What are the benefits of career coaching?

  • With the right conversation you get to know the whole person – career coaching helps in understanding personal and career aspirations and goals. Knowing both sides of the coin will help people attain goals more easily.
  • It creates space and time to focus on identifying skills and capabilities and where there are gaps that might inhibit progress.
  • There’s an opportunity to explore different types of career change – not just vertical promotion, but sideways moves, skill enhancement, educational attainment, project work or development of personal attributes.
  • It motivates and done well can support employee health and wellbeing
  • It can build better relationships and encourage a culture of accountability.

employees listening to each other


As a people manager, you’re partly responsible for the learning, development, and career management of your people. The other part of that responsibility sits with the individual themselves.

A Gallup report shows that employees actually want regular, ongoing feedback and the opportunity to learn and develop through conversation. According to Gallup research, employees whose managers involve them in goal setting are 4x more engaged than employees whose managers do it for them.

To ensure your people get the best benefits from career coaching, remember to undertake the following:


Get to know the whole person


People rarely bring a compartmentalised ‘work only’ person into the office, shop, factory, or agile space.  As human beings our personal relationships, social life, friends, and family impact us just as much as work does. So, as a manager can you really expect to only talk about work? We think not.  To get the full benefits of career coaching open the space up to talk about personal ambitions as well as work ones.  Is a family planned in the future? Is your employee thinking about moving house?  Are any relationships impacting work? Does an elderly parent need care?

All these considerations will matter to the counter side of career development, when thinking about goals for advancement, perhaps secondment or promotion.  You don’t have to force people to talk about personal stuff, but you should provide an environment where there is acceptance that they matter and can be talked about openly if necessary.


Focus on skills and capabilities


None of us are perfect, so it goes without saying that if someone wants to develop, they’ll need to focus on maximising their strengths and well as closing any gaps or weaknesses.  We love a strengths-based approach (click here to access our Resources Page and read more on VIA Strengths), but equally as a manager you shouldn’t shy away from taking about how to improve – whether that’s for skill or competence, knowledge, attitude or an attribute.  What shift in mindset might help develop more confidence and influence, often important to career advancement?  Which new skills or knowledge could help the individual take on a new challenge?  Is there a change in behaviour or shift in attitude might make someone more attractive to join a project team and contribute effectively?  While these conversations might feel a little uncomfortable for both parties, the benefits of talking openly should far outweigh any embarrassment.


Explore different types of career change


One benefit of career coaching is that it can help managers and employees explore different development pathways. Career development isn’t just about increasing pay or getting a bigger job title (although both things might be important).  Perhaps someone wants to move into a related but new area of work?  What skill enhancement might help them do this? Maybe an employee needs to be stretched but within their professional area of expertise – a project or sideways move might work well? Is it important to work on attaining a professional qualification before career advancement can happen? Whatever the answer it’s important to recognise that career coaching can benefit those who want to explore development is a variety of different ways – not just vertical promotion.


Focus on health and wellbeing


Tapping into the passions, interests, and personal motivations of your team, better equips you to plan and set achievable goals with them – keeping everyone on an even keel. By assessing where they are now, what they are looking to achieve, what options they have available and what they will actually need to do to bridge any gaps, you help create an agreed development programme with SMART goals. These are goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound. Action plans will be more attainable, balancing the desires of being ambitious with being realistic.

The benefit of career coaching is that these conversations build better relationships, creating a more optimistic and healthier workplace. When you show a genuine interest in someone, you build trust.  Trust helps people have open and honest conversations, making the giving and receiving of feedback easier.  This iterative listening and learning environment is great for everyone’s wellbeing.https://www.notebookmentor.com/category/leading-and-managing


Build better relationships and encourage accountability


Career coaching has the potential to create a more positive workplace, by identifying, celebrating, and rewarding success and learning, rather than just admonishing poor performance.

Praise for good work is the most motivating of all forms of feedback     Gallup

Your employees will feel more valued and understood and by involving them as equal owners in their development you build a culture of accountability.


By using career coaching conversations, your team should have a clear idea of what their individual and collective responsibilities are, what they are accountable for and how, by achieving goals, they can shape the long-term success of the business.  Knowing what the future might look like can also inspire people to dream big and take calculated risks.




The benefits of career coaching go further than what we’ve articulated here and that’s good news for you as a manager:

  • It helps you hold onto valued and talented employees
  • You spend less time managing poor performance and more time focused on using strengths
  • There’s potential to improve productivity, engagement, and morale

If you want to know more about the employee lifecycle in relation to managing, Notebook Mentor has a journal specifically written with the  1st time manager in mind  “Becoming a 1st-time manager”


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