Issue 7 - 2010
This Issue Contains:
New Year, New Job?
By Jo Mills
From our experience, we know that the post holiday time is the toughest in terms of engaging your people back into your business. We are anticipating a flood of calls from individuals seeking career coaching support after a summer of relaxing and reflecting on their career.
So how do you make sure that staff returning after a summer break are eager and excited about the year ahead in your organisation?
Get people excited about coming back, before they go on their break
- Consider a pre-Christmas team building day or event. Building relationships and friendships within the team, creates a feeling of belonging and a reason to come to work
- With individual staff members, ensure they have a 90 day career plan for Q1 of 2010. Tap into their personal career goals and help them to map out how their current role will help them achieve those goals
- Have something to look forward to in January and February – plan development, training and coaching during this time so people re-engage in their role from day 1
- Celebrate 2010! Show your appreciation for the hard work of this year and help people to leave on a high of achievement and success
- Make sure people have a long enough break to rejuvenate and refuel
- Solve small problems now – many organizations will be getting feedback from the JRA Best Places To Work or other engagement surveys at this time. Are there any low hanging fruit that you can work on now to show your commitment to creating a fabulous place to work?
- Reconnect with your people. This has been a busy year for many of us, so individual staff meetings or informal catch ups may have been less regular than you would have liked. Take time to meet with each of your team for a coffee (or ice-cream) to informally see how they are and what they are looking forward to in the coming year
Re-engage people on their return
- Run an all staff competition where people communicate why your organization is a great place to work
- Tap into the innovative thinking people have done over the break, or how fresh they are feeling. Have a Blue Sky thinking day where you can brainstorm, inspire each other, or come up with ways to tackle every day annoyances or obstacles
- Ask people to refer their friends and family to work with your organization – this reinforces why it is a workplace to target, and reaffirms the referrers own choice
- Ensure you have a plan for your talent over January, February and March. They may be susceptible to head hunters and new opportunities at this time, so double check they know they are considered talent and are clear as to how your organization can grow and develop them further
- Launch a career initiative in January. Help people to see where the career opportunities are in your organization and how they can live their values, motivators, talents and passions at work
- Have a strategic planning day as soon as the team is back together again – get people re-excited about your teams goals and vision for the year and the part they have to play
- Introduce some flexible summer hours options – allow people to continue to enjoy the sun while they can!
- Tap into individual motivators. If they are driven by expertise, find a way for them to attend a presentation given by a ‘guru’ in their field, or an opportunity to demonstrate their expertise to others. Driven by community? Help them to organize a business charity drive, or add value to a particular community group. Create an individual approach to motivating and rewarding your people so you are tapping into what is important to them.
- Create a Get Fit challenge – create team or organizational goals around ‘steps’ or activities – get staff moving while building a further reason for them to stay with your business
Check out how one other business tackled this: http://www.exp.ie/ForumWW/WWIndividualArticle.aspx?ParentID=76&CID=107&ForumTypeID=2512
Talk to us about how we can help people be inspired about working with your organization through customized career solutions and software, coaching and team building
Back to top
Team Building Workshops
The end of the year is a great time to consider holding a team building session. Why don’t you consider something that is fun and will improve communication in your team?
We are able to build a team session incorporating MBTI (Myers-Briggs) theory and application, in a fun and interesting way. This is a great way to encourage your team to learn more about their natural style and raise awareness to our natural differences in personality and how to adapt to better communicate to others in the team (and company and in life in general).
We are able to tailor this session to suit your team and organisation and promise to make them very interactive, humorous and interesting, not to mention make sure each team member leaves with a raised awareness of their own personality and how they can work more effectively with their peers.
A great pre-Christmas experience, or book in a session for early 2011 to re-engage your team as they return from holiday.
Contact Debbie Schultz today to learn more about our workshops. Debbies@careeranalysts.co.nz or 0800 TALENT
Back to top
Telling or Coaching?
By Debbie Schultz
[quote] “If we want people to think better, let them do the thinking” David Rock
I received a call recently from a family member wanting advice regarding an upcoming job interview for an internal senior management role. The conversation went like this..
“ Hi, look I need your help, I have a job interview next week for an internal management role. In the interview they want me to present my thoughts on what I would do to turn this business unit around if I was successful in the role. Can you give me some ideas? What would be good to say?”
In my mind there are two ways to respond to this kind of request, the first is to spend time and energy trying to learn as much as possible on the phone about the industry/team/culture of his company, and then think hard to try and come up with solutions or ideas that may help.
What's wrong with this approach?
First – the chance of me coming up with high quality, suitable ideas perfect for this specific scenario is very very small, in fact the words magic bullet spring to mind.
Second – who would be doing all of the thinking? Me. Not ideal for growth and development.
The coaching approach
I wanted to encourage him to think through this issue himself rather than telling him all of my ideas which may or (more likely) may not be useful for him. Helping him to think through this himself is the best way to encourage him to learn, create, solve problems, visualise. Why is that so? It’s common to think that the best way to help someone is to “think” for them, but when it comes to the way our brains work we are all very different. What we think is a suitable solution to a problem is coloured by our beliefs, values, experiences and everything else that make us unique. Our best option is to help others to process their ideas better.
*On a cellular level when people process their own ideas and thoughts they make deep new connections in their own mind, and there is a tangible release of energy, or what we sometimes call an “aha” moment. This “aha” moment releases chemicals in the body to prime it for action. The power created by insight is an incredible source of energy, much more powerful that a well meaning friend “telling” us what we “should” do.
There are five reasons why this second approach is so useful when coaching and helping others
- People need to think through, process, connect any thoughts or ideas themselves
- You could probably never guess the right answer anyway
- It creates energy for action
- Its less effort
- Its faster!
So back to our scenario. Questions to encourage thinking through the issue could be:-
What ideas do you already have?
What have you seen that has worked in the past?
What have other successful managers tried in other divisions?
What would be your key strengths in this role?
How could more use be made of your skills in this role?
What advice would you give a friend on this problem?
How would you normally think through an issue like this?
Do you know any gaps in your thinking? If so what are they?
If you did know the answer, what would it be?
Surprisingly people often suppress answers, these types of questions are designed to overcome blocks to thinking.
The coaching approach in this scenario worked perfectly. Not only did the conversation (only 20 minutes long) help to clarify his thinking but he successfully landed the internal management role.
Tips to applying a coaching approach with others:-
- Allow others to do the thinking by asking coaching questions.
- Resist the temptation to jump in with advice, apply the W.A.I.T acronym (Why Am I Talking?).
- It is ok to offer suggested solutions or thinking that may have been overlooked, however you may like to phrase this with “I’d like to make a suggestion”, and do this after all options have been brainstormed.
- Allow uncomfortable silences! Some of us are more comfortable with silence than others, allow time for thinking and responding.
Career coaching is our speciality and we apply these techniques to the way we coach our clients. This improves the quality of conversations and energises our clients to take action.
If you would like to know more about our coaching methodology please give myself, Aimee or Jo a call on 09 523 0000.
*adapted from Quiet Leadership: Six Steps to Transforming Performance at Work, David Rock (2006)
Back to top
What Career Development Opportunities
are you Offering to Graduates?
By Aimee Visser
Exam time is upon New Zealand’s University students at the moment, and this means that many of the top graduates in the market will be looking for new roles in the coming months. They will be wanting to know things like, "What roles are available with your organisation?" "What are the benefits of joining your programme?" "What opportunities for career advancement are there?" and "What makes you the employer of choice?"
In the 2009 Australian Association of Graduate Employers (AAGE) Candidate Survey, the top ten things graduates found to be important factors when deciding where to apply were:
- Training and development
- Long term career prospects
- Overall reputation
- Content of work
- Security of employment
- Reputation for ethical behaviour
- Opportunity for further study
- Reputation for corporate social responsibility
If you look at the top 2 features in the AAGE list, what are you and your organisation doing to ensure you have these important attraction and retention factors in place? Are you able to truthfully answer one of the key questions many graduates may ask which is “how can you assist me to develop my talents and grow my career path??”
Whether you work in a SME or a large corporate, and intend to bring one graduate or one hundred into your business, if you do not already have the tools and programmes in place to answer this question, review the tips below as a starting point for change.
- Find out as much as you can about what graduates really want in your industry in terms of career path progression discussions, training and development opportunities, and long-term career prospects (such as leadership opportunities). Talk with them directly, send out a survey, ask those in your current roles what they really value, and get on the internet to learn more! In next month’s newsletter we will also be talking about some relevant New Zealand based research from GradConnection so watch this space for more!
- Brainstorm some ideas based on this research around how you can best meet the top 2 AAGE factors, and talk to experts in the field who can be excellent sounding boards and service providers.
- Talk with your organisation about what it is you want to promote and get their ideas so that they are willing to buy into your graduate offering and deliver the promises you make such as “career planning discussions”. Often the best ideas in the HR office will fall over without the support of key people in your business.
- Build a solid programme that is based on sound career development principles. Consider things like who your coaches and mentors will be, the tools you will use to enhance career planning, and the training you will implement to help your graduates grow their skills.
Law and Watts (1977) suggest a great model for career education, and one which you can build a brilliant programme around:
Build self awareness- Self-awareness in a careers context involves an understanding of the kind of personal resources (both actual and potential) your graduates bring to the world. These include the strengths, areas for development, values, motivators, and career interests of each individual.
Build opportunity awareness- Develop an understanding of the general structures of the world of work, including career possibilities and alternative pathways in your organisation (and beyond!) so your graduates can map out the right path for them.
Develop Decision Making and Planning skills- Build an understanding of how to make career decisions, and be aware of pressures, influences, personal styles, consequences and setting SMART goals to give your graduates a tool-kit for effective career decision making.
Support the implementation of plans- Deliver on the promise of developing skills and talents so that your graduates have the appropriate skill level in a range of areas to be able to translate job and career planning into reality.
- Review how you present your Employee Value Proposition and tailor it to those factors which matter most to Graduates in your industry. Be clear and concise, and know your audience so you attract those more likely to enjoy working with you. Consider social media, role advertising, your website, and word of mouth information in terms of “getting the message out there”, and again talk to experts who can guide you in really delivering an EVP message with impact.
- Deliver on your promises!! If you have mentioned your career development and training initiatives when you advertise, then make sure those programmes are in place and are the best you can deliver to ensure that the psychological contract is not broken due to unmet expectations.
In next month’s article we will present to you with some information on Graduates and Graduate programmes in New Zealand, highlighting ideas that are being implemented in organisations to deliver on graduate career development and progression opportunities.
If you wish to talk to the experts in Career Development to enhance your graduate offering and add value to your business, call Career Analysts on (09) 356-9758 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Back to top
Career Strategy Sessions
Only $315 + GST until 24 Dec 2010
(Usually $415 + GST)
This intensive programme is effective for senior executives who want to make strategic career decisions or plans, and for all levels of individuals who are looking to gain clarity, motivation or feel empowered about their career.
This programme has also been used successfully to reward talented staff for their contributions, increasing engagement and motivation and providing a positive and energising experience and demonstrating business investment and confidence in the individual.
Click here for more information.
Quote this newsletter on booking to lock in the above fee.
Back to top
Click here to visit the Career Analysts website or
contact Jo Mills, General Manager today on