Emmie: Welcome to the Feel Great Podcast. Today I’m chatting to a fantastic woman called Jessica Chivers. She is a coaching psychologist and author of Mothers Work. And I can say she’s fantastic because I found her to be a massive support to me at various stages of my career and she totally gets it!
Today I’m talking to Jessica about important topics like flexible working, setting boundaries and the work that her company does helping people who have been away from work on extended leave, whether that be maternity, bereavement or sabbatical. I wanted to ask Jessica a bit more about her company The Talent Keep Specialists, and what exactly they do?
Jessica: Thank you for having me, Emmie. So The Talent Keeper Specialists has been going six years now and we work with a variety of very well-known business like BlackRock, ITV, the CPID, Barton Willmore, Cisco we could go on. These are businesses who are really cognizant of the fact that when people are preparing for, or coming back from extended leave that they are big career transitions. Those businesses want to help make those transitions as easy as possible because they want to keep those people and they want them to come back and do more great work. And to carry on progressing. So we run workshops. We do Executive coaching. We provide comms for businesses. So when they are reviewing their say parental leave guidance or policies and they want some good wording and practical help, practical tools for employees we might write that for them.
We’re also doing increasingly a lot of work around winning the hearts and minds of say, middle managers, in particular around agile working, flexible working and how to move to more outcome-focused teams and we absolutely love what we do and we’re growing team. So, yep. So thank you again for having me Emmie
Emmie: That’s amazing. it’s fantastic that there are these companies that are enlisting you and your services to help make these really positive changes. Obviously, that’s working so that these people are coming back to work today feel much more supported. And what’s the feedback from them?
Jessica: It’s amazing actually. So we’re a small team of associates and it’s really brilliant when associates ring me after a coaching session, or email me, and say this is what we covered and this person’s feeling so much better about this and they’re going to do this and do that and do the other. There’s a general feeling of ‘Okay, I feel valued because my employer is investing in me, my employer is giving me space and time to think and plan and strategize with a coach or in a workshop’. And that’s where that sense of value comes from. But they are discussing the things that are swishing around their heads, that is interference, and talking that stuff out means that you can sort it out and move on and do more great work. And of course, we’re working with the line managers as well. So when we have one-to-ones or workshops with line managers, we’re helping them to do and say the right thing and avoid the wrong things. So that that employees having a better experience – we talk about an increased sense of connection to the organization, increased feelings of credibility and capability and just wanting to go back and feeling good rather than panic-stricken and stressed about what they are returning to. So the outcomes are great. We’re talking about people getting faster acceleration in terms of the next step that they’re taking. We’re talking about businesses hanging onto people who were wavering and thinking gosh do I really want to go back to that culture. We’re talking about improving engagement in the team so that all sorts of benefits for the individual and the line manager in the wider organization.
Emmie: I think that’s really fantastic. I know, from my own experience and, from talking to friends when you’ve had time out from work it does feel quite a big thing going back and you’re worried and you’ve lost a confidence a bit and maybe you’ve got the additional struggles that you’ve got children. So I can see it must be amazing to have that support of the company when you go back. It’s really really nice that companies doing that and that you’re obviously helping them.