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Career Conversations

Career Conversations

Posted: 13th July 2021

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  • #13047

      I’m currently reviewing manager guidance on career conversations. We already have a number of resources in place but I’d love to hear more about what other organisations are offering. If you have any hints, tips, ideas, anything you are willing to share, that would be great! Thanks.


        Hi Emma,

        We’ve recently reviewed this topic. We’ve provided managers with a number of questions, under different headings. They don’t have to ask every question, and we encourage them to let the conversation flow more naturally. We don’t ask them to record the answers (as we wanted to avoid form-filling for the sake of it), but to follow up (perhaps via email) if there were agreed actions or takeaways for either party.

        Questions start with a simple “how are you feeling on a scale of 1-10”, which can be followed up with “how could that move up to a <10>?”. We ask what’s been most positive or frustrating recently, what gives them a sense of accomplishment, do they get to do challenging things every day, do they feel fully utilised, is their workload manageable, is there any support they need or additional learning they’d like to do? We also ask about reward and recognition – do they feel suitably recognised and valued for their efforts, and how do they feel about their current reward package in general? This part can be tricky to manage, but we feel it’s important to openly address this topic. Depending how the conversation is going, we also ask if they could change one thing, what would it be? And (another tricky one) is there anything that would make them consider leaving the business?

        Then depending on the situation we discuss suitable next steps – are they already on a promo plan, do they have goals in place, what does the next step look like for them, do they know where to find the career map/internal vacancy list?

        We encourage managers to have these conversations every 3-6 months – it can vary depending on tenure/seniority/aspiration – and not to make it a once-a-year-then-forget-about-it activity. We are also looking at whether the next level manager or HR occasionally have a similar conversation in addition to the immediate line manager.

        Hope that helps, and best of luck with it.



          Hi Emma, we have a Coach for Growth learning journey for Line Managers and encourage them to have at least a yearly career coaching conversation. We focus on coaching skills and introduce the GROW model.

          • What does the word ‘career’ mean to you?
          • How will you know that you’ve had the career that you wanted when you leave SR?
          • How will you know that you kept growing throughout your time at SR?
          • What is an immediate challenge that you know you need to tackle to make the next step, but – for whatever reason – find yourself shying away from?
          • What is most stopping you from tackling that?


          Conducting the ongoing exchanges between you and your direct reports in a more coach-like manner–with a particular emphasis on having really substantive individual growth discussions, where the direct report feels•deeply listened to and understood,•appreciated, •talked to at eye-level, •enabled to think more clearly,•emboldened to take action/experiment with various potential ways forward.The relationshipbetween you is stronger and richer for having had this type of conversation.Andrea Schueller for Coach for Growth, 2020

          Best, Jasmine

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