Updated: Apr 7
As an executive, investing in your professional development is crucial for success. One way to do this is by participating in an executive coaching program. However, such programs can be costly, which may discourage executives from pursuing them. Therefore, employees should consider how their leadership development and working through personal concerns regarding workplace dynamics will benefit their employer too. In this blog post, we will share tips for executives on how to ask their employer to cover the cost of their coaching program, provide a sample proposal, and share how our company can help you in your negotiating an employer-funded coaching program.
7 Tips for Negotiating with Your Employer
Do your research: Before approaching your employer, do some research on the coaching program you want to participate in. Make sure it is reputable and tailored to your needs as an executive. Be sure that the outcomes of the coaching program align with your and the organization's goals.
Emphasize the benefits: In your proposal, focus on the benefits that the coaching program will bring to the organization as well as yourself. Emphasize how it will improve your leadership skills, increase productivity, and enhance employee engagement.
Highlight your commitment: Demonstrate your commitment to your own professional development by outlining how much you are willing to invest in the program yourself. This shows your employer that you are serious about improving your skills and advancing the goals of the organization. Although you are asking your employer to make a financial investment, emphasize that you are making a time investment as well.
Be clear about the costs: Make sure you provide a clear breakdown of the costs involved in the coaching program, including any fees or expenses that may be incurred. Be prepared to discuss how the investment in the coaching program will provide a return on investment for the company.
Be open to negotiation: Be open to negotiating the terms of your proposal. Perhaps your employer is willing to cover more of the cost if you agree to certain conditions, such as reporting back on your progress or sharing your newly acquired skills with the rest of the leadership team.
Follow up: After presenting your proposal, be sure to follow up with your employer. They may need time to consider your request or may have additional questions. A week or two after your initial proposal, send a polite email or schedule a meeting to discuss the status of your request. This shows that you are invested in the program and eager to move forward, while also respecting your employer's time and decision-making process.
Stay positive: Approach the conversation with a positive attitude and a willingness to collaborate with your employer. Remember, you are both working towards the same goal of improving the success of the organization, and an investment in your professional development is an investment in the company's future.
Now, it's time to put these tips to work and submit your proposal to your employer. A sample proposal email/letter is provided below, but be sure to customize the proposal to your employer's standards and your specific program.
Sample Proposal Email/Letter
I am writing to request funding for an executive coaching program that I believe will be valuable for both myself and our organization. As a [your current position], I understand the importance of constantly improving my skills and knowledge in order to drive growth and success for our company. This coaching program will provide me with the tools and resources to do just that.
The program I have chosen is led by [name of executive coach], an experienced and respected executive coach, and it is tailored specifically to my needs and goals as a leader. It will include regular one-on-one coaching sessions, as well as group workshops and webinars on topics such as leadership development, communication, and strategic planning.
I am confident that participating in this program will benefit not only myself, but also our organization as a whole. Here are just a few of the ways I believe this coaching will add value:
Improved leadership skills: By participating in this program, I will gain new insights and skills that will help me be a more effective leader. I will learn how to motivate and inspire our team, communicate more clearly and persuasively, and make better strategic decisions.
Increased productivity: As I become more effective as a leader, I will be better equipped to drive productivity and efficiency throughout our organization. I will be able to identify areas where we can streamline processes and optimize our resources.
Better employee engagement: A more effective and engaged leadership team will have a positive impact on our employees. By modeling strong leadership skills, I will be able to inspire our team to work harder and more collaboratively.
Closing the DEI gap: This program fulfills my needs for [list your diversity and equity needs] in a way that our corporate training programs do not, thereby helping me to be a more self-aware and confident leader who feels seen and included in our organization.
The cost of this coaching program is [insert cost]. I believe this investment will pay off in the long run by helping me become a better leader and driving growth and success for our organization. I am willing to cover [insert amount] of the cost myself, and I respectfully request that our company cover the remaining amount.
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to discussing this opportunity with you further.
How Lead My Heart Can Help with Employer-Funded Coaching Programs
Lead My Heart (LMH) is an executive coaching and consulting firm that equips executives and executive teams to live and lead with purpose, passion, and power via our 1:1 executive coaching programs, our group coaching programs, motivational speaking, and instructional speaking (corporate training). For an employer to agree to fully or partially fund an executive coaching program is a blessing to our client and us, therefore we are committed to helping you make your case for your employer's support and to provide services that will help put your employer at ease.
Customizable Program: We provide 1:1 executive coaching programs that can be customized to meet your and your employer's goals and to aid you in the negotiation process. Our full programs (12, 90-minute sessions) cover topics such as effective communication, conflict resolution, DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging), and team building. We have more than 30 topics to choose from to build the right program that is for you.
Reports: Our full signature executive coaching programs also include progress and outcomes reports that you may choose to share with your employer. Per the confidentiality agreement, we will not share progress or summary reports with the employer directly, however, we are willing to provide up to three basic progress report of the sessions we have covered and the skills the client has demonstrated if requested. Again, that report will be provided to the client, and it will be the client's responsibility to share it with their employer.
Share a Session: To sweeten your negotiation deal with your employer, Lead My Heart provides you with an option to "share" one of your 90-minute sessions with up to five of your colleagues. While you may choose which of your sessions to share and the topic for that session, some restrictions apply:
This offer is only available with the purchase of a LMH full signature program (12 sessions) AND the employer must fund at least 60% of the program in order to take advantage of this offer.
The coaching client may only share ONE session (up to 90-minutes), and the time cannot be split between more than one session.
The session must be conducted via Zoom and all participants must agree to have their camera turned on throughout the entire session.
All attendees must sign a standard coaching session contract before the session.
All attendees must be currently employed by the same company as the coaching client. (Employment verification required.)
Please note that other restrictions may apply, and Lead My Heart reserves the right to revoke this "share a session" offer at any time and to make any other changes to our programs.
To learn more about Lead My Heart and to discover if our full signature executive coaching program is right for you, schedule your free partnership call today.
Asking your employer to cover the cost of your executive coaching program may seem daunting, but it is an investment in your professional development that can pay off for both you and your organization. By emphasizing the benefits of the program, demonstrating your commitment, and being open to negotiation, you can increase your chances of getting the funding you need. Remember to approach the conversation with a positive attitude and a willingness to collaborate with your employer. By following these tips, you can take the first step towards becoming a better leader and driving growth and success for your organization.
Dr. Wanita Mercer, Ph.D. is the founder and CEO of Lead My Heart, an executive coaching and consulting company specializing in equipping executives and executive teams to live and lead with purpose, passion, and power. She has a Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis in organizational leadership, and she is certified in life coaching, executive coaching, change management, project management, executive management, and corporate crisis management. She has over 15 years of experience as an international educator, motivational speaker, author, and civic leader. She lives in San Antonio, Texas.