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Executive Coaching and the War for Talent

As we know from many reports these days, senior managers are retiring in droves. There is not an industry in Canada that is not impacted by this demographic trend.

HR Managers must address the challenge on all fronts. That includes:

  1. Finding creative ways to keep the baby boomers engaged longer
  2. Retaining all the potential talent that already exists in the organization
  3. Attracting new high quality and high potential talent with a differentiated employment value proposition.

We can talk about each of the aspects in turn, but first let’s remind ourselves what this relatively new leadership tool called Executive Coaching is all about.  Coaching for business leaders has been around in different forms for decades. Its use has grown rapidly in popularity recently, in part, because it’s a powerful HR tool for attraction and retention of key leaders.  It has evolved from the old mindset of only being used for “remedial” needs i.e. managing the weaknesses of key leaders. You know the conversation that goes something like:  “George could be a great leader one day if only…..”.  Now the more progressive organizations view executive coaching as a critical ingredient in the leadership development of their executives and high potential leaders.

Why is that?  Primarily it’s because executive coaching moves leaders along their path to greatness faster and more effectively than if they were left to their own methods.  Can you imagine any high performance athlete at the Olympics trying to train and compete without an equally high calibre coach?  It’s an outrageous thought. It’s easy to understand then why leading organizations today are prepared to invest in their executives and high potential leaders in the form of executive coaching.

How then, can it be applied to the War for Talent?  Let’s consider the three target areas:

Keeping the Baby Boomers Engaged Longer
Retiring executives are often prepared to remain in the work force, just not on the same terms.  However it may be difficult for the organization and even the baby boomers themselves, to create the ideal circumstances for the continued participation in the work force.  Boomer Match to Business is a useful approach.  In addition, offering the retiring executive access to executive coaching would be an attractive consideration.  With effective coaching the executive, along with the progressive minded leaders in the organization, can find creative new insights that lead to innovative work solutions.

Retaining Existing Talent
Here is the giant opportunity.  Executive coaching for existing high potential leaders in the organization delivers benefits in two ways.  Firstly, it sends the clear message that the individual is valued and will help keep them from seeking their success elsewhere.  Secondly, it will help the individual and the organization develop creative solutions to many of the business challenges facing them.  The insights gained from executive coaching can be quite transformative and far-reaching

Attracting New Talent
In the familiar world of supply and demand, the high quality members of the workforce in a working world that is short of supply will be looking for high performance organizations to help them with the next stage of their career.  An organization can differentiate its employment value proposition by demonstrating how it uses progressive tools to enhance its performance.  High quality workers are attracted to workplaces that offer them potential, something different and a satisfying work environment.  A well-integrated coaching plan can add all this to an organization.

Enquire today about how coaching might be the best next step for your organization.  A good place to start would be with the International Coach Federation (ICF: www.coachfederation.org). You can start by reading through all the material available on coaching.  You can also find certified coaches to start up a dialogue.