Career Coaching as a tool for HRM
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, organisations of all sizes have seen massive disruption to their businesses and their workforces. A critical issue facing management is the preservation of employee commitment to company goals and objectives in the face of greater organizational and industry instability. We face a time of great organizational change due to hybrid working, shifting customer needs, supply chain disruptions, and less certain career advancement options. These changes mean that employees are not as likely to rise up the ranks and may choose to change jobs or areas of specialization more often. Financial success hinges on maintaining and enhancing performance in all areas, employers need to double down on continuous learning programs that provide employees with the new skills and competencies needed to thrive in these volatile times.
Any employee could experience career challenges that may adversely affect their performance at any time. If such difficulties go unaddressed for any period of time, they will likely impact the employee’s ability to cope effectively in their role or position. For key employees, the impact can be even more serious as their work would have a direct impact on overall business performance and momentum. Career coaching can be used as a strategic resource when issues such as work performance, career transition, and cultural fit become a concern. Employers should encourage their staff to get assistance early to prevent a small issue from snowballing and becoming a greater barrier to their success. It can also be a way to help senior employees set and achieve higher career goals so that they will continue to add meaningful value to the company.
Benefits of Career Coaching
Many organizations are already using coaching as a leadership tool and may decide to train a number of their human resource team to become in-house career coaches. In addition, organizations may choose to use external career coaches for c-suite executive so that they get the benefit of greater industry or sector awareness and enhanced confidentiality.
The benefits of working with a career coach may include:
· enhanced productivity and leadership effectiveness
· better staff retention
· improved employee engagement and morale
· help to identify and develop high potential employees
· help to identify key strengths and developmental opportunities
What is a Career Coach?
Career Coaching is a specialized form of Executive Coaching that helps people accelerate their job goals by identifying critical roadblocks in their path, clarifying expectations, gaining fresh perspectives, and becoming more effective. A professional career coach will be certified and credentialed by a recognised national or international coaching body. Career coaches will be experienced in dealing with assessment, performance improvement, career or role transition, career planning, workplace and work-life balance issues that concern employees at one time or another. Career coaches are specialists in customizing strategies and techniques to the specific needs of people or groups seeking their help. Many career coaches will be members of the National Career Development Association (NCDA), a leading organization that promotes career development of all people throughout their lifespan.
What can a Career Coach do for your organization?
Career coaches are able to offer a wide range of services. They will be able to assist in one or more of the following areas:
· Conduct and interpret assessments and inventories to assess workplace values, interests, skills and competencies
· Clarify alternative internal career paths for people in transition that capitalize on individual knowledge, skill and ability profiles
· Co-develop specific career pathways with experience, knowledge, abilities, and skills defined
· Co-create career development plans to help employees grow and learn
· Optimize person-job-organizational fit
· Prepare employees for internal job mobility, including resume preparation, in-house interviewing and networking
· Find, and nurture internal mentor and career advisor networks for employee career development
· Give unbiased, objective career guidance, appropriate intervention, mediation, facilitation for people experiencing job stress, job loss or transition during corporate reorganizations, mergers or downsizing
· Educate internal career advisors and mentors on how to be more effective in guiding employee development
· Facilitate employee training, development and engagement initiatives
How to get started
Armed with some basic ideas and some simple tools, you can begin to explore the power of career coaching yourself. Here is how to begin:
· A coaching conversation is a special kind of conversation. So, during the session, you should practice active listening, suspend all judgment and don’t offer any advice.
· Use the GROW model. It will help you to structure your coaching conversations. Watch the video in the reference section below.
· Be curious and playful. Ask open-ended questions (Who, What, Where, When, Why and How). Thinking about and answering your questions will help your coachee to be clearer in their own thinking and understanding.
· Use the free VIA Character Strengths Survey as a conversation starter. See the link in the references below. Thinking and talking about how to use more of the coachee’s strengths in their work role is a great way to encourage their development.
· Form a small group with three or four colleagues or friends. Take turns to coach each other, give honest feedback and report coaching results over time.