Let’s face it—keeping employees happy and engaged is difficult. It’s not that employers don’t care or aren’t trying, it’s just that the world is moving at a faster pace, resources are limited and the expectations employees have for work/life balance are more demanding than they were in the past. Also, employees have higher expectations of themselves and their careers. Sitting in the same role for 10 years was once okay, but now employees expect to climb the corporate ladder or have the opportunity to make a complete career change at any time. With all that said, how are employers expected to:
- Know if their employees are happy
- Know if their employees want more of their career
- Know if their employees are disengaged and looking to leave
- Know if their employees are receiving all the support they expect and need to be successful in their current role
Coaching employees is the answer. But before coaching can even take place, an organization must have a talent management program that identifies the answers to these questions. Once these questions have been answered and an employee development plan has been created, it’s worth considering assigning that employee a career coach.
Depending on the size of an organization and the resources available a career coach can come in all shapes and sizes:
- Someone from the executive team
- A manager
- A colleague
- Someone from HR
- A trained, certified professional career coach
- Career Development: Help steer employees towards the right resources to grow in their current role.
- Job/Role Change: Using an employee’s career development plan, a career coach can help the employee identify the skills they need and how to obtain them so they can make a move.
- Succession Planning: Career coaches should be made aware of employees that are successors and work with them to make sure they’re developing the right skills to move into a future role.
The key is that when employees feel engaged and heard, their job satisfaction increases. They know their employer cares about their personal and professional development and wants to partner with them to make sure they’re successful.