from the team at
This is our last newsletter for the year. We wish you a safe and happy holiday break and look forward to working with you in 2011.
Please note, our office will be closed from 25 December 2010 and will re-open on 17 January 2011. For all urgent enquiries, please contact Jo Mills on 021 588 608.
This Issue Contains:
Courageous Career Conversations -
Are You Having Them?
By Aimee Visser
We have been having some interesting discussions with our clients lately around the need to have courageous career conversations in the workplace. Some managers are frightened to discuss what motivates and inspires their team members, for fear that if they open the Pandora's Box of career aspirations, it may cause their employees to take flight.
On the other hand, some individuals feel uneasy having a courageous conversation with their manager as they fear their managers may un-necessarily believe that they are about to leave their role and may start to treat them unfairly. Alternatively, they may think there is no clear way for them to grow in the organisation.
If managers and staff are dancing around each other quietly, perhaps without reason, it could be time to introduce a courageous career discussion. The reality is, everyone has needs and goals, and we cannot just assume we know what these are. The sooner we get talking to each other, the quicker we can dispel the assumptions we hold and start acting on facilitating the achievement of these goals.
If you are a manager, ask yourself- have I taken an interest lately in how my staff feel about their work and their future? If the answer is NO, think of the reasons why? Are you making an assumption without asking for the reality from your team members? Are you afraid they are going to leave? If so, wouldn’t it be better to start talking now and create the safety net at the top of a cliff instead of the ambulance at the bottom?
The Corporate Leadership Council wrote that by having courageous career conversations and influencing others, you are more likely to be able to develop talent in your team! (Corporate Leadership Council, 2008).
So, Set some time aside with your staff and ask some key questions like:
- What was the best day at work you have had in the past three months? What were you doing?
- What could lure you away from working here? What do we need to do to keep you?
- What would make your job more satisfying?
- What do you want to be doing in five years time?
- What motivates you the most? And how are you meeting these needs at work?
- What gets you out of bed in the morning?
If you are a staff member (and that includes you in managerial roles!), direct these very same questions at yourself. Write your answers down, and schedule a time with your manager to talk through what you wish to achieve and what your needs are.
During these conversations, take time to listen to the other party and brainstorm together to find ways to meet career needs.
- What is it about the role that meets or exceeds these needs?
- What talents are being well used? Which could be used better? Which could be developed?
- What motivators are being met on a regular basis? What is de-motivating?
- Do you need to redesign the role in question to involve more of the activities that inspire and motivate?
- Are there activities that could be done outside of work to foster growth and learning?
- Do you need to discuss other role options within your organisation that may challenge and grow any dormant skills? (remember just because a person needs a new challenge, does not mean it has to come from outside the organisation)
Plan a clear way forward together, and break down into clear steps how the newly discussed ideas will be put into place. Then starting acting on what is agreed! You may be surprised how often these conversations result in increased role satisfaction and performance. More importantly, keep having these discussions on a regular basis so they don’t feel like a perfunctory once a year career health check.
Now is an excellent time to start these discussions as the New Year period generally brings up thoughts on goals and dreams for the year ahead. Be Courageous! Get talking, and start 2011 on a high note!
Career Analysts have a half day Manager As Career Coach Workshop that supports you to have robust and practical conversations with your staff. Contact us to learn more.
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Launching A Career Development Initiative
By Jo Mills
If you are considering enhance your career offering in your organisation, or launching a new career initiative, talk us first. We would enjoy the opportunity to discuss how we can help, share some case studies, or introduce our range of customised solutions and configurable software.
Career Development Initiative Tips:
Based on our domain expertise, we have some quick tips if you are thinking about launching a Career Initiative for your people.
- Communication is key!
For your talent: There is nothing more disappointing than top talent leaving for career opportunities elsewhere, when you know that there is a career path available for them in your organisation. It is vital that Management, HR and the Executive team have a clear idea of who is talent in the organisation and have created a joint career strategy with those individuals. The career strategy should be one that taps into the individual’s motivators, talents, values and preferences, and is motivating and engaging. In addition, it should be clearly aligned with the organisations goals and vision.
For all staff: Broad and varied communication for general staff career initiatives is equally important. A clear communications strategy is vital and should span key stakeholders such as the executive team, managers, internal advocates and staff. Make sure your managers have a clear understanding of how the initiative will work (and assist them to do their jobs) before you launch to general staff. For staff, several different forms of communication will be required – consider email, posters, seminars, competitions etc, as well as a communications plan that spans several months and isn't just a one off event.
- Career Development initiatives are a ‘need to have’,
not a ‘nice to have’ A key driver for many staff is career development opportunities, and the ability to add value to the organisation while fulfilling personal career goals. Engagement survey writers know this, hence the number of questions relating to this area. Being an employer of choice requires a clear career management programme for your people – post selection and induction!
Make sure this is a core part of your HR strategy for 2011 and back this up with the multitude of research and ROI that supports this. A sponsor at a senior level is a must have.
Career Development is not just about the next role
For many of the staff we work with, their focus isn’t necessarily on ‘what next’. More commonly career development sits within their current role, and uncovering the learning and development opportunities that exist for them right now. The next role may be months or years away – and the individual may be seeking ways to find meaning in the work they do right now.
For your managers this is a key insight and addresses the fear that career development will encourage a mass exodus of staff. In fact, career development is a key retention tool.
- Each person is unique
What motivates and inspires one person, may be quite different for the person standing next to them. Understanding and tapping into individual drivers is essential for career development. The online careerCENTRE makes this easy for staff to articulate, and debrief with their managers.
- Career Development initiatives retain staff
A common concern with career development is that it will encourage staff to leave your organisation. In fact, feedback shows that after a Career Strategy session, people are more committed to the organisation and more likely to see themselves working with their current organisation for a further 12months!
This is because career development helps people to map their career drivers to their role and organisation, helping them to see that how their current role and organisation is a good fit and confirming the decision they made to join you!
We are passionate about careers, and always keen to brainstorm ideas or share our experience.
Call Jo, Debbie or Aimee to talk through how we can help, discuss case studies and how you can create an innovative career management solution for your people
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Quick Tips on Career Well Being
In a recent study, Gallup Management has identified 5 universal factors of individual wellbeing, of which Career Wellbeing is one (read more about what Career Wellbeing and the other 5 factors: The Business Case For Wellbeing, by Jennifer Robison, Gallup Management Journal http://gmj.gallup.com/content/139373/business-case-wellbeing.aspx). When these factors are working for an individual, they thrive, and so do the businesses they work for.
So how do your improve Career Wellbeing in your workplace?
- Leverage strengths: Help people identify their strengths and how they can use them on a day to day basis
- Tap into individual purpose: Understand what your staff member is seeking to achieve in their career, and how their current role helps them to do this. It might be that your staff member is eager to contribute to the community and their current role is building skills that they can offer in this space in the future. Don’t be afraid of connecting individuals to goals outside your workplace – often these goals are several years away, and in the meantime you will have an engaged, passionate and motivated employee.
- Link to the bigger picture: Creating a clear link between the individuals role and responsibilities and the goals of the organisation can also enhance feelings of contribution and meaning in their work.
- Recognise success: Motivate your team by celebrating goal achievement along the way
- Empower your staff member: Your staff member is the best person to articulate what Career Wellbeing means to them, and create strategies to activate this. Have clear, open career conversations with them, providing tools and resources so they can tap into what is important to them. One size does not fit all!
The Price of Poor Wellbeing: For organizations and individuals, the costs aren't just physical -- they're financial too. Here's how employers can tackle this problem by Bryant Ott, Gallup Management Journal
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2-Day Career Coach Training
$1,800 + GST
IF BOOK BY 10 DECEMBER
23 & 24 March 2011
9.15am to 5pm
This training is designed to assist managers, HR, mentors and career coaches assist others
with their career decisions, maximising the future opportunities and career success of those
they work with.
The Career Analyst career coach programme empowers coaches with a proven career coaching process that delivers enhanced career clarity, insight and awareness in coachees. It
is designed to ensure that future career coaches have the practical skills and resources to
deliver positive outcomes for their staff and others they support, assisting others to build
their career and personal performance and create effective career management dialogues.
The purpose of this course is to equip you with the skills, confidence and ability to coach
people to successfully achieve their career goals and fulfil their potential.
Click here for more info about the Career Coach Training and the topics covered each day.
To book or for more information, please phone 09 523 0000 or email Career Analysts at
We have limited spaces, so please let us know as soon as
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Christmas Career Cheer
Looking for a Christmas gift with a difference? Help your friends, family or staff maximise their career happiness in 2011 with the online careerCENTRE.
onlinecareerCENTRE: Would you like your friends and family (or staff) to have access to the Motivators, Preferences, Interests, and Values tool? We wish to offer you a discounted rate on the Online Career Centre tools of $50 gst inclusive (usually $115) for all 4 tools. These can be purchased through till December 24th 2010 (and the online access is open for 12 months once the tools have been purchased). Click here for more info.
You will receive a printed voucher to present on Christmas Day.
Contact Debbie Chin to take advantage of this offer.
What Career Development Opportunities
are you Offering to Graduates? - PART 2
Looking for part 2 of our discussion on Graduate development?
There have been some delays on this article so we apologise it will not be featured this month. We will bring this to you as soon as the data is available.
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Click here to visit the Career Analysts website or
contact Jo Mills, General Manager today on