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The Relationship of Coaching ROI to Biblical Kingdom Living

Authors:
  • Teaiiano Leadership Solutions

Abstract

Academic literature argues against financial ROI as the sole metric for coaching effectiveness, in favor of well-validated, distal organizational and individual outcomes (Grover and Furnham, 2016; Wright, 2015; Grant, 2012; Theeboom, Beersma and van Vianen, 2014). Two years of research on the links between coaching, and distal organizational outcomes, emphasizing engagement, well-being and work-life balance, carries deep implications for the kingdom impact of coaching in the marketplace. Workplace coaching has the potential to deliver organizational outcomes such as increased workplace engagement (Arakawa & Greenberg, 2007), decreased stress (Gyllensten & Palmer, 2005), and increased well-being (Grant, 2012); and individual outcomes such as increased performance, coping, and well-being (Hawksley, 2007; Bell, Rajendran and Theiler, 2012; Theeboom, Beersma & van Vianen, 2014). Academic literature holds strong implications for workplace coaching and presents the opportunity to examine how coaching impacts wellbeing to facilitate biblical kingdom living.This research paper not only carries significant implications for organizational coaches, corporate decision makers, and HR directors to justify the common costs of coaching interventions; it also carries implications for marketplace ministry and ultimately for biblical kingdom living.
Journal of Practical Consulting, Vol. 6 Iss. 1, Summer 2018, pp 86-101.
© 2018 School of Business & Leadership, Regent University
ISSN 1930-806X | Virginia Beach, Va. USA
The Relationship of Coaching ROI to Biblical Kingdom
Living
Thomas E. Anderson II
Teaiiano Coaching Solutions
Academic literature argues against financial ROI as the sole metric for coaching effectiveness, in favor of
well-validated, distal organizational and individual outcomes (Grover and Furnham, 2016; Wright, 2015;
Grant 2012; Theeboom, Beersma and van Vianen, 2014). Two years of research on the links between
coaching, and distal organizational outcomes, emphasizing engagement, well-being and work-life balance,
carries deep implications for the kingdom impact of coaching in the marketplace. Workplace coaching has
the potential to deliver organizational outcomes such as increased workplace engagement (Arakawa &
Greenberg, 2007), decreased stress (Gyllensten & Palmer, 2005), and increased well-being (Grant, 2012);
and individual outcomes such as increased performance, coping, and well-being (Hawksley, 2007; Bell,
Rajendran and Theiler, 2012; Theeboom, Beersma & van Vianen, 2014). Academic literature holds strong
implications for workplace coaching and presents the opportunity to examine how coaching impacts well-
being to facilitate biblical kingdom living.
This research paper not only carries significant implications for organizational coaches, corporate decision
makers, and HR directors to justify the common costs of coaching interventions; it also carries implications
for marketplace ministry and ultimately for biblical kingdom living.
n its global context, the accelerating pace of change has increased workplace stress and
increased conflicts between employees' work, personal and family lives. Kossek, Lewis and
Hammer (2010) posit work-life demands caused by four factors have led to increased
workplace stress, lower work-life balance, and higher work-life conflict (pp.5-6). These four
factors are:
1. Interconnectedness of economic systems, due to the global recession of 2008/09
2. Higher workloads (or overwork) due to understaffing
3. Offshoring of jobs "exacerbating work-life issues in developing countries or
transitional economies" (Gambles et al., 2006)
4. Changing technology enables employees to work 24-7, blurring boundaries between
work and family, and requiring a need for "work-life initiatives to support integration"
(p. 5).
I
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The Relationship of Coaching ROI to Biblical Kingdom Living
Journal of Practical Consulting, Vol. 6 Iss. 1, Summer 2018, pp. 86-101.
© 2018 School of Business & Leadership, Regent University
ISSN 1930-806X | Virginia Beach, Va. USA
Bell, Rajendran & Theiler (2012) posit the conditions that necessitate organizational change are
evidenced by "the pressure of market-driven globalization and an unwavering demand for growth
and efficiency"; and causes "large-scale organizational change, such as restructuring, downsizing
and government funding cuts" (p. 25).
Due to the Butterfly effect (one change in one part of a system, no matter how small, can affect
the other parts of the system), the turbulence inherent in the convergence of these factors has
trickled down from the organization's environment to the organization itself, affecting the work
and personal lives of employees. Changes in the organizational environment have caused an
increased need for organization change, perpetuating workplace stress and work-life conflict,
while decreasing levels of well-being, work-life balance and engagement. Organizational decision
makers, particularly in human resources, work to push back and increase levels of well-being,
work-life balance and engagement (as evidence shows these three variables impact not only each
other but also performance (Simpson, 2009; Crabb, 2011). Work-life initiatives, and well-being
and engagement programs address workplace stress, and have, in recent years, connected the three
aforementioned outcomes to organizational strategy.
It is important to introduce four key terms that this paper will reference: well-being, engagement,
work-life balance, and shalom.
Well-being
Well-being is defined as "not only the absence of disease and reduced physical functioning, but
the presence of positive physical, mental and psychological states of being (Sears, Agrawal,
Sidney, Castle, Rula, Coberley, Witters, Pope and Harter, 2014, p. 357). Well-being involves "high
levels of a number of facets of psychological well-being, including self-acceptance, purpose in
life, positive relations with others, environmental mastery and autonomy (Ryff & Keyes, 1995)"
(Grant, 2012, p. 5). The author’s research regards wellbeing in the five categories delineated by
Gallup-Healthways (2014): purpose, social, financial, community and physical wellbeing (p. 2).
Engagement
In a literature review of engagement at work, Simpson (2009) defines employee engagement as
“the individual’s involvement and satisfaction as well as enthusiasm for work” , while referring to
work engagement as “a positive, fulfilling, work-related state of mind that is characterized by vigor
[high levels of energy and mental resilience while working], dedication [being strongly involved
in one’s work and experiencing a sense of significance, enthusiasm, inspiration, pride and
challenge], and absorption [being fully concentrated and happily engrossed in one’s work,
whereby time passes quickly and one has difficulties with detaching oneself from work” (p. 1018).
Towers Watson (2012) introduces the concept of sustainable engagement which “describes the
intensity of employees’ connection to their organization, based on three core elements: the extent
of employees’ discretionary effort committed to achieving work goals (being engaged), an
environment that supports productivity in multiple ways (being enabled), [and] a work experience
that promotes well-being (feeling energized)” (p. 5). Aon Hewitt (2012) defines employee
engagement as “a measure of employees’ willingness to give their discretionary effort to help the
organization achieve and exceed its goals” (p. 1.)
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Journal of Practical Consulting, Vol. 6 Iss. 1, Summer 2018, pp. 86-101.
© 2018 School of Business & Leadership, Regent University
ISSN 1930-806X | Virginia Beach, Va. USA
Work-life balance
Bell et al. (2012) indicate that work-life balance is "the degree to which an individual can
simultaneously balance the emotional, behavioural and time demands of both paid work, family
and personal duties (Hill, et al., 2001)" (p. 26).
Shalom
The concept of shalom, which applies to both individuals and organizational communities, exists
as a religious concept that is grounded in the person of God, and is a gift from God (Harris, 1970,
p. 14). The term ‘shalom’ is ordinarily translated as ‘peace’ and occurs 249 times in the Old
Testament (Wald, 1944, p. 22). Harris (1970) points out that peace is "listed more than once as
one of the fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:22, et al.) A person does not pursue peace in order to realize
salvation. The gift of peace is a fruit of God’s gift of salvation…” (Harris, 1970, p. 50). The root
meaning of "shalom" is “to be whole, sound, safe”, and the concept implies the idea of totality
(Harris, 1970, p. 14). Implicit in the concept of shalom is a focus on intangible, spiritual outcomes
that manifest in areas such as material prosperity and general well-being (Wald, 1944).
The Impact of Organizational Change
Harris (1970) posits “anything that contributes to wholeness makes for shalom. Anything that
stands in the way disrupts shalom” (p. 14). Organizational change disrupts shalom. The current
situation in organizational life reveals two disruptive organizational problems that are caused by
the accelerated pace of change happening on a global scale: conflict and stress.
Problem 1: Change Causes Conflict
Shalom implies a focus on relationships. It is important to note, “shalom” is a common greeting
for those they regard as true brethren and is used by people of Semitic background in the Middle
East (Harris, 1970, p. 13). The greeting is impossible if any barrier lies between the two people.
On an organizational level, change causes conflicts specifically between individuals and their
employing organizations. In discussing coaching as a change management strategy, Burke (2011)
posits that effective coaches mitigate conflict by integrating individual needs with organizational
goals, which places the coaching in “a unique position to help the individual and the organization
renegotiate a new psychological contract…[as] an attempt to integrate individual improvement
objectives with organization change goals.” Burke’s (2011) choice of terminology (“integration”)
implies that coaching, as a change management strategy, also functions as a conflict management
strategy. When integration does not take place, it can increase the level of work-life conflict
employees and managers experience. Work-life conflict
1
"occurs when involvement in one
domain, for example work or personal life, interferes with involvement in the other domain
(Hanson, et al., 2006)" (Bell et al., 2012, p. 26). Effective coaches not only mitigate work-life
conflict, but they also position coaching as an organizational solution, in addition to an individual
solution.
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The Relationship of Coaching ROI to Biblical Kingdom Living
Journal of Practical Consulting, Vol. 6 Iss. 1, Summer 2018, pp. 86-101.
© 2018 School of Business & Leadership, Regent University
ISSN 1930-806X | Virginia Beach, Va. USA
Problem 2: Change Causes Stress
Unresolved conflict in the workplace contributes to employee stress levels. Here is why that is
important. Bell et al. (2012) and Grant-Vallone & Ensher (2001) emphasize the importance of
recognizing the work-life spillover dynamic in employees’ lives, where positive or negative
situations that occur in one domain of life spillover into the other domain. A simple change at work
can result in workplace stress that spills over into an employee’s personal life. Similarly, an
employee’s personal, financial or family problems can spillover into the workplace and show up
in their performance.
Studies of work-life balance and work-life conflict over the past 20 years have revealed that
workplace stress is a predictor of both the work-life balance and work-life conflict constructs (Bell
et al., 2012, p. 26). "The few studies that have investigated correlational predictors of work-life
balance and work-life conflict suggest that stress plays an important role” (Bell et al., 2012). High
levels of job stress, which lead to ill-being, have been linked to decreased work-life balance and
increased work-life conflict among different occupations, especially where "an individual lacks
the coping resources or uses ineffective strategies to cope with stress" (Bell et al., 2012).
Problem 3: Workplace Stress causes organizational problems
Bell et al. (2012) indicate that "higher levels of work related stress can lead to organizational
problems, such as low productivity, increased absenteeism and turnover, as well as individual
employee problems, such as alcohol and drug abuse, and ill-being (Jamal, 2005; Mostert,
Rothmann, Mostert & Nell, 2008)”. Low work-life balance is linked to undesirable well-being
outcomes such as "higher absenteeism and intention to quit...employee burnout, job stress, poorer
physiological and psychological health, substance abuse, and diminished family functioning” (Bell
et al., 2012, p.26). Satisfactory work-life balance was also linked to non-work outcomes, such as
life, family, marital and leisure satisfaction and family performance" (Bell et al., 2012). Given this
data, one can pose the question “what is the real problem, on both the individual and organizational
level, given the frame of the Christian leader?
Problem 4: Workplace Stress Causes a Lack of Shalom
When virtues such as wholeness, general well-being, inner peace are developed in individuals it
“makes for shalom in the community” (Harris, 1970, p. 15; Wald, 1944). Similarly, factors that
disrupt shalom in the individual, also disrupts shalom in the community. The literature implies that
a lack of shalom exists in the workplace because of stress on individual well-being. Evaluating the
organizational problems in light of shalom, one can infer that coaching provides a solution.
Coaching mitigates the disruption of shalom.
The remainder of this paper will draw appropriate connections between coaching and shalom,
within the context of ubiquitous change, and through the increasingly important organizational
outcome of well-being; one that links to the previously stated concepts, and to engagement and
work-life balance.
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Journal of Practical Consulting, Vol. 6 Iss. 1, Summer 2018, pp. 86-101.
© 2018 School of Business & Leadership, Regent University
ISSN 1930-806X | Virginia Beach, Va. USA
Coaching as a Solution
Christian leaders and workers spend between 40 and 80 hours in the marketplace each week
(Christensen, 2005). Mattera (2013) calls for a way to support Christians in the marketplace under
these circumstances. Coaching provides a way to support the Christian mission in the marketplace
through the pursuit of total well-being. The discipline of coaching can reduce the gap between
organizational members and total well-being.
Impact on Workplace Stress and Work-life Balance
Coaching positively impacts the root problems of workplace stress and work-life balance. The
literature makes it clear that "well-targeted workplace coaching has the potential to deliver a wide
range of positive outcomes among those increased workplace engagement (Arakawa & Greenberg,
2007), decreased stress (Gyllensten & Palmer, 2005) depression and anxiety, increased resilience
and well-being (Grant et al., 2010)" (Grant, 2012, p.5). Grant's (2012) research establishes that
"two important variables for coaching in organizational settings are well-being and workplace
engagement", and suggests a Well-being Engagement Framework, or WBEF, to measure coaching
effectiveness in organizations (p. 5). Hawksley (2007) links coaching and work-life balance,
explaining that "coaching can be used as a strategy to help individuals initiate and maintain
changes such as implementing strategies to achieve work-life balance", also including managing
work-related stress among significant benefits (p. 35).
Results of Increased Shalom
The concept of shalom aligns with the idea of biblical kingdom living. The Septuagint connects
the word “shalom” with the word “eirene” (Harris, 1970, p. 36). As it appears in Romans 14:17,
the word "eirene", which translates as “peace”, is grounded in the Old Testament concept of
shalom (Harris, 1970). Longenecker (2016) explains that in Romans 14:16-18, "Paul… sets out
the overriding concerns of “righteousness”, “peace” and “joy in the Holy Spirit” as being the basic
and essential matters having to do with “the kingdom of God” that is, with a truly Christian
experience. He does so in opposition to those thoughts, comments, and actions that were
dominating what was then going on in Rome” (p. 1008).
The connection between shalom and virtues of God’s Kingdom also applies to the business
environment and economy of the United States, one that has become taken with the idea of
economic prosperity, and sometimes at the expense of employees. Harris (1970) explains that
“…shalom often includes the idea of material prosperity...[and] [m]aterial prosperity is often
linked with spiritual well-being (p. 27). In a present-day organizational analogy, Paul would
juxtapose the Kingdom virtues of peace, righteousness and joy, with the focus on the Big Five of
American Business: performance, productivity, profitability, efficiency and effectiveness. He
would say to business leaders “to be effective, you have to pursue Kingdom virtues and the Big
Five will follow”, according to Matthew 6:33 where the author exhorts the ancient Christian
community to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness as a top priority, which results in
the provision of economic resources. Within the Kingdom of God construct, peace and shalom are
implied. Longenecker (2016) captures the essence of Paul's exhortation positing “…the apostle’s
injunction in these three verses is that believers in Jesus should not twist matters regarding “the
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The Relationship of Coaching ROI to Biblical Kingdom Living
Journal of Practical Consulting, Vol. 6 Iss. 1, Summer 2018, pp. 86-101.
© 2018 School of Business & Leadership, Regent University
ISSN 1930-806X | Virginia Beach, Va. USA
kingdom of God” into “a matter of eating and drinking,” but, rather, they should focus in their
thinking and living on “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Longenecker, 2016, p.
1008). The pursuit of shalom aligns with an increased concentration on spirituality in the
workplace, which has become more prominent in recent years.
During a typical workday, the effects of change test the expression and possession of shalom in
the lives of employees and leaders. This occurs especially when stressful situations emerge, and
employees are tested through conflict. Shalom is not merely a conceptual type of peace that
operates in a vacuum, sans conflict, where nothing goes wrong. Shalom is tested amid conflict, as
it is peace held in tension as the “present possession of the Christian” (Harris, 1970, p. 51).
Conflict, which is both inevitable and a producer of stress, puts shalom to the test.
Measuring the ROI of Coaching
Marketplace Value of Coaching
Evidence that coaching links to organizational strategy through key performance indicators (KPIs)
and organizational outcomes provides more incentive for decision makers to care about coaching.
With common costs of a coaching intervention between $15,000 and $75,000 for a six-month
intervention, human resources directors need solid evidence of coaching effectiveness and "the
impact of coaching on distal organisational outcomes" (Grover and Furnham, 2016, p. 5). This
evidence extends the trust building process by answering the underlying question "how does
coaching apply to what I care about?"
Effective coaches engage questions such as “why would a company or a corporate decision maker
care about coaching? What makes considering well-being and engagement, even work-life
balance, worth their time?”
The Importance of Wellbeing to Financial Performance
Wright (2015) links the distal organizational outcomes of wellbeing, engagement and work-life
balance to employee performance, organizational strategy and competitive advantage by
explaining "the importance of well-being to the financial performance of a business is increasingly
recognized by investors, who are looking at well-being and engagement levels as leading
indicators of performance and market value". McCarthy, Almeida and Ahrens (2011) provide an
exemplary answer in a study that establishes a link between wellness programs, key performance
indicators (KPIs) (p. 183), and marketplace success (p. 187). Their study, which delineates
categorical examples of well-being program components, provides an example for coaching ROI.
Among the highest benefits of well-being programs were job satisfaction (45.5%), staff retention
(35.2%), employee engagement (32.3%), productivity (32%), coping with change (31.7%), and
reduced absenteeism (28.2%) (p. 187). Researchers are constantly producing new evidence to
prove that coaching links to organizational strategy, as it impacts engagement, well-being and
work-life balance (Timms, Brough, O’Driscoll, Kalliath, Siu, Sit and Lo, 2015, p. 595; Alvi,
Hussain, Tahir & Gondal, 2015, p. 3637)
2
.
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© 2018 School of Business & Leadership, Regent University
ISSN 1930-806X | Virginia Beach, Va. USA
Measuring Coaching ROI using Distal Organizational Outcomes
Because profit undergirds business, financial ROI appears to be the best way to measure coaching
effectiveness. However, evidence points to alternate ways to gauge how coaching impacts an
organization and its employees. Currently, coaching ROI is experiencing a paradigm shift from
financial ROI to distal organizational outcomes. The literature makes a case against financial ROI
as sole metric for coaching interventions (Grover and Furnham, 2016; Wright, 2015; Grant 2012;
Theeboom, Beersma and van Vianen, 2014). Grant (2012) argues that "financial return on
investment (ROI) is an unreliable and insufficient measure of coaching outcomes" that can lead to
both substantial underestimation and overestimation of coaching impact (pp. 1,3). In a meta-
analysis of individual coaching effectiveness in an organizational context, Theeboom, Beersma &
van Vianen (2014) posit that financial ROI, presents considerable limitations when measuring the
effectiveness of coaching interventions.
Recent research pushes for coaching to align with what Grover and Furnham (2016) refers to as
"distal organizational outcomes". In a study that investigates coaching effectiveness, Theeboom et
al. (2014) examined “well-validated, more distal indicators of functioning in addition to individual
level outcome categories/: performance/skills, well-being, coping, work and career-related
attitudes and goal-directed self-regulation (p. 3). Given recent scholarship and evidence, the use
of financial ROI as the sole indicator of coaching interventions has proven ineffective in favor of
using well-validated, distal organizational outcomes. Distal organizational outcomes are becoming
an alternative to not only measure the "ROI" of coaching, but more aptly, a method to evaluating
coaching effectiveness.
Job Stress and Costs to Physical Well-being
Bell et al. (2012) posit that the increasing job stress, caused by market-driven globalization and
large-scale organizational change, is "negatively impacting employees' work and personal lives"
(p. 26). On a wide scale, the literature has linked stress to "adverse effects on employees'
psychological and physical well-being in many occupations...[and it] represents a large emotional
cost to employee wellbeing and puts a considerable financial burden on organizational
performance (Blackburn, Horowitz, Edington & Klos, 1986; Skakon et al., 2010)" (Bell et al.,
2012, p. 25). In a discussion on cognitive appraisal and how stress and coping impact work-life
balance, Bell et al. (2012) posit "high stress leads to ill-being especially where an individual lacks
the coping resources or uses ineffective strategies to cope with stress (Hardie et al., 2005, Lazarus
& Folkman, 1984; Lazarus & Launier, 1978)" (Bell et al, 2012, p. 27). Hawksley (2007) links the
coping outcome of coaching to reduction of stress and increased wellbeing (Bell et al., 2012).
Closing the Gap
In its global context, change has increased workplace stress and ultimately has a negative impact
on well-being. This global situation presents an opportunity, especially for the Christian leader, to
rethink business priorities. The classical management perspective prioritizes performance,
productivity, profitability, efficiency, and effectiveness as the highest aims in business. While
these indicators are all important to the life of an organization, Christian leaders sense, and believe,
there is more to the story.
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The Relationship of Coaching ROI to Biblical Kingdom Living
Journal of Practical Consulting, Vol. 6 Iss. 1, Summer 2018, pp. 86-101.
© 2018 School of Business & Leadership, Regent University
ISSN 1930-806X | Virginia Beach, Va. USA
Theoretical Framework
In a survey of available coaching literature, the themes of well-being and engagement, and work-
life balance, repeat in a nearly inconspicuous fashion, embedded in the literature. Prominent links
exist between well-being, employee engagement and work-life balance. The interaction between
coaching and work-life, well-being and engagement represents the convergence point for my
research for this project. Wright's (2015) article supports my theoretical framework by drawing on
the relationship between those three constructs. In addition to stating that well-being is a key driver
of engagement, Wright (2015) posits work-life balance is a key driver of well-being, drawing a
link between the three constructs, and positions one-to-one coaching as a strategy employers use
to provide support to employees.
Wright's (2015) article was not based on an empirical study, and no other articles or studies were
available that explored how coaching impacted work-life balance, engagement and well-being. No
articles or studies found, directly and explicitly examine the relationships at the intersection of
coaching and these three constructs. Most articles emphasize how stress negatively impacts well-
being, however, the emphasis on how coaching counteracts stress and increases wellbeing is less
prominent. The absence of empirical research on these constructs represents a gap in the literature.
This presents an opportunity to study and measure the impact of coaching on well-being, work-
life balance, and engagement.
To address the gap, the author developed a set of theories/theoretical framework that emphasizes
the link between well-being, engagement, and work-life balance, and integrates the concept of
work-life coaching in pursuit of individual and organizational shalom. Seven foundational
hypotheses underscore the framework:
1. Engagement is a driver of employee performance.
2. Well-being is a driver of engagement.
3. Work-life balance is a driver of well-being.
4. Workplace stress is positively impacted by work-life balance.
5. Work-life coaching
3
positively impacts work-life balance (by increasing self-efficacy
and coping resources),
6. Work-life coaching reduces the negative impact that stress has on employees, managers
and leaders.
7. Decreased levels of workplace stress positively impact shalom on an organizational
and individual level.
The concept of shalom links to the increasingly important organizational indicator of well-being,
which links to stress, engagement and work-life balance.
Connecting Shalom and Coaching
Shalom encompasses well-being, and an indirect link exists between coaching and well-being
through the construct of work-life balance. Hawksley (2007) directly links coaching and work-life
balance, explaining that "coaching can be used as a strategy to help individuals initiate and
maintain changes such as implementing strategies to achieve work-life balance", also including
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Journal of Practical Consulting, Vol. 6 Iss. 1, Summer 2018, pp. 86-101.
© 2018 School of Business & Leadership, Regent University
ISSN 1930-806X | Virginia Beach, Va. USA
managing work-related stress among significant benefits (p. 35). Bell et al. (2012) list counseling
among strategies to reduce job stress and increase wellbeing. The link Bell et al. (2012) draws
between counseling and work-life balance, combined with the synonymy Burke (2011) establishes
between counseling and coaching, holds important implications for coaching practice in
organizational settings, and as a link between coaching and the work-life dynamic.
Additionally, work-life balance has been found to increase well-being. Drawing on Work-life
Spillover Theory (Zedeck, 1992), Bell et al. (2012) arrive at relevant theories and findings
regarding both positive and negative impact of work-life balance on distal or indirect (but strategic)
organizational outcomes. The outcomes include, but are not limited to, increased wellbeing and
decreased job stress (Bell et al., 2012, p. 26).
Recent literature has also linked well-being and engagement. A number of studies report a link
between well-being and engagement (Heifetz & Wood, 2014; Bakker, Schaufeli, Leiter & Taris,
2008; McCarthy et al., 2011). More importantly, studies show evidence of wellbeing as a key
driver of engagement (McCarthy et al., 2011, p. 187; Heifetz and Wood, 2014; Wright, 2015).
Heifetz and Wood (2014) describe wellbeing as "the catalyst companies need to cultivate engaged,
thriving employees who perform at their best everyday”, adding "when companies add a well-
being focus to their engagement program, it has an accelerating effect". The data shows that
"focusing on engagement and well-being together helps companies maximize productivity."
Implications, Emerging Trends and Practical Steps
The literature carries deep implications for integrating coaching with work-life initiatives to
positively impact workplace stress, well-being and engagement. Moore (2007) argues that
"organizations that provide long-term work-life balance cultures, create employee-company
loyalty and positive employee attitudes to work" (Bell et al., 2012, p. 26). Listed below are
implications, emerging trends and practical steps for companies and practitioners.
Integrating Coaching with Work-Life Initiatives, and Well-being and Engagement
Programs
Increased job stress has led to an increased study of work-life balance and work-life conflict in the
last two decades, resulting in "an increased need for employee work-life balance initiatives" as
consequential job and work-related stress is "negatively impacting employees' work and personal
lives" (Bell, Rajendran & Theiler, 2012, p. 25). Kossek, Lewis and Hammer (2010) argue for the
mainstreaming of work-life initiatives positing that:
as the workforce is becoming increasingly diverse, employers who are able to adapt
to these demographic shifts can realize a higher quality workforce, which enhances
organizational performance by adding value to the firm thereby enhancing
competitive advantage (Kossek and Friede, 2006). Cost savings also ensue from
having lower turnover and higher discretionary performance, particularly when
bundled with other human resource practices, such as high commitment or high-
performance work systems (Berg et al., 2003). Employee engagement perspectives
arise based on the notion that work-life initiatives reduce stress, and increase
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The Relationship of Coaching ROI to Biblical Kingdom Living
Journal of Practical Consulting, Vol. 6 Iss. 1, Summer 2018, pp. 86-101.
© 2018 School of Business & Leadership, Regent University
ISSN 1930-806X | Virginia Beach, Va. USA
personal and team resilience. This enables employees to cope with growing
pressures from fast-paced environmental change in ways that are sustainable for
their well-being and enhance the organization’s performance (Ollier-Mallatere,
2010, this issue). Both the high performance and the engagement views are
grounded in assumptions of beneficial effects from integrating work-life initiatives
with internal organizational or external environmental systems, which further
illustrates the value of bringing them into the mainstream (p. 5).
An anticipated outcome of this project is to inspire HR managers to integrate work-life coaching
into work-life initiatives to provide added value and ROI, certain questions emerge such as:
How can coaching be integrated into our current HR and organizational initiatives?
Given that every organization is different, what KPIs would a coaching intervention need
to positively impact to get the most return from our investment?
How will this integration impact the external coach, along with his/her pay rate?
How open are organizations to coaching employees on personal life topics, meanwhile
trusting that work-life spillover theory will initiate positive spillover between work and
personal life?
What can be done to ensure that our organization sees a significant return from our
coaching investment into our employees?
Coaching as Sustainable Engagement Strategy
Parker, Schroeder, Bowler & Muldoon (2006) point out the importance of strategically reengaging
employees during times of volatile change, which is of particular importance given the current
external environment of organizations. In fact, the concept of engagement is trending towards a
search for solutions that produce what Crabb (2011) describes as "internalised engaged states", or
sustainable engagement, among organizational stakeholders (Sustainable Employee Engagement,
2013; Towers Watson, 2012; Simpson, 2015; Adamson, Dixon & Toman, 2012; Simpson, 2009).
Alvi, Hussain, Tahir & Gondal (2015) conducted a study that found a significant correlation
between employee engagement and work-life balance stating "work-life balance has a positive
significant impact [on] employee job engagement" (p. 3639).
Crabb (2011) establishes coaching as a sustainable engagement strategy that helps employees
produce a type of sustained engagement or "internalised engaged states...mindsets and attitudes
that foster employee engagement". Crabb (2011) also posits employee engagement, well-being
and resilience as three drivers of individual level peak performance within the workplace.
Coaching represents one strategy to sustain engagement among employees, managers and leaders
in the workplace.
Creating A Coaching Culture
An employee's relationship with their manager is an important factor in their levels of well-being,
engagement and work-life balance (Wright, 2015; Parris, Vickers & Wilkes, 2008; Gallup, 2015).
As organizations establish coaching cultures, an increasing number of managers find themselves
coaching their employees. According to Ramstead and Reese (2016), coaching cultures increase
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manager effectiveness by “unlocking an individual’s potential to perform…[and] creating a
learning culture that teaches employees to find innovative solutions on their own, or in teams [and]
focus on learning instead of teaching]. Taken together, these inputs result in increased employee
engagement, reduced employee turnover, and increased morale and productivity (Ramstead &
Reese, 2016). For managers to operate effectively in this role, Leonard-Cross (2010) calls for an
increased focus on coach training to produce internal coaches that are both credible and effective
(p. 37). Even in peer coaching situations, short-term training programs on key coaching
competencies (active listening, direct communication, etc.) have provided support to workers on
all levels who want to engage colleagues in coaching conversations.
Facilitation as Resolution
The discipline of facilitation is also referred to as process consulting or facilitative consulting,
consultative coaching and/or group coaching. Facilitation outcomes closely align with coaching
competencies as listed on the ICF website. Facilitation is used for conflict resolution and consensus
building, with the end goal of producing a specific deliverable, outcome or process (Wilkinson,
2004). It can be applied in a number of situations and is extremely useful in vision and strategy
development (Wilkinson, 2011).
The facilitation skillset is a value-add for coaches, especially helping coaches to implement
Burke's (2011) theory of integrating organizational goals with individual needs. A coach who
effectively fulfills the role of a facilitator/consultant prior to beginning a coaching intervention can
help an organization to renegotiate the psychological contract between employer and employee.
This process of renegotiation and integration can bring ministry to the workplace in the form of
healing and forgiveness, in the pursuit of shalom on an organizational level.
Conclusion
The global problem concerning the accelerated pace of change resulting in increased workplace
stress demands a set of comparable solutions. This is no small problem, and a global problem
demands a world-class solution. For the Christian leader, that solution is found in the concept of
shalom, a spiritual outcome of coaching on both an individual and organizational level. Christian
leaders, coaches and consultants are called to a higher purpose than to pursue profit. Although
profitability ensures a business’ longevity, other organizational indicators and Biblical principles
ladder up to profitability. By pursuing shalom, both individually and organizationally, leaders and
employees pursue on of the highest spiritual aims an aim that is grounded in the Kingdom of
God, and that penetrates even the workplace to facilitate biblical Kingdom living.
The well-being construct directly links coaching to shalom, both on an individual and
organizational level. Well-being also contains direct links to sustainable engagement, which
focuses on internal engaged states that facilitate employee engagement (Crabb, 2011), and to work-
life balance. Well-being links indirectly to learning and development, on at least a conceptual level,
through employee engagement. Further research is needed in this area to fully explore the
connection, and effects between constructs.
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© 2018 School of Business & Leadership, Regent University
ISSN 1930-806X | Virginia Beach, Va. USA
About the Author
Thomas E. Anderson II is CEO and facilitator of Teaiiano Coaching Solutions. He is an alumnus
of Columbia University, and holds a Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Organizational
Leadership (majoring in Organizational Development Consulting) from Regent University.
Thomas holds leadership coach credentials from Lifeforming Leadership Coaching and works with
students from grades K through 12 in one of the nation’s top performing school districts. He enjoys
being a devoted husband and dedicated father. Thomas’ pre-doctoral work explores relationships
between organizational disciplines such as change, coaching, sustainable engagement and strategic
leadership. He will enter the Doctor of Strategic Leadership (DSL) program at Regent’s School
of Business and Leadership in August 2018. Questions or comments regarding this article may be
directed to the author at: t_anderson@teaiiano.com.
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1
The literature often defines work-life balance as "the absence of conflict between work and family or personal
roles" (Bell et al., 2012). Because balance and conflict are coexisting constructs, "an individual can experience high
levels of both concurrently (Balmforth & Gardner, 2006; Hanson, Hammer, & Colton, 2006; Wayne, Musisca, &
Fleeson, 2004)" (Bell et al., 2012, p.26).
2
There are many reasons other than well-being and engagement that would make and HR director or other corporate
decision maker care about coaching. Learning and development is one reason. However, learning outcomes link
back to engagement (Ramstead & Reese, 2016; Ciporen, 2015; Pappas & Jerman, 2015; Leonard-Cross, 2010;
Jones, Woods & Guillaume, 2016; Cox, 2016), and purpose wellbeing (Gallup-Healthways, 2014).
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3
Work-life coaching is a paradigm where coaching is delivered by an external or internal coach, encompassing a
broad scope of work-life topics.
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