Executives can often be overlooked when it comes to professional coaching and personal development opportunities, but it’s been proven to be incredibly beneficial for top leaders — including the C-suite. A Metrix Global study found that executive coaching has a 788% return on investment (ROI) for businesses. That eye-catching number is calculated based on the positive impacts to an organization, including increases in productivity and employee retention, after executives complete coaching sessions. Investing in executive coaching can also unlock new growth opportunities for leaders within the organization, ultimately helping contribute to better company performance and business outcomes.

Coaching is needed at all organizational levels, but there can be a stigma around asking for or accepting help as a top leader. What strategies can create an environment where company executives feel comfortable asking for the professional development and coaching they need? And how can organizations make the experience engaging and impactful for them?

Emphasizing Growth at all Levels

A culture of continued learning and development (L&D) should be felt across the entire company, and professional coaching shouldn’t only feel like an onboarding activity. Organizations should emphasize that learning never stops, and the need for professional development is equally important later in a career. As a career progresses, new management and leadership responsibilities accumulate, and learning and leadership needs evolve, too.

Executive coaching can also boost employee retention. When an executive knows that they have a path for growth and tangible goals to work toward at the company, their productivity and satisfaction likely increase. Investing in top leaders also has positive ripple effects across an organization. As leaders hone their own skills, they will continue to grow as people managers, learn how to more effectively motivate and collaborate with their teams, and develop future leaders as a result.

Identifying the Coaching Lineup

Organizations have options when it comes to sourcing coaching talent. Third-party consultants or executive coaches can be brought in to help. While these people may lack institutional knowledge about the inner workings of a company, they can objectively provide counsel and tools for growth based on an executive’s day-to-day responsibilities, leadership style and personal and professional goals.

Employees can also be trained to become coaches. Employees have an intimate understanding of an organization’s culture, which can heavily influence how certain challenges are addressed. Having an in-house team of coaches also offers the ability to provide regular one-on-one sessions over the longer term, compared to utilizing someone outside of the organization for a specified duration of time.

Given that coaches aren’t one-size-fits-all, building a diverse coaching bench provides the access and opportunity for an executive to take the time to find the right coach for their specific working style, experience and goals, and strong desire for confidentiality and trust.

Personalizing Success

Growth is a personal journey, and creating a roadmap for how each step is taken along the way is critical. From demands on time to an unexpected business event, an array of outside influences can impact an executive’s ability to focus on a specific step at any given point, so it’s important for the process — and coach — to flex to these outside pressures.

Within the curriculum (or process), each lesson can be tailored to an executive’s individual needs and professional goals. This may look different for each executive, but one-on-one sessions with a coach and anonymous 360-degree feedback are used to explore areas like team growth, effective leadership styles, productivity and communications skills. For example, one executive may be impeding a team’s efficiency by micromanaging and requiring their review every step along the way. And that may inhibit an employee’s own growth as a future leader. Or another executive may learn how to better leverage their team’s strengths to fill in talent gaps or take on new opportunities.

While each executive’s success is personalized, the path to get there takes the same direction.

Setting the Right Mindset

Executives that come to the table with “growth mindsets” show desire for self-betterment. A growth mindset is a distinct way of looking at challenges or setbacks. Regardless of whether an executive encounters issues with developing particular skills, they believe they can improve them with focus over time.

These executives who show desire for self-betterment indicate that they have a strong growth mindset. They’re willing to put in the hard work to better themselves and the teams around them, which makes them better positioned to progress in their careers.

Capitalizing on the Investment

With a great coaching lineup, flexible roadmap and positive mindset, executives carry the learnings and tools into their current and future roles. Helping leaders grow both professionally and personally is arguably one of the best returns on investment for any organization.