Jan 73 min

The Fortune 500’s Secret Weapon – Executive Coaching

Written by: Melanie Espeland, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


For decades, leaders of some of the most iconic and successful companies have harnessed the power of executive coaches, including: Jeff Bezos, Former CEO of Amazon and Larry Page, Co-Founder of Google. Goldman Sachs believes in it so much that they speak to their coaching commitment on their website.

The Market

In fact, HR consulting firm Hay Group estimates that up to 40% of Fortune 500 companies utilize executive coaches. Demand is estimated to reach $11.2B this year. Per a survey of HR and learning and development professionals, 68% expect demand to continue to increase.

The ROI

So why do the major players invest in these services? Professionals have described an average return of 7x, and over a quarter reported an impressive ROI of 10 to 49x.

Additionally, Harvard Business Review found that multiple stock portfolios composed of companies that "spend aggressively on employee development" each outperformed the S&P 500 by 17 to 35%.

Diverse levers can be attributed to coaching ROI, with a typical engagement looking like the following:

Coaching Impacts

  • Improved relationships with direct reports, peers, and other stakeholders

  • Increased commitment to the organization

  • Increased job satisfaction

Bottom Line Impacts

  • Increased revenue

  • Increased productivity

  • Higher customer satisfaction

  • Reduced turnover

Next Steps

Perhaps executive coaching is the missing link for your organization. If so, here’s what you need to do next:

1. Find the perfect coach

Many companies hire external executive coaches or coaching firms due to their expertise. To find the right coach, consider the following:

  • Do they have both quantitative and qualitative skills? Are they able to measure impact and ROI with ease?

  • Are they a strong verbal and written communicator?

  • Does their client portfolio match your cohort?

  • Do they understand any relevant technical jargon relevant to your industry or cohort?

  • Have they been in your cohort’s shoes? For example, have they ever been an executive at a Fortune 500?

You may find that different coaches may be needed for various cohorts in your company, such as one for junior level rising stars and one for the C-suite.

2. Embrace coaching

Make sure your organization is strongly communicating support of its coaches or coaching program. One of the best and most practical ways to do this is to offer coaching widely throughout your organization with limited barriers to entry.

3. Ensure accountability

Ensure that your Executive Coaches hold employees accountable to their scheduled sessions, goals, and homework. This not only allows for the employee to remain on track, but helps them to take the engagement seriously and further appreciate the endeavor.

4. Share the data

Communicate to your organization ongoing results from your coaching engagement. This will not only encourage continued use, but also encourage skeptics to give it a try.

By Melanie Espeland, Executive Contributor for Brainz Magazine

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Melanie Espeland, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Melanie Espeland is an Executive Coach, Consultant, and Entrepreneur. She is the Founder and CEO of Espeland Enterprises, specializing in consulting and coaching engagements for extraordinary individuals and companies. She provides a unique perspective and a keen ability to problem solve with grace, built upon consulting at McKinsey & Company, coaching top talent, and performing as a Voice Actor.

Today Melanie works with top companies such as Google, IBM, and Morgan Stanley; and exceptional individuals including Olympians, influencers, and leaders. She has been featured in publications such as Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, California Herald, and NY Weekly; and Melanie has spoken at prestigious institutions such as Columbia Business School and Umbrex.

Melanie is available for customized consulting engagements, one-on-one coaching, team coaching, and speaking engagements. She currently lives in Los Angeles (while remaining a New Yorker at heart), and enjoys painting and voice acting in her free time.