For many organizations, this time of year includes career discussions with employees. This can range from “What’s your next role?” to “Where do you want to be in three to five years?”.
Most organizations we work with have identified succession planning as a key initiative for sustainability and continued success. A huge part of succession planning is having a pipeline of key leaders to step into senior roles.
I was speaking with an individual the other day and he was sharing that his manager had received a promotion and he was getting a new boss. As we had previously been discussing his career trajectory which included moving into a roll where he would manage a larger team I asked, “Did you apply for the role?”
There was a big silence.
After a few minutes he shared, “I thought they would be bringing someone in from outside the group, so I never considered it as a possibility.”
“Did they bring someone in from outside?” I asked.
“No, one of my peer’s got the role.”
There was an opportunity right in front of him and he had not explored it. Not to say he would have gotten the role, however an exploration with his manager regarding what skills and experience they were looking would have put him on her radar.
There were two misses here… 1) He did not initiate the conversation with his manager, and 2) His manager did not have the conversation with him.
Key Reasons HR Managers and Executives Need to Prioritize Career Growth Discussions
Regardless of the level and years of experience leaders have in an organization, people still make assumptions that, left unchecked, can limit their growth and impede opportunities for the organization.
- Some believe they don’t have the skills for particular roles so they don’t enter into conversations about what it would take to be considered.
- Some believe there are no opportunities for advancement in their current organization, so they don’t have the discussion about the future role they desire.
- Some believe there is an unwritten ‘leadership progression ladder’ that one needs to move through, and if they are not at a certain level on that imaginary ladder, they would not be considered for a role two rungs up.
As much as it is up to individuals to check out these assumptions, it is imperative that HR Managers and Executives be constantly seeking to have development conversations with and offer development opportunities to leaders. Your goal should be to fill the pipeline!
- 41% said their career development has stalled during the pandemic, and 9% said the crisis has actually caused their careers to regress
- 49% of employees say they are not getting enough training, coaching and mentoring to advance their careers in these uncertain times
Here’s where Executive Coaching and Career Coaching can play such a key role in your organization.
Helping Leaders Grow Benefits the Individual and the Organization
People value the opportunity to continue to grow and develop. In fact, it is a growing top consideration of employment.
People want opportunities to build new skills, competencies and capabilities, they want to feel like they are contributing value and they might not know how to go about having those discussions without support.
Here’s a story to illustrate the benefits of your key leaders having a coach…
A Sales Director was sharing with his coach his secret goal to get into the CEO chair at some point. Discussions with his coach are centered around moving out of secrecy and declaring his desire, assessing the skills he has that are needed in that role and asking for feedback on the top skills/traits he needs to consistently demonstrate to be considered at a future date.
The key question he would ask himself in any situation was, “How would a CEO handle this?” This new level of thinking completely changed how he approached certain situations, especially how he dealt with conflict.
Not only does the organization now have a potential successor in the pipeline, it also has a Sales VP (yes a promotion has occurred) who is acting like the CEO of his own business unit…definitely a win-win!
Coaching is an excellent development choice because it is personal, custom and supports people over a period of time thereby leading to lasting results.
What conversations are you having with your leaders? What opportunities are available to them to support their growth and development?
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