Talent Management

Register now for our Executive Leadership Forums

Our Executive Leadership Forums connect and support high performing executives across all sectors. Forums offer people the opportunity to share challenges and workshop ideas in a confidential small-group environment.

The bi-monthly facilitated sessions combine practical experience, case studies and theory to deliver a powerful development program that stretches and challenges each participant. The Forum strengthens capability, confidence and capacity to effectively lead in this changing climate.

Canberra and Sydney Forums are launching August 2017. EOI close June 30. Full details can be found here McCarthy Mentoring Leadership Development Programs.


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Immediate career support

Our Next Level Coaching program is designed for professionals wanting short-term support and advice on immediate career decisions, workplace challenges and goal setting. Participants are carefully matched with a coach selected from our network of experienced professionals. Find out more here.


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Have “that conversation”: the simplest way to keep your most valuable people

Last week my colleague asked a new client why he was initiating a mentoring program for his firm. He said that he didn’t want to lose his best people simply because no one had had “that conversation”.

She was perplexed “What conversation?”

He explained that when he was a busy senior associate, working long hours and billing above expectations he felt unrecognised and after several job offers from other firms offered his resignation. Clearly they didn’t want him, no one had ever discussed partnership with him and others were making him offers.  The partners of the firm were shocked and immediately made a counter offer.  They claimed they had identified his leadership potential and had been discussing his move to partnership for months; however no one had shared this with him. They’d never had “that conversation”.

Perhaps it was his role to ask the partners for a meeting to discuss his future. Did he think it was inappropriate?  There are some workplace cultures that do not encourage this kind of initiative and employees wait for someone to invite them to have “that conversation”.

He vowed he’d never let this happen in an organisation he ran so ten years on and as Managing Partner, he is offering early career lawyers a more formal channel to discuss and plan their career paths – a mentoring program.

This story highlights some interesting issues that we see recur in so many organisations and are much discussed in mentoring relationships. The grey area of how to secure a promotion, or even discuss your career with your manager, if they never do.  Will you be perceived as pushy and self-promoting or are you missing an opportunity if you don’t take the initiative?

The blunt answer is that no one cares more about your career more than you do, so my advice is to take action and arrange a meeting. In the Managing Partner’s case there was no hidden agenda, the partners just hadn’t discussed their thoughts with him.

Organisations need to ensure there is a transparent process and that it’s someone’s role to recognise and reward their best people. It would seem the natural responsibility of a manager, but somehow it eludes many of us and organisations leak talented, valuable and expensive people for a completely preventable reason.

The 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey (sample of 7700 people born after 1982 and based around the world) found that 1 in 4 employees during the next year ‘would quit his or her current employer to join a new organisation or to do something different. That figure increases to 44% when the time frame is expanded to two years’. More concerning is that ‘the least loyal employees are more likely to say that “I’m being overlooked for leadership positions and “My leadership skills are not being fully developed”.   Is this impatience or a sign of neglect?

On the flip side, some organisations really get this stuff right, as they know one of the top reasons people quit their jobs is lack of opportunity to advance and turnover costs are often estimated to be 100% – 300% of that employee’s base salary. Effective leaders know through experience that they can only deliver their vision with the right team around them.  They identify and develop talented people.  They extend them and help them see new and different opportunities and career paths.  They take an interest in their people, listen, understand and support their ambitions. They have “that conversation” and ask people:

  • What’s your career path?
  • Do you see a future for yourself in this business?
  • How can you contribute?
  • What’s your next role? Do you have a plan to get there?
  • How can I help you achieve that?

So if you consider yourself an effective leader or want to be one, then keeping your best performers should be on your “to do” list. You need to be personally involved in and have some understanding of how talent systems work in your organisation. It’s not just HR’s job. These questions might be useful to think about:

  1. How do you identify your top talent?
  2. Can you nominate your next leaders for critical roles?
  3. Are those people aware that they are on a talent list?
  4. How do you develop talent or your high potential people? Leadership & mentoring programs, 360, further study, secondments, sponsors.
  5. Do you have any key challenges in retaining these people?
  6. Do you have a diverse talent pool?
  7. As a leader in your organisation how can you affect these issues?

Organisations are about people and sometimes it’s the simplest gestures, like a regular conversation, that are important.

by Sophie McCarthy, Executive Director


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Executive development for property leaders

Applications are now open for the UDIA NSW Executive Mentoring Program for leaders working in the property sector. Managed by McCarthy Mentoring the program offers talented industry specialists a unique professional development opportunity to work one2one with an experienced executive. Mentors will draw on their experience in business and as company directors in the sector to provide confidential advice and support. Participants will also be invited to exclusive networking events with program alumni and peers.

Research shows that mentoring is a strategic way for organisations to engage, retain and develop talented people. It also helps to manage succession planning, increase cross-organisation and industry communication, broaden networks as well as develop a culture of mentoring within the urban development industry.

The UDIA NSW Executive Mentoring Program is specifically designed to assist with:

  • Talent retention – recognise and engage high performing employees
  • Executive development – strengthening leadership capabilities

For the participants, the 12 month mentoring program offers:

  • Chance for reflection and clarity around professional and personal goals
  • one-to-one support and advice from some of the industry’s most respected leaders
  • Support to gain further confidence and become more effective leaders
  • Insights into effective stakeholder management and communication
  • Chance for reflection and clarity around professional and personal goals
  • Expanded professional networks and increased industry profile
  • Exclusive access to events with current participants and program alumni

Applications

Applications close Monday 12th September. Full details and applications forms are available here.

Who should apply

Talented professionals who are currently employed at a member organisation with 10 -15 years industry experience, a track record of achievement and the aspiration to be a future leader in the sector.

 


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Mentoring and coaching: What’s the difference? Does it matter?

At a meeting this week in Sydney a senior HR professional responsible for tens of thousands of employees commented to me that there is still a lot of confusion around mentoring and coaching and when should one be offered as opposed to the other.

Does the newly appointed CEO, grappling with an inexperienced and demanding board need a coach or a mentor?   Which approach is most useful for the 30 something lawyer trying to make partnership who needs to build their profile and client base? What is most appropriate for the mature employee of a telco who wants to explore new ways of working as she approaches retirement?

Regardless of titles, people want support and advice to progress their careers and lives.  Some need inspiration to think big and long term, others benefit from accountability or constructive criticism to make change. Most of us want a trusted sounding board to test ideas and plans before executing them. It is a timeless practice to seek wise counsel on life’s big decisions – how to secure a new role, manage personal and professional relationships, clarify a career path, perform a leadership role to the best of your ability, combine work, family and life.

Mentors and coaches bring different skills to these relationships.  Mentors are selected in our practice for their experience and interest in developing people; some also have psychology and coaching qualifications.   It is their executive experience that mentees want access to.  How did they succeed in the big roles? Where did they fail? What path did they take to get there?  Did they feel lonely? How did they feign confidence when they didn’t feel it?

Mentoring encourages reflection and discussion and the agenda is set by the mentee.  The mentee’s manager in most cases nominates them for a mentoring program and may offer the mentor a broad brief on the person but is not involved throughout the program.  In a coaching relationship the agenda is set by the manager and the coach reports to the manager throughout.   A coach has undergone training to become accredited and has a set of tools and frameworks they draw on to help people reflect on their performance and set goals.

The purpose of coaching and mentoring also differs.  Coaching is offered to address a skill set or competency that needs improvement or correction, such as delegating, public speaking, managing teams; whereas mentoring supports people in career transitions.  It offers people a confidential and independent adviser with whom they can discuss a broad range of professional and personal issues. In our experience mentoring is offered to emerging leaders or valuable employees to develop their leadership skills as a part of succession planning.  This may be at a time where the company is being restructured, sold, or taking a new direction and mentoring can support people through this period and assist them to clarify their goals.

Another key difference is the time frame.  Mentoring is mostly over a much longer period, the majority of our programs are 12 months and meetings are monthly, as the emphasis is on reflection and implementing change incrementally. Coaching is often fortnightly for 4-8 meetings, it is more intense and focused on skill transfer.

In terms of outcomes, from an employer’s perspective mentoring is measured in terms of retention, promotion, expansion of role and higher leadership and engagement scores.  For coaching there are distinct targets or milestones that the coach works towards.

Over the past decade in Australia we have seen the development of executive coaching, a hybrid of coaching and mentoring which is offered to more senior people to help them address workplace issues and challenges and transition to senior roles.   Many executive coaches have executive backgrounds to draw on, accredited coaching skills and use a combination of coaching and mentoring hats to support and develop people.   Many of our mentors wear both hats and swap depending on the mentee’s circumstances, needs, goals and profession.

This is where it can get confusing, but the earlier points about timing, purpose and the relationship between coach and manager are still distinctions and if you are an employer or manager and considering development for your people reflect on the aim of the program, for the individual and the company, their needs, the stage of their career, and the method that will be most appropriate for them.


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