Coaching is a hot topic nowadays. Everyone, even more senior colleagues, but in particular juniors need regular mentoring and coaching. To have the necessary coaching skills, you need to train your mentors. For this, companies have developed different kinds of approaches when it comes to leadership trainings.
At Adnovum we think about everyone as a unique individual, and our mission is to give the employees all the support they need to blossom in their career path. For this purpose, Adnovum established a Career Coach Academy in Budapest, Hungary.
A career coach is essential for employees to feel valued, to be aware that there is someone taking care of them to whom they can always talk. Uniqueness is a key element – career coaches should always think about how they can represent both the company’s and the individual’s interest.
To dive deeper into the topic of how Adnovum’s Career Coach Academy was born, I talked to Ágnes Béres-Balogh, Head of People Hungary.
What is the Career Coach Academy and what is its purpose?
«The Career Coach Academy is a special leadership training, which was established for preparing coaches at Adnovum for this role.
A career coach is a specific function, and in other companies it works very differently. They need a special skill set and must be aware of the HR processes. It is extremely important for them to be able to represent Adnovum’s values and to have a so called <coaching approach> for people.
While at other companies the technical leader is the people manager as well, software developers at Adnovum have different project managers and teams; their people managers – who we call career coaches – are permanent. External coaches are usually not familiar with this set-up.»
At Adnovum, we live up to the following values:
Beginning a journey in the career coach path is open to anyone at Adnovum and it is a role that you take on in addition to your core function. Applicants with a solid background in leadership of course have a leg up. It is key that our coaches are able and willing to give and receive constructive feedback and that they understand and represent our corporate values. If an employee wishes to develop their leadership skills outside the coach role, a general leadership training is available.
From applicant to career coach in a well-structured program
First, applicants have to consult with their career coaches. If they meet the criteria, their career coaches will write an evaluation. A personality test is also part of the process. It is cardinal that applicants clearly know their strengths and weaknesses, so they are aware in which areas they should improve. At the end of the 3-month program they need to pass an interview with the country manager and a senior career coach. During the program they have special trainings, where they can practice any situations that might come up during an employment cycle.
At the end of program each participant should be prepared for a large variety of situations. For example, they should know exactly what to do or who to contact when their employees ask for a raise, how to promote an individual or how to manage a resignation. During the Career Coach Academy, they are always supported by other career coaches, their mentors.
Join the career coach community and accompany your pool members’ career
After completion of the academy the support for future coaches continues. They can join several formal and informal meetings to share their experience on a monthly basis. The career coach community gives them a chance to meet regularly and exchange general information. In addition, there is a global community, where they can practice problem solving in small groups. Career coaches also have thematic workshops three or four times a year to go through the most difficult topics like goal setting and feedback. Just in case they miss each other, there are also the career coach coffee breaks :)
A career coach’s main responsibility is to ensure that all the employees feel valued and can develop in their own rhythm. They give their people emotional support and protect them from burn-out. Career coaches are usually aware of all the goals that pool members can achieve. They can help them to map out their interests by asking the right open questions. They also ensure that a person has the right quality and quantity of feedback to develop in the right direction. At Adnovum we have more than just the simple career paths, employees have all different kinds of possibilities for future career development: e.g. taking part in the interview process, writing content, becoming project managers, representing Adnovum at meet ups, events, etc.
Currently, Adnovum’s Career Coach Academy consists of three senior career coaches, 16 career coaches and three additional participants.
First-hand information from a young career coach
To get a better idea of the Career Coach Academy, I asked Márton Jakab who has been a career coach for 1.5 years about his experience.
Why did you decide that you want to be a career coach?
«When I was a junior software engineer, my career coach helped me a lot. I think without him I wouldn’t be where I am now. I wanted to continue the tradition and guide others similarly. It is challenging to start a career, many times you feel vulnerable and alone, so it was amazing to have someone helping you, who you can trust.»
What are the most important skills and techniques you have acquired at the Career Coach Academy?
«To always be fair, supportive, objective. Be open, as transparent as you can, explain everything to the pool member. But most importantly, reach out for help every time you need it. You don’t have to solve every challenging situation on your own. No one is alone at Adnovum, not even the career coaches.»
The Career Coach Academy is perfectly aligned with the values of Adnovum. Career coaches help the employees to identify their interests and strengths to be successful in their current position or in their future senior roles. At Adnovum we foster a culture of support, learning and development by exchanging feedback, experience, and knowledge. We are passionate about growing professionally as well as personally by experimenting and trying new things. We succeed as a team.