Career renewal should not be left to the individual alone

Group coaching offered at the workplace was shown to be a useful way of supporting the reform of employees’ competencies. The benefits were emphasized for people in the middle stages of their careers as well as for participants who felt less in control of their lives.
kuvituskuva: työntekijöitä osallistuu valmennukseen
Otto Pankkonen
Otto Pankkonen

Finnish Institute of Occupational Health media release 24 November 2023

The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health research project studied how employees can be engaged to develop their competencies throughout their working careers.

Group coaching at the workplace made employees more open to reforming their career.

 “Career renewal can be thought of as the opposite of career stagnation. It is important to ensure that employees’ competencies do not become outdated. Competence is an important part of a person’s work ability. Society also imposes pressures on individuals to remain employable throughout a long working career,” says Otto Pankkonen, Researcher at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.

The benefits of the coaching were demonstrable as increased preparedness: the participants felt more able to reform their competencies and learned methods for taking on career-related changing situations and challenges.

The coaching benefitted people in the middle stages of their careers the most

The age group best suited to receive the most benefit from the coaching were people in the middle stages of their careers, meaning 35–55-year-olds who have mostly completed their studies a fairly long time ago.

The benefits were emphasized also for participants who felt less in control of their lives.

“Some people may feel that they cannot really have an impact on what happens around them and manage their working career. The group coaching provided a feeling of control and ways of putting one’s own resources to use,” says Pankkonen.

Peer learning was more effective than self-study

The effects of the group coaching were based on peer learning and social support. The control groups were provided with self-study materials, but independent study does not seem to provide the same results as participating in group activities.

“It seems that learning together and peer support play important roles in working career management. In other words, the responsibility should not be left to the employees alone, but rather workplaces should aim to actively support the reforming of their employees’ competencies,” says Otto Pankkonen.

Research project

Further information

  • Otto Pankkonen, Researcher, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Otto.Pankkonen [at] (Otto[dot]Pankkonen[at]ttl[dot]fi), +358304743180

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