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15 Nov. 2016 | Comments (4)

Do you feel that you have reached a plateau at work? Do you want to take your skills to the next level? You may have heard that business coaching can be incredibly valuable, but the price tag makes you wince. One question you might ask yourself is, ‘What is the cost and the benefit to both myself and my employer, if I could hire the right coach?’ Many employers routinely pay for tuition and certification courses, so why not consider asking your employer to pay for coaching? Here are 5 tips to get your employer on board:

1. Do the work for them:
More and more studies are coming out, almost daily, hailing the benefits of career coaching. You may think that your employer already understands the value of coaching but perhaps not. Let’s look at the facts: The International Coaching Federation outlines the following statistics on coaching: 70% of people who have used a coach report improved work performance, 80% report increased confidence, 72% report increased communication skills, and 96% report that they found the process very valuable and would do it again. Yet in spite of those numbers, business coaching is a relatively new profession. So to get the go-ahead from your boss, do your research and let your employer know that the average ROI on a coaching investment is 50%, often much higher. So, go in having done your research and get an easy ‘yes’.

2. Own your development:
Identify 3 specific areas where you would like to see personal improvement and share them with your employer. Some people fear that even discussing improvement is a sign of weakness. On the contrary it shows that you are taking an active role in your growth as an employee and want to invest the time it takes to become an even more valuable member of your team. It also puts self-awareness on your list of skills and attributes as an employee.

3. Identify an ROI:
What specific change do you hope to achieve through coaching and how will that translate into added business value for your employer? Be specific. Let your employer know how you believe coaching will help.

4. Do your homework:
Have a coach already in mind, and know their fee schedule. When asking your employer to pay for an investment in you, as their employee, know what it is you are asking them to pay for. Coaches can range from $250/hr to over $1000, and most coaches believe in a 3-6 month coaching engagement. So, know what you are asking for. Most coaches will give a discount for multiple clients in a team so perhaps it’s even a larger investment that your employer is willing to make with a larger return.

5. Time it right:
If you have just had a great performance review, that is the perfect time to capitalize, and ask for what you want. Let your employer know that you see a long term future at your company, and identify coaching as a modest investment that would not only help with your continued development as an employee, but provide bottom line benefits to your employer.

Finally, be prepared to negotiate the terms of your coaching agreement, perhaps your employer would pay for half of the bill, but go in asking for more. You never know, it may be easier than it looks. And the benefit is clear.


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  • About the Author: Alexandra Phillips

    Alexandra Phillips

    Alexandra Phillips has over ten years of experience in coaching, consulting, professional development, and public speaking. She has worked as a career coach with executives at many organizations, incl…

    Full Bio | More from Alexandra Phillips


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  1. Marcie Greene 0 people like this 15 Nov. 2016 10:15 PM

    This is great advice! I have had the rare opportunity to be offered free business coaching from an employer, and would agree with all of the ROI in this article. Good tips in case I need to ask for it next time.

    1. Alexandra Phillips 0 people like this 01 Dec. 2016 06:07 AM

      Thanks so much for your comment, Marcie. I'm so glad you found the article of value!

  2. Justine Cooper Photography 0 people like this 15 Nov. 2016 10:56 PM

    I thought this was really useful Alexandra. As an employer I though #2 could also be reverse engineered. For instance, I would love to give my employees the assignment of "owning their own development." Instead of them looking to me for critique and assessment, they would be creating their own evaluation that could benefit from coaching. Thanks for your insight!

    1. Alexandra Phillips 0 people like this 01 Dec. 2016 06:08 AM

      Justine, that is great idea! it helps ownership and an investment in the evaluation process. I'm glad the article was useful. Thank you for your comment.