Historically, organisational coaching has been something you just had to have faith in. You took it on because someone else recommended it or because you didn’t know what else to try to fix whatever you thought your problem was. While there are some obvious metrics (sales, profit, staff turnover etc.) these typically take significant time to shift and in the meantime there’s often little beyond anecdote and “gut feel” to tell you if you’re getting your money’s worth. To be brutally honest this has been a positive state of affairs for at least some of the coaching industry. With few objective measures to distinguish between helpful and unhelpful approaches just about any convincing-sounding methodology could do, at least for a while.
AltusQ takes a different approach. We believe that every organisation has a pervasive network of exquisitely tuned sensors that can tell you exactly what’s going on - the organisation's staff. Individually they are prone to bias but their collective perceptions can tell you what’s happening in very near to real time. The trick lies in asking the right questions of them at the right time.
We have put years of practical experimentation into creating comprehensive but concise surveys that allow us to establish baselines and then track the changes in key measures during and after our coaching interventions.
Our surveys are:
- Easy - most of the questions require a single click, intuitive response
- Convenient - our surveys can be (and often are) completed on a phone while the respondent is getting their morning coffee
- Private - individual responses are rigorously protected to encourage honesty, with only summary reports provided to the client
- Proven - field tested across thousands of respondents.
Some narrowly-focussed interventions can benefit from a “pulse check” survey as soon as three months after the baseline. Larger scale interventions may require semi-annual or annual surveys.
The benefits of knowing what’s going on
First and foremost we can be confident that we are achieving what we set out to achieve. As coaches our personal interactions with an organisation will generally give us a good idea what's going on but confirmation via objective data is always invaluable. For many clients the initial focus is on measuring their Return On Investment (ROI) from coaching but ultimately the most powerful use of the data is as a tool for adjusting aim. That is, we use mid-program surveys to guide us to do more of what’s working and less of what isn’t. The goal is constant, responsive process improvement to meet the specific needs of our clients, even as those needs shift over time.
None of this is rocket science. We don’t claim to have created any kind of magic bullet. We do claim that we’ve put a great deal of thought into coming up with smart, practical, workable ways to deliver evidence-based coaching.
You can read more about our surveys on our QPulse page.