True organisational success relies on retention just as much as recruitment. This principle is central to each assignment we work on and every conversation we have with our clients and candidates. It’s why over the last four years we’ve been working with Open Reflexion to offer transition coaching to most of the professionals we place.
To explore their offering and what it helps to achieve, we chatted with Lynn Watkinson, an Executive Coach within their team.
Why is transition coaching important?
It is estimated that 10-20% of senior leaders leave a new job role in the first 90-days; which has implications for an organisation’s performance, morale and finances. Recruiting senior people creates exciting opportunities for both the business and the new hire. Getting the onboarding process right is vital to ensuring a successful transition from being a strong candidate into a truly effective leader and valuable member of the team.
The first 90 days are crucial for setting the tone for leadership, establishing credibility with teams and stakeholders, setting priorities and communicating vision. Candidates are very often leaving familiarity and moving into positions where they need to build new relationships, skills and prove themselves quickly. This can particularly be the case at a senior level where the transition can often feel even more isolating.
Coaching provides a confidential thinking space that is as challenging as it is supportive. Clients have fed back that our coaching sessions have provided them with greater clarity, new options to pursue and greater resolve, direction and energy; enabling them to bring their best self to the role.
What are some of the common themes that are brought into coaching?
We often see common themes that permeate transition coaching such as establishing priorities, building relationships, and assessing the dynamics of the new organisation. That said, we recognise that every candidate is unique – in their qualities, abilities and needs.
For example, we recently supported a leader who was leaving an organisation that they felt immensely loyal to following years of dedicated service. In this case, we recognised the importance of initiating the transition coaching at a much earlier stage than normal – whilst they were still in their notice period. In this way we could support the leader to exit well and to correctly process and consolidate their experiences. As a result, our client was able to make a seamless start as a self-assured leader within their new organisation.
Our services can also help candidates to make the mental break away from their old role and to process any baggage relating to how they were treated or exited from their former position. These are issues that are not normally shared at interview and so having a confidential space to work through this has a myriad of benefits, both professional and personal.
When bpesearch candidates see this investment being made in them by a new or prospective employer, it facilitates a positive start to the relationship right from the beginning.
What is the typical profile of a coach working with Open Reflexion on these projects?
All Open Reflexion coaches have advanced level coaching experience combined with a senior level commercial career. We go through a rigorous testing and onboarding process when inducting new coaches into our team to ensure that we can provide the best possible experience.
Supervision is also built into all our assignments to ensure our coaches are challenged to provide the very best outcome in each assignment. Quality is central to our offering because we are committed to getting it right and guarantee outcomes.
How can this service open up your organisation to greater diversity and inclusion in hiring?
As businesses strive to become more diverse and inclusive, coaching provides a form of personalised support which can be tailored to the specific needs of the individual whilst being completely confidential. Coaching can provide targeted support for individuals from underrepresented groups, helping them to navigate complex workplace dynamics and overcome barriers to success.
We are passionate about the impact of coaching and want our work to reach people who wouldn’t normally be able to take advantage of coaching. For this reason we have partnered with an educational psychologist to offer state schools pro-bono executive coaching. We have also offered pro-bono services to Cancer Research UK.
As a proud partner of Open Reflexion, we have seen leaders quick to produce results, create long lasting relationships and feel confident that they have found a workplace which will suit them for the long term. We’ve also seen organisations able to hire staff from outside of their industry or with additional needs in a way in which they may not have previously. The coaching offers structured support which allows these businesses to take risks, gain a fresh perspective and invite more voices to their leadership tables.
Our relationship with Open Reflexion and what they offer to the organisations and leaders we partner with is invaluable and a core part of our mantra to insist on better.