, one-hour meetings over 6.5 months. During this time, the client and coach worked on talent assessment, communication skills and techniques for performance as well as influence, managing difficult situations and conversations, training and development planning for team members, and more. The client also read First, Break All the Rules and watched Dan Pink: The Puzzle of Motivation.
Twice during the coaching engagement, we checked progress toward coaching goals with the manager and the client.
Improvement data was collected through an online survey, capturing data from the client as well as the manager, peers and direct reports. Overall, the client reported a 95% positive satisfaction with coaching and strong improvement across three main competencies related to his development and captured through the 360 utilized at the start of coaching: Communication, Managing Others and Innovation. In fact, peers and direct reports reported improvement on all 19 skills related to each of the main competencies.
More importantly, improvement in profit margin for, and utilization of, the team resulted in a $49,164 savings. ROI was calculated at 371%.
The results were communicated to the coaching client, CEO, CFO, HR Manager, COO and CSO. The Executive Team was satisfied with the results, and the overall impact demonstrated the success of this new manager in his highly challenging new role, in a short period of time.
The outcomes of this study provided us with new insights the we were able to take forward with new clients:
Moreover, this case study continues to serve as useful evidence of client success and allows us to continue to grow our client base and service offering.
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