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  • Writer's pictureJohn Graham

Why Should your Manager Pay for Coaching

Many managers and senior technical leaders want coaching. They’re just afraid they can’t get it. It seems like a luxury and an embarrassing thing to ask their manager to cover.

It’s not, though. Coaching pays for itself many times over. If you have direct reports that are either senior technical leaders or managers themselves, think through these facts.

Coaching Increases Productivity

According to various studies, the ROI for coaching is between 400% and 800%. You’re saving $4 to $8 down the line for every dollar you spend on coaching your leaders.

There are a few places this ROI comes from.

Coaches Bring in Outside Perspective

Similar to consultants, coaches from outside your company. They also have other clients. That means they’re going to be better at seeing patterns than you are across management, and they’re going to be able to bring in fresh ideas from outside your company.

How do agile methodologies apply to HR? How might military strategy apply to your marketing? These are the different perspectives you might get with a coach that are hard to build in-house.

Coaches Build your Leaders' Skills

Naturally, coaches are part of a series of tactics that you might use to increase the skills of your staff. In fact, overall productivity is where half of the ROI comes from.

Focusing on your managers and other high potential technical leaders’ skills plays to your strengths. This is a better people management strategy than focusing on your problem children. Someone who’s twice as productive as your lowest performer can, with help, quickly become three times as effective.

Meanwhile, your low performers may never improve.

Play to your strengths and get as much productivity out of your best people. Coach them.

Are you actually convinced and just want to know where to find one? There's lots of good coaches out there, but we hope you choose us! With over 15 years of experience in technical management, we bring the grey hair to help you from day one.

Saves You Time

We all want to be the best boss we can be. And that means we’re supposed to be doing some coaching as part of our job. However, you don't have the time or emotional energy to do it with your own boss breathing down your neck on three late projects, your star employee threatening to quit, and trouble at home.

Coaches can’t replace managers; but they can help managers get some time back in their days. Ultimately, coaching is a partnership between managers and the coach to help the direct report.

Even an effective manager who makes all of their one-on-ones every week can be helped by a coach. With a coach's feedback, each one-on-one will go more smoothly; and there will be fewer issues that the manager needs to support their directs. This saves time and gives that manager the ability to focus on problems that only they can fix.

If You Don’t, Someone Else Will

6 in 10 companies offer coaching to their high potential employees. Even though it pays for itself, it’s still seen as a perk by the coached, making it a lovely thing to offer.

Obviously, coaches can be paid for by high-performing individuals themselves. This works out great for the employees, but not for you! They’ll take their coaches with them wherever they go. It’s like having the best manager you can, no matter where you work. You want this perk to be something you offer!

Worse (for you), coaches are pretty decent at helping their clients get hired and negotiating for good pay. So if you leave it to your employees to get coaching for themselves, you’re risking them walking out the door with their newfound cheerleader.

People Leave Bosses, Not Companies

It’s commonly known that company culture doesn’t matter nearly as much as an employee’s day-to-day team culture. The person with the most impact on that is the manager. Thus, many folks leave great projects, company cultures, and excellent benefits because they have terrible bosses.

That means you may be losing people right now – or someone is thinking of quitting – because of an issue that can be coached away.

As we already mentioned, maybe you know someone needs help, but you don’t have the time to help. Then get that direct report some coaching from outside the company and avoid cultural issues.

The Competition is Reaping the Results

Even if you aren’t convinced your reports need coaching, the companies that have been convinced say they’d do it again – over 95% of them.

Ultimately, it isn’t up to whether you are personally convinced or not. The competition has already made up its mind. Not only is your competition trying to scalp your talent by offering to coach; they’re also turning the increased productivity it brings into financial performance. Companies that invest in their people outperform the S&P index by an absolute 4.6%.

Fix Engagement, Lower Turnover

Coaching isn’t just a perk – it lowers turnover all on its own.


Leaders who receive coaching reduce turnover even among those around them. There are fewer jerks; people can figure out how to communicate more effectively.

Hiring costs are astronomically high. Moreover, tech salaries are skyrocketing due to the great resignation. Now is not the time to roll the dice if you can keep someone from walking out the door.

Offering coaching may be an option if you can't get the budget to increase salaries to compete. It's often cheaper than the raise you might need to compete with a counteroffer and easier to explain to your own manager for the above productivity benefits.

Coached Employees are Engaged

Engagement is where the other half of the ROI comes from. These people will work harder, have better ideas, and identify more with the company’s success than the uncoached.

Engagement is infectious as well. The effects spread beyond the person receiving coaching! Engaged employees set good examples, react positively under stress, and build a collegial culture.

The Best Coach is the Coached

The best way to become a better coach yourself is to receive it. As stated above, the best managers are good coaches. But how do you learn that skill? By coaching them, of course!

Managers who are coached directly impact their own reports’ engagement and productivity. They’re learning while being coached. They don’t just feel better and think through their problems differently. They can teach these lessons and pay it forward.

But I don’t have a Coach… Why Should my Report?

Send this article to your boss and get one! All of these facts apply to you as well.

Convinced that you need to get coaching for your reports? We can help! We’re on a mission to make jobs suck less by teaching one management lesson at a time. Help teach managers the benefits of coaching and share this far and wide!
Or, do you want more tips on retaining top talent? Contact us!
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