Program Outcomes

Since the inception of the coaching program in 2008 at Kirby Bates Associates, thirty-three leaders, comprised of nurse managers, directors and nurse executives from nine organizations in seven states have participated in the coaching process. Participant outcome evaluation ratings, measured on a scale of one to five with five being the highest, indicate 95% of all participants consider the program to be at the highest level. More importantly, evaluation comments reveal the following participant views: “Most importantly, my coach gave me emotional support. I always looked forward to our meetings and was excited to share any good or bad news.” Another manager stated, “The discussions with my coach were the best; her review of content, examples, and open communication style were appreciated. She was nonjudgmental, open and available”.

Furthermore, retention statistics of all participants reveal that out of the 33 participants, twenty-five, or 76%, have remained in their respective leadership positions with the longest being a little over seven years. Five leaders have subsequently been promoted and as is sometimes the outcome, three individuals were assessed to not be the correct fit for the position and were ultimately not successful in their respective roles.

Sustained results from the program demonstrate the advancement of the new leaders’ self-reliance while supporting the development of their respective work team. Participants learn to capitalize on their strengths while diminishing weaknesses, a key aspect of appreciative inquiry and transformational leadership. More importantly, managers learn to keep their options open and expect good surprises along the way. They stay committed to the leadership journey striving to be the best nurse leader they can be.

Outcomes were important to identify as well. While engagement and retention were foremost, effective use of the leadership skills learned was also of value. As a result of this investment, several healthcare organizations’ witnessed the following: zero turnover and increased feelings of satisfaction, empowerment, and ownership after five years’ time. This has resulted in increased quality outcomes and improved employee satisfaction. When comparing  leaders who received this support versus those that did not, the coached group ranked higher in the leader development process using the classic Nine Box grid to identify talent management. In the coached group, the majority landed in the future star, solid performer, or key performer categories.

Executive coaches can be very helpful in training effective, strong and engaged nurse managers. The outcomes metrics indicate this is a needed investment for the future success of our leaders, wherever their career paths may lead them. And indeed, the personal relationship and connection with the coach has sustained long term relationships with many managers who continue to seek advice and guidance.