How to choose the right coaching partner

Are you looking for a coaching partner to support your L&D initiatives in 2023? Here are a few criteria to think about when choosing the right partner for your company:

At Sayge, we believe coaching unlocks everything – potential, personal and professional growth, opportunities, you name it. It’s no surprise that more companies are realizing the impact of coaching on their people and culture, with 93% of companies reporting significantly less employee turnover when they offer coaching as a benefit to their people.

However, with so many options, it can be difficult for companies to know how to find the right coaching partner for their employees. To help you navigate this process, we’ve put together a quick guide outlining key considerations when looking for a coaching benefit:

1. Coaching Quality

At Sayge, quality is our top priority. In this day and age, just about anyone can call themselves a coach. That’s why looking for a partner that has excellent coaches should be top priority. Quality coaches should be ICF trained and certified, have an ACC, PCC or MCC depending on the level of seniority, and go through a rigorous interview and onboarding process. Your coaching provider should also follow the ICF Ethics guidelines along with the Core Competencies. Confidentiality in what is discussed during the coaching sessions is top of mind! The ICF is the International Coaching Federation that provides guidelines on coaching and insights into its benefits. 

That said, it’s important to make sure the coaching partner has high standards for the coaches they supply your people. They should also give you a clear definition of what coaching is, given it’s often confused with advice-giving or mentorship. A good coach will help bring out your potential which brings above true change, not impose their own ideas and solutions.

Key questions to ask your coaching partner:

  • How do you screen and qualify your coaches for quality?
  • How many of your coaches have ICF certifications?
  • How do you define coaching?

2. Scaleability

We’ve all secured products or companies in the past that don’t grow alongside our needs or growth, it’s a headache. With coaching, you’re creating more than just a product-relationship, it’s a human relationship. That’s why you want to ensure that the service provided will stay consistent and grow with your team as it changes. 

Ask the company how they ensure the quality and experience of their services remain consistent as your company evolves. Look for a partner who is committed to customer experience and aligned with your level of service expectations.

Key questions to ask your coaching partner:

  • How do you keep the quality of your coaching as my company scales?
  • What’s your approach to customer experience?
  • What’s your SLA?

3. Testimonials & NPS score

 A good coaching partner should have a track record of success, backed by positive testimonials and relevant industry experience. Potential coaching partners should also be able to provide you with a strong NPS score. You can also include a history of satisfied clients, positive testimonials, and relevant industry experience. 
Your coaching partner of choice will also take time to understand what your main organizational development areas are and work with you to deliver to those needs. Additionally, they will be able to provide a way to show growth over the time of the engagement and share anonymized insights into your organization. 

For example, Sayge currently has a +69 average satisfaction Net Promoter Score (NPS) compared to the L&D average of -8. NPS which is a testament to our quality of service.

Key questions to ask your coaching partner:

  • Do you have 1-2 clients we could speak to as a referral?
  • What is your NPS score?
  • How do you handle dissatisfied customers?

4. ROI

Investing in your people is an investment in your business, and a great coaching partner will understand this. They should work with you to understand your team’s goals, collaborate on what success looks like, and report back on progress to make the process as effortless as possible. After all, there’s a 788% ROI on executive coaching and, as people leaders, we know how important it is to prove that value.

Key questions to ask your coaching partner:

  • What metrics can I expect you to report back on?
  • How do you measure success? 
  • How do you define success?

5. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

While coaching was once reserved for executives and those with access, it’s now critical to work with a provider who understands the value of providing coaching to anyone and everyone at your company.

One way to do this is to understand how they do their matching, as well as to look at their coaching base to understand the diversity of their coaches. To feel most comfortable in their coaching partnership, a staff member may need to work with someone who has a similar work background or trajectory to them, for example. Race and ethnicity can also play a significant role in this. You’ll want to be sure to collaborate with a partner who truly listens to what your people say they need to get the most out of their coaching engagement.

 Key questions to ask your coaching partner:
  • How do you match coaches and coachees?
  • How do you keep in mind an individual’s needs when matching coachees?
  • How do you prioritize DEI in recruiting coaches?

6. Culture & Values Alignment

Last and certainly not least, work with a coaching partner that shares similar values to your company. Values are the north-star by which all the stakeholders in a coaching company will work alongside you and champion your people. Look for strong evidence in the sales and customer experience teams that show their dedication to you as a client and their loyalty to providing an amazing experience. Working with a partner that understands your business and the importance of the investment you’re making in your people, will use their values as a way to reinforce that.

Choosing the right coaching startup can be difficult! By considering the above factors, you can be sure to find a partner that is the right fit for you and your company’s needs. Remember, the coach-client relationship is a partnership, so take the time to find the right fit for you.

Key questions to ask your coaching partner:
  • What are your company values?
  • Can you give us an example of how your company values have positively impacted a client relationship in the past?
  • How do you make sure your coaches are aligned with your core values?
Want to learn how Sayge can be a coaching partner to you and your people? LET’S TALK.