Onsite Career Coaching Promotes Mentoring

Dave Denaro Culture, HR Strategy, Talent Management

An additional benefit of implementing an onsite career coaching program is that by design it encourages authentic and useful mentoring relationships to develop.

These relationships have a number of positive business benefits, not only for the employee but also for the mentor; as well as the company.

An employee benefits by getting advice pertinent to their career aspirations, guidance on navigating the steps in the process of getting from where they are to where they want to be, and coaching on engaging with leaders who have a different leadership style than is common in the company. The employee can develop relationships with different mentors to help with different problems thereby always getting the most expert advice relative to the particular problem.

Mentors benefit from the satisfaction derived by helping someone who seems genuinely appreciative as their career advances. Also, a mentor gains perspective on the culture of the organization, seeing the organization through the eyes of people they mentor who have different backgrounds, positions and experiences. This additional perspective could help eliminate blind-spots in the policies and practices of the firm if the mentor is in a position to influence those things.

A company benefits because mentoring is yet another way to practice being agile and learning to learn. Knowledge only becomes skill through practice. As the early adopters talk about their success working with their mentors, more employees will realize that this resource is available and want to use it. Employee development will improve because less time will be wasted exploring dead end paths and recovering from ineffective career decisions. Learning to manage your career teaches you how to learn from others, recognize opportunities when they appear, and to be adaptable in responding. These are transferable skills that in high demand with fast moving businesses.

Proper Framework Yields Results

To realize the benefits of a mentoring program, a company has to put the right framework in place.

It starts with employee initiative, therefore employee centered career coaching is the first step. True, employees can get coaching from other sources but it says something about the company if it’s offered onsite, especially if the company already offers executive coaching to high level employees.

If an onsite career coaching program is in place, employees who takes advantage of the program create a career plan for themselves and learn how to execute it, including coaching on when, why, and how to find a mentor. The employee will be coached on how to prepare for and run the mentoring meetings. When they engage with mentors, employees will be prepared to use the mentors’ time effectively and purposefully.

As mentoring yields results, more employees engage in the process and the behavior becomes part of the culture. Onsite career coaching is an effective way to support the development and maintenance of a mentoring program that results in a high-performance culture.


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