3 Roles Coaching and Mentoring Can Play In Talent Management Strategy

talent management strategy

Earlier this year I presented at the Association for Coaching Conference.  The theme of the conference was “Time to Develop” and my session was about the role of coaching and mentoring in talent management strategy. 

After a preamble looking at the talent management challenges faced by organisations and why talent management is important, I went on to share my thoughts on the three roles coaching and mentoring can play to help talent management strategy in organisations.

I call it the ADT Model because the three areas where I think coaching and mentoring can add most value are:

1.  Aspirations

In my blog posts over the last few weeks, I’ve talked at some length about why it’s important to take employee aspirations into account in your Talent Review and Succession Planning processes.

And I’ve talked about the role that coaching and mentoring can play in helping employees think through their aspirations, deciding what they want to share with their manager and taking ownership of their careers.

2.  Development

The second role that coaching and mentoring can play in talent management strategy is in developing future leaders.  This is an area that is now much more common and readily accepted.  And in recent blog posts, I’ve highlighted the invaluable role coaching can play in accelerating leader development.

3.  Transition

The third role coaching and mentoring can play in talent management are to support leaders at times of transition.

If you’re successful in connecting the individual’s aspirations and the needs of the organisation and you support them in developing their ability, the result will be that they take on new roles, challenges and responsibilities.

Transitions into new roles and divisions are vulnerable times for leaders.  The actions they choose to take – and not to take – during their first three months in the role will directly, and disproportionately, impact their eventual success or failure.

Common traps that leaders in new roles can fall into include:

  • Misinterpreting obstacles as being a feature of the organisation or division when they are personal hurdles.
  • Rushing in with the single “right” answer.
  • Gravitating toward problems and tasks they understand and feel most comfortable with rather than those that are most important to the organisation.
  • Trying to do too much too soon.
  • Becoming isolated.
  • Setting unrealistic expectations.

Leaders in new roles need coaching and support to avoid these traps.

How to support leaders in new roles

Coaching during their first 3 to 6 months can help make the leader’s job transition as efficient and as successful as possible by helping them define actions and priorities during the first few months in the role.  It can also help the leader foresee the predictable reactions to change that people have, and help them with those reactions effectively.

If you have any leaders who would benefit from support with their Aspirations, Development or Transition and you wonder if coaching might help, just get in touch and we can talk it through.

By the way, if you missed the Association for Coaching Conference and think the line up of speakers looks interesting, you can find podcast interviews with them (including yours truly!) here.


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