Career guidance is becoming an in-demand employee benefit. With the support of coaches and mentors, today's workers learn to navigate complex work environments that carry high expectations and often provide limited time to learn career-boosting skills. Workers gain the benefit of dedicated support to their career development, from determining what's next on their career path to overcoming certain company-specific challenges. See how providing access to career guidance services as part of your benefits package can help your business grow, and what HR leaders need to know about putting this into play.
Why Employers Offer Career Counseling
At first glance, it may seem counterintuitive for employers to offer access to career counseling. However, career counselors are trained, objective professionals who listen to the biggest concerns employees are facing and help them map out the best long-term solutions. The issues counselors work on with employees can be varied; from how to succeed in a new executive position, to overcoming a difficult boss, to finding the best way forward between two possible career paths in the company.
For employers, it's important to know that employees are supported at critical moments. Masterful career counseling can improve productivity and engagement, increase retention, and boost both morale and performance quality. It can also help your employees achieve excellent results, and eliminate some of the burden of mentoring from your busy executive staff. Managers can focus on helping their direct reports maximize performance, while career coaches can help them tackle more abstract career-related questions.
How Employees Benefit from Career Guidance
Employees need support as they make critical career discussions and work their way through key day-to-day interactions. However, managers may be busy, and sometimes employees need an objective resource to connect with. A career counselor provides access to a knowledgeable person who understands the working context and general workplace best practices; acting as both a sounding board and gut check.
When career guidance is a benefit that's available to employees, they may be likely to:
- Take the time to address problems and challenges, which can help increase morale and job satisfaction.
- Help individual employees overcome barriers to productivity.
- Explore different strategies for coping with day-to-day issues that arise during interactions with managers, colleagues, and customers.
- Map a long-term career trajectory that keeps them attuned to the company's needs.
Things to Look for When Choosing a Career Counselor
Capturing the full benefits of a career counselor as part of your benefits package requires choosing the right service. Here are some factors to consider:
- Choose an agency or individual that is credentialed through an organization such as the National Career Development Association (NCDA).
- Select a counselor who understands your industry, business, and operating model.
- Choose a counselor who is experienced working with staff at a wide range of different levels, from entry-level to executive.
Providing career guidance as a benefit can help your employees get more done, while also helping your managers improve the overall employee experience. Choose an established partner to help your workforce, at all levels- smoothly navigate both their day-to-day challenges and their most critical career strategy issues.