Tag archives for coaching

Ensuring effective onboarding through mentoring

I have previously written about coaching as a development tool and method and how it can benefit the improvement of the organizational performance . In this article I will look further into how companies ensure a fast and high-quality onboarding process by applying mentoring and coaching as a tool.

Based on this HBR article approximately 70% of Fortune 500 companies provide new employees mentoring support after joining the company. The recent studies evidence that these mentoring programs are clearly providing substantial benefits in terms of increased performance.

Individually designed programs

So how are these programs effectively established and how to ensure that you maximize the benefits? We have designed several onboarding programs including mentoring programs for senior experts and leaders and want to share below our experiences.

The critical question is if the onboarding program is optional or not. We have seen that some new managers simply do not see the need for a full program, and they decline mentoring (and also some other parts of onboarding programs). However, it is finally for the company to decide how the onboarding and introduction is managed. Our experience, supported by the research, is that well-designed onboarding programs will increase the performance which itself speaks in favor of having the program as a mandatory for everyone. At the same time for the senior leaders, we recommend highly individualized programs which are based on their specific onboarding challenges.

Include at least 3 mentoring meetings

We believe that a solid onboarding program includes at least 3 mentoring meetings. In practice this means that the new manager will be provided an experienced peer or senior managerial support in addition to support provided by his/her ordinary line manager. The mentor is acting voluntarily and providing his or her professional experience in the relevant field and many years of experience of company culture, products, services, decision making and collaboration through internal networks.

Enable faster introductions to the company culture

The main task for the mentor is to enable the fast introduction to the company culture and “unwritten/unsaid rules”. This might include sharing experiences on what kind of challenges other newly employed managers have faced. It is good to note that even mentor acts on the behalf of the company, not for his or her own interests, a successful mentoring relationship is also benefiting the mentor when providing new insights and outside-in perspectives to him or her.

Onboarding programs with clear targets

Onboarding program which includes mentoring should have some clear targets and evaluation in the end. This ensures that the program continues developing based on the needs of the new managers

To sum up, including mentoring into onboarding programs will increase the companies to reach high-quality results within a short timeframe.

We at AIMS International Sweden are specialized in supporting companies broadly when working with talent management issues including building new way-of-working and providing coaching, leadership assessments and executive search. Please contact us in AIMS International Sweden in case you want to hear more from the solutions we can provide.

Mikko Taipale works as a Partner in AIMS International Sweden. He is a member of Talent Management and Automotive & Mobility Global Practice Teams. Mikko works and is a certified leadership coach (ACC) and has worked as coach and mentor in many organizations. Before starting in AIMS International Sweden he worked close to 20 years in large corporates as a HR leader with a focus on talent management practices.

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Coaching for Performance

I wrote an article on how coaching can boost your talent development in march. In this article I would like to focus on the benefits of coaching when securing and enhancing individual performance.

Many of our Corporate clients have established different group processes to setting corporate objectives, managing performance cycles, and focusing to follow-up of target fulfillment. Through the established routines the corporates gain transparency and can better anticipate the future performance. Very often corporate target setting is directly linked to bonus structures and payouts which makes it also very important from the individual remuneration perspective.

Performance targets

Meeting performance targets is rarely a simplified “top down” process which can be steered with one single process. In additional to formal corporate performance systems the organizations will invest in different supportive programs or development activities to ensure their leaders and managers will have right tools to meet the targets.

An increase in need of individual coaching plans

We see the interest towards individual coaching programs are increasing. As mentioned in my earlier articles many managers work in a very demanding VUCA-environment. This means that managers´ work pace is extremely high, full of stress, and difficult to manage.

The solution that many clients are using is to provide coaching support to ensure individual performance. Most of the time coaching is provided by a direct manager, but it´s becoming more common that external performance coaches are relied on to deliver these services.

Positives of having a “performance” coach are well documented and recognized by many organizations

First, a coach can help the leader to prioritize and ensure things get done in in a right order. The essential part of each coaching sessions is the focus on action. Having a coach will ensure that the managers have considered their focus areas from different perspectives and thus you will increase the quality of the management actions.

Secondly, it will increase the accountability and sense of ownership of your targets. Quite often the leaders see that their targets relate to things which are out of their control. Through coaching the leader will focus on areas which fall within their scope of influence. This will increase the motivation and sense of accountability when it comes to the results of your own work.

Thirdly, working with concrete actions which you control and “own” will usually contribute to increased job motivation. The performance coaching identifies obstacles in the managers own thinking and develop more effective approaches to interpersonal situations, solving problems and finding innovative new ways of thinking.

The ultimate ambition for a Performance Coach is to ensure the client´s performance targets are met. Based on ICF Global Coaching Study (2009) 70% of clients benefit from improved work performance, relationships, and more effective communication skills because of coaching. There is a good chance that through coaching programs your company will perform better.

At AIMS International we are specialized to support companies broadly when working with Talent Management issues including building new way-of-working and providing Coaching, Leadership Assessments and Executive Search. Please contact us in AIMS International in case you want to hear more from the solutions we can provide.

Mikko Taipale works as Executive Search and Talent Management Consultant in AIMS International Sweden. He is also a Certified Coach by International Coaching Federation (ACC). Before starting in AIMS International in Sweden he worked close to 20 years in large corporates as a HR leader with a focus on Talent Management practices.

Coaching for Performance

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I thought I was a perfect candidate

… but I was told I am overqualified – how to think?

Based on many coaching sessions with candidates I see some common questions coming up time after time. One of the hot topics in career coaching sessions for experienced and senior clients is how to think in a following situation:

You have applied for a position you really believe you are the perfect candidate for – you have all the formal functional requirements, you have had many years of experience of similar challenges and you have the needed leadership and management experience. Still, you were not even interviewed or, if you did, did not get an offer. The popular feedback from many recruiters is that you are overqualified. Or in other words, the employer does not believe this is the right level for you and you would probably get bored or demotivated because the job would not provide enough challenges.

How should I think?

First, you may choose to agree that you were overqualified. This means that you accept that you made a mistake, and the job would most likely have not been a right fit and you should never have applied. This means that you need to go back to your own expectations, requirements, competence, and experience and revise your job search strategy.

However, it is quite common that you disagree with the recruiter. When you have had very senior assignments in the past you might feel inspired when working more operationally or having a smaller team. You sincerely applied for the job with a true believe that the company and role description would exactly meet your expectations. You wanted to have this position, not a  at a higher level or providing more complexity, higher management level or huge salary increase. In my coaching sessions I see disappointment and even anger when you were disqualified as overqualified.

After receiving such feedback, I suggest you get over your disappointment and negative feelings and revise your job search strategy. Situations vary of course a lot but here are my top take-aways after many years of career coaching.

  • I believe the most critical item is to analyze what kind of jobs you want to apply to taking into consideration that you can sometimes be regarded as overqualified. This is needed to create clear limitations meaning which ones of your requirements are “must haves without compromise” and “nice to haves with some flexibility”.
  • You need to communicate why you want to have the particular position. Your CV and Cover letter need to be updated to reflect this. The best way is to express what is your personal desired potential of the role. As an example, if you have +20 years of experience on managing IT projects and the requirement is minimum 5 years, you already know that you risk being regarded as overqualified. My proposal would be that you clearly identify the arguments supporting your job application such as learning new products or working for a company within your specific interest area.
  • Having the feeling of being a perfect candidate might be both good and bad in the interview situation. You may sound very trustworthy and competent, but you might also risk for be perceived as arrogant with a “know-all” attitude. Therefore, you need to practice your interview skills and techniques.

To sum up, in practice, this means that you only apply for the positions you really want, feel motivated for and can be transparent both to yourself and the recruiter why you want to have the job. In interview situations you will need to demonstrate high motivation, collaboration skills, openness towards new learnings and cultural adaptiveness.

By following these steps, you work proactively against the argument of being overqualified and reduce the risk of losing an opportunity you really want.

When you work on your strategy, finetune your CV and cover letter and practice your interview skills you will increase your chances remarkably. A good career coach can help you with these areas and challenge your current way of thinking and support you to  perform better in your search for your next assignment.

We, at AIMS International Sweden, ensure major focus on supporting that our clients always find the best available candidate to each position. By doing this we continuously interview the candidates with various experience and secure that we understand both the employer and candidate expectations. We are always transparent when sharing the feedback to our candidates and very often provide individual career coaching as a part of our Candidate Management Process. Through our Talent Management Solutions, we put extra focus on coaching and supporting onboarding and making sure that our candidates will perform in their new assignments.


Mikko Taipale                                                                                                  

Senior Consultant
Executive Search and Talent Management

You might be interested in these articles:
Your recruitment practice should strengthen your Employer Brand
Strategic talent management – not only for large corporates
Meet Šarūnas Dyburis

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Coaching här och nu

Det finns många situationer då man behöver / önskar sig en personlig coach. Det kan vara för att man vill åstadkomma någonting speciellt men inte riktigt får till det. Mål man vill nå. Mönster man vill bryta. Problem som är svåra att lösa. Konflikter. För många, som är framgångsrika inom sina områden, väntar man inte tills man upplever problem innan man anlitar en coach. Den coachande relationen och processen hjälper en att ligga i framkant och att växla ut den egna förmågan. Man får en utväxling i av att ha någon att matcha sina tankar och aktiviteter mot. Någon som utmanar en och som tror på en.

Nu i Corona-tider hopar sig frågetecknen inför framtiden och hur man ska göra bästa möjliga exit. Som en följd är behovet av coaching större än någonsin.

Under de kommande månaderna erbjuder vi därför skräddarsydda, korta eller längre, digitala och mobila program med särskilt fokus på att coacha dig eller nyckelpersoner i er verksamhet i att handskas med de aktuella utmaningarna och komma vidare på bästa sätt.

Våra Här & Nu coachande program sträcker sig från några timmar till några månader. Skriv konfidentiellt om dina önskemål och/eller ställ frågor på coaching@aimsinternational.se Du kan också kontakta någon i teamet för avstämning kring ditt specifika behov.


coaching här och nu

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Endast var tredje VD får coaching

Enligt en undersökning gjord av bland andra Stanford University framkommer att två tredjedelar av alla tillfrågade VD:ar saknar coaching och nära 100% av dom säger sig vilja ha det. Vidare kan man läsa att de som faktiskt får coaching är det 78% som själva bett om det.

Det ställs hårda krav på VD:ar idag att de snabbt ska leverera. Borde det inte vara självklart att de får hjälp att utveckla sina ledaregenskaper löpande över tid?

De bästa ledarna ser ofta till att de får den coachning de behöver.

Läs hela artikeln på Human Resource Executive online.

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