Effective Career Discussions (Taking Multiple Perspectives)


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This presentation promotes expanded understanding of the manner in which employees perceive their careers and ways in which line managers, human resources managers, mentors, and career coaches can conduct effective career conversations that offer benefits to both the individual employee and the employing organisation.

Nine types of career metaphor are introduced to stimulate thinking about how employees may tend to perceive and speak about their careers (Inkson).

Career drivers (Schein) are introduced as a means of highlighting that employees are motivated differently (i.e. they are seeking different blends of rewards from working).

The Denham Career Development Model is introduced briefly to highlight the career tasks that employees undertake across their careers, while working with their organisations.

Benefits of developing an organisational career development culture are then highlighted (CIPD).

Research undertaken (Hirsch et al) into who carries out effective career discussions with employees in organisations is then presented, together with the contexts/settings in which those effective career discussions took place. Positive behaviours demonstrated by those carrying out effective career conversations with employees are then highlighted, together with the positive impacts of those career discussions.

Tips for the consideration of organisations seeking to develop strong career development cultures are then provided.

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Effective Career Discussions (Taking Multiple Perspectives)

  1. 1. Barry J Horne M: (0425) 308 625ICF (WA Chapter) T: (08) 9448 6753August 2012 E: barryjh@amnet.net.au
  2. 2.  Multiple Perspectives Material Rewards Affiliation Autonomy Employee Perspectives Power/ Influence Creativity Security Search for Expertise Status Meaning Organisational Perspectives Effective Career Discussions Positive Actions
  3. 3. Consulting to Organisations:Change Projects, Employee Benefits Coaching Teams: Cross-Functional Projects Leading Professional Teams: Research, Actuarial Workplace Coaching: Executives, ManagersCoaching and Advising Individuals:Career Direction/Transition, Financial Planning Training Career Professionals
  4. 4. Actually I never really thought of it as a career, since a career suggests evolution and progress, whereas my professional life has been a series of advances and retreats: stagnation and renewals, lulls and surges, doldrums and typhoons. A career could be planned, my life was the result of chance and improvisation. It was plotless.Humphries (2002)
  5. 5. INHERITANCE Predetermined Outcomes Passed From Background/Family Experienced as Career Resources or Handicaps Innate Abilities Social Background Ethnicity Personality Gender EducationInkson (2006)
  6. 6. CYCLES Often Predictable, Identifiable Stages Through Which Expected to Pass Seasons Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter Career Developmental Phases Growth, Exploration, Establishment, Maintenance, Decline (Super)Inkson (2006)
  7. 7. ACTION Imposition of Will in the World Researching Options Training / Retraining Choosing Direction Seizing Opportunities Career Building / Constructing / PlanningInkson (2006)
  8. 8. FIT Occupational Slots  Niche  Square Peg and Hole!  Individual and Organisational Cultural Alignment Stability of the the Peg (Individual) and Hole (Work)?Inkson (2006)
  9. 9. JOURNEYS Mobility (or Immobility) Relative to Destination  Direction  Progress  Altitude  Boundary Crossing Geographic, Cultural, Economic Sectors, Industries, Occupations, OrganisationsInkson (2006)
  10. 10. ROLES Constellation, Acted Out in Theatre of Life  Economic Position Title, Occupational Identity, Consumer, Retired  Family Daughter/Son, Father/Mother, Sister/Brother  Social Friend, Citizen, Leisurite, Volunteer  Learner Student, Graduate/AlumnusInkson (2006)
  11. 11. RELATIONSHIPS Social Networks of Contacts/Interactions  Industry Group Members and Professional Peers  Organisational Colleagues  Clients/Customers/Suppliers  Contacts Via ReputationInkson (2006)
  12. 12. RESOURCES Organisational Inputs  Add Economic Value  Training as Investment in Capability Knowledge + Qualifications + Expertise + Experience + Accomplishments + Credibility/ReputationInkson (2006)
  13. 13. STORIES Life Narratives Tell Ourselves / Others  Written Self-Marketing Resumes, Professional Profiles  Verbal Self-Marketing Interviews, Networking  Accomplishments, Selection Criteria ResponsesInkson (2006)
  14. 14. Inheritance Cycles Action Fit Journey Role Relationship Resource StoryInkson (2006)
  15. 15. The 3 Metaphor Categories That Resonate Most Strongly with Me are:Inkson (2006)
  16. 16. Material Affiliation Autonomy Rewards Power/ Creativity Security Influence Search for Expertise Status MeaningSchein
  17. 17. Driver Seeking To Material Rewards Possess Wealth and Enjoy High Standard of Living Power/Influence Control People and Resources Search for Meaning Do Things Valuable for Their Own Sake Expertise Accomplish at High Level in Specialised Field Creativity Innovate and be Identified for Original Input Affiliation HaveNourishing Relationships at Work Autonomy Have Independence to Make Own Decisions Security Have Solid and Predictable Future Status Gain Community Recognition, Admiration, and RespectSchein
  18. 18. The 3 Career Drivers of Greatest Importance toMe at this Juncture of My Career are:
  19. 19. Denham (2004)
  20. 20. Skill Deployment Adaptive Organisation Growth Performance Business Case for Career Development Unleashing Attraction/ Potential Retention Skills/ Experience BusinessCIPD (2005) Needs
  21. 21. National Institute for Career Education and Counselling (UK) Project  5 Major Employing Organisations  Employees Referred to Research Team  Effectiveness Based on Perceived Value to Employee  250 Specific Career Conversations Investigated  162 Positive Conversations Reported  118 Receivers and 33 Givers of Career SupportHirsh et al(2001)
  22. 22. The Most Effective Career Discussion I Have Ever Experienced… Was with a Person who was a <Relationship> Happened in the Context of <Circumstance> Involved Demonstration by that Person of the following Positive Behaviours: Had the following Positive Impacts on My Career:
  23. 23. Boss (Appraisal) Sources of 6% Support Other Manager (Single) Boss (Non- Other 18% Appraisal)Manager (On- 15% Going) Career/Trainin 8% g Event 8% Formal Mentors/Coac Friends/Collea hes gues 14% 8% Human Specialist Resources Coach/Adviser 11% 12%
  24. 24. Regular Review External Meeting 3% (Boss) Settings Appraisal 4% 7%Informal EventMeeting Triggered 29% 8% Formal Coaching/Me ntoring 14% InformalUnplanned Follow-up 21% 14%
  25. 25.  Displays Real Interest in Employee  Demonstrates Insight  Enthuses and Positive  Provides Constructive Challenge/Advice  Uses Facilitative Interpersonal Skills  Gives Information  Offers Honest Feedback (Skills, Potential)  Shares Networks  Manages Session NB: Non-Directive, Counselling Behaviours Insufficient !Hirsh et al (2001)
  26. 26. Secondment 4 Impacts of Retention 11 Positive Discussions Contacts 14 (Cited %) Increased Career Skills 22 Development Opportunities 22 Political Awareness 25Ongoing Dialogue with Organisation 25 Job Move 35 Positive Feeling 51 Career Opportunity Information 53 Increased Self Insight 61 Clearer Future Direction 65 0 20 40 60 80
  27. 27.  Reposition Career Support Responsibility with Community of Line Managers: Boss is Often Not Best Provider of Support  Normalise Career Discussions as Part of Organisational Life  Career Discussions are Central to Self-Managed Careers: Relate Tacit Information to Individual and SituationHirsh et al (2001)
  28. 28.  Don’t Rely on Formal Appraisal: Overloaded Process, Short-Term Performance Orientation  Motivated Bottom Line: Maximising Employee Contributions Over Time - Impact on Engagement due to Attending to Real Concerns About FutureHirsh et al (2001)
  29. 29.  Build Off-Line Options (e.g. External, Impartial Coaches): Especially useful if… ◦ Line Management Weak on People Management ◦ Organisation is Turbulent ◦ Individuals Have Deep-Seated (Work) Problems  Encourage Informal Mentoring and Career Discussions: Train Givers and Receivers of Career Discussion Support!Hirsh et al (2001)
  30. 30. Build Capability of Procure People to Career Conduct Specialists Effective and CareerProvide Interventions DiscussionsDirect CareerSupport
  31. 31.  Multiplicity of Perspectives on Career Material Employees Drivers Vary Rewards Affiliation Autonomy Power/ Creativity Security Influence Search for Expertise Status Meaning Benefits for Organisations that Develop Strong Career Development Cultures Build Capability to Hold Effective Career Discussions Implications for Coaching Market
  32. 32.  Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development [CIPD] (2005) Career Discussions at Work: Practical Tips for HR, Managers and Employees. Denham, J (2003, 2004) Employability and Enterprise Skills Course. Edith Cowan University Hirsh W, Jackson, C, Kidd, J (2001) Straight Talking: Effective Career Discussions at Work. Humphries, B (2002). My Life as Me. Viking Inkson, K (2006) Understanding Careers: The Metaphors of Working Lives. Sage Publications