In house or external coaching?

The benefits of Executive Coaching are well recognised and proven to deliver significant return on investment and benefits to the bottom line but how should you decide whether to us in house or external coaches. What are the benefits of each and which is right for your organisation?

Companies use both external and internal coaches for a variety of reasons including improving retention and development of key people, improving productivity, achieving personal and company objectives, minimising or avoiding unproductive conflicts, making strategic planning more creative and supporting individuals who have been promotes to cope with new responsibilities. For the client coaching can enhance personal development and progress by learning to solve problems, reflecting on current experience, clarifying career direction, increasing self awareness, developing a greater adaptability to change, increasing personal impact on colleagues, enhancing the performance of their teams and direct reports, developing a better work life balance and adapting their leadership style.

In house coaches operating from within an organisation will already have knowledge of the culture, history and politics or the organisation. They are more easily available and perceived as less expensive and more easily managed by the organisation and as well as formally organised coaching sessions they are usually available for informal or “quiet” coaching conversations. Individuals can benefit from developing long term relationships with their coaches. An internal coach can help develop a coaching culture within an organisation and can act as a change agent in a way that an external coach cannot. The development of an internal coaching strategy is also usually seen as a statement that the organisation is moving towards a supportive coaching style of management.

Companies that employ external coaches benefit from their independence, objectivity and wider range of experience. In some cases they are able to provide sensitive feedback to senior staff that an internal coach would be unable to do. The confidentiality provided by external coaches can be very important in many situations and clients find external coaches are often able to give a new perspective enabling them to step back and view the bigger picture with no constraints. As they are not involved in or part of the day to day culture and benefits of the organisation they are perceived as being totally unbiased.

Which is best for your organisation?

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