Why offer career coaching to your people? There can be a lot of drivers – Chiumento Director Duncan Hamilton explores just some of them.
Organisations change. And therefore so do the roles they need. Career coaching is often about preparing people to make that next critical move. Potentially stepping out of a comfort zone, taking on the unfamiliar and behaving in new ways. Rather than becoming defensive in the face of change, career coaching can help people embrace it.
A great career coach can help individuals unlock pathways they would never have considered. And help them build the resilience and confidence to seize opportunities.
The career crossroads
Individuals often reach points in their careers where they have to make big choices. One of the most common is whether to follow a technical path – becoming a deep subject matter expert – or instead focus on leadership and management. There can be big implications of making the wrong choice.
A great example would be the work we did with a group of engineers in a hi-tech business. We helped them re-evaluate what future career success might look like. Initially many were focused on defining “success” as how many people you managed or how big a budget you controlled. Our coaches helped them reflect on what actually got them up in the morning, what energised them and why they became an engineer in the first place.
For many this proved transformational. A day spent dealing with people issues, stuck in budget meetings or dealing with clients didn’t seem as attractive as pushing back the boundaries on innovation or solving complex technical issues. The challenge of becoming a leader is often having to let go of all the stuff you love.
Succession planning readiness
There’s always a danger that succession planning assumes everyone wants a bigger, more challenging job. That they will go where the big opportunities are and accept the implications for their wider life. Equally individuals often fear that being seen not to aspire to go higher will be held against them. The risk is they take a bigger role even if in reality they don’t want what comes with that added accountability.
Career coaching can help ensure that individuals and organisations are on the same page. Understanding what the individual wants for themselves and helping them discuss that openly and honestly with the organisation.
Key worker retention
As experts in exit interviewing, Chiumento knows a lot about why people choose to leave organisations. One of the top three reasons your most talented peiple are likely to leave is because nobody is talking to them about their career or their development. That makes them vulnerable to approaches from other employers who will offer the progression they crave.
Career coaching can be a big signal that not only are you interested in their aspirations, you are prepared to invest in helping the individual achieve them.
Sometimes individuals and organisations reach a point where both sides are questionning the future of the relationship. “Do I stay or do I go?” There can be lots of reasons for that and it often isn’t anyone’s fault. Circumstances may have changed. The role an individual has today may need to move on in ways they didn’t expect. Growth may mean the individual is struggling with bigger responsibilities. New work relationships – eg with a new boss – may have changed the workplace dynamics.
Career coaching can help an individual make the right choice. That could mean leaving or it might be staying. Ultimately a career coach will help an individual unlock “the price to stay” and put together either a plan to achieve it, or recognise that the future may lie elsewhere.
Being let go by an organisation is never easy. A career coach can help individuals navigate both the emotional and practical challenges of exiting an organisation.
Why offer career coaching to someone who is leaving? Firstly it protects your employer brand. Organisations are judged as much on how they end employment relationships as start and develop them. Outplacement shows you care about the human impact of redundancy. That’s often crucial to the morale and opinion of those who are staying.
There are lots of potential reasons why you should offer career coaching. It can be a powerful tool in areas like retention and talent mobility. It can also help resolve challenging situations where individuals and organisations have different aspirations.
To talk to one of our experts on career coaching contact us. We’ll happily chat through your situation and give you some initial free ideas.