Do Executive Coaches Add Value?

Topic(s): coaching
Publication: Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice (2012)
Article: The effect from external executive coaching. Coach
Authors: Frode Moen & Roger Andre Federici
Reviewed by: Scott Charles Sitrin, M.A.

According to a 2009 article in the Harvard Business Review the median hourly salary of an executive coach is $500.  This makes me wonder why I am getting a degree in Psychology, but that is neither here nor there.

If we assume that you hire the coach for 10 sessions to help one of your executives, is she worth it at a total cost of $5,000?  Well, let’s see.  What is the salary of your executive?  $250,000 per year?  So, is it worth it to spend $5,000 to protect a $250,000 investment?

Ultimately, that may depend on the efficacy of the coach.  According to Moen and Roger, when compared to a control group, 20 executives from a Norwegian Fortune 500 company who received coaching had improved goal-setting skills, higher levels of self-efficacy, and better casual attributions.  So, at least in this setting, the coaching did seem to add value, and at $500 an hour, it’s a relative bargain.

Moen, F. & Federici, R.A. (2012). The effect from external executive coaching. Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, 5(2), 113-131.