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Building a proposal for return to work coaching? Here are some key statistics & benefits to include

More and more we’re being approached by those returning to work, who want access to return to work coaching and are asked by their Line Manager or HR team to put together a proposal. If this sounds like you, you're in the right place. This article highlights some of the things you should include when making a proposal for return to work coaching.


Key statistics:

Return to work coaching is becoming increasingly sought after by working parents and

here’s why.

  • 68 % of returners say that Maternity leave is a key pinch point for them. 50% of working parents would like access to personal coaching and development around this transition as they adjust to the challenges presented by starting their family. (Talking Talent, The World is Changing, 2017)

  • 85% of women leave the full-time workforce within 3 years of having children. (That Works for Me, Careers After Babies Report, 2022)

  • Given time with a career coach, working parents want to address, issues around confidence, establishing new focus and motivation and achieving a new balance. (Careering into Motherhood, Life as a Working Mother Report, 2023)

  • The link between maternity coaching and career re-engagement has been shown through research such as Filsinger 2012, and Moffett 2018 where coaching was found to have a positive impact at an emotional, practical and personal level.

Benefits to consider in your proposal:

  • Access to an external, objective individual where concerns can be discussed fully and safely.

  • A space to consider ways to re-enter work while still balancing being a parent.

  • An increase in confidence on your return, feeling supported and having access to tools and techniques to support your development.

  • Strengthening the psychological contract with your employer increasing feelings of positivity and therefore likelihood of retention.

  • Improvement in communication, able to express expectations more clearly.

  • Increased motivation and attachment to goals by coming to your own solutions.

Return to work coaching is different to other types of coaching in that line managers are

rarely involved in setting objectives. The coaching space is entirely confidential, allowing for

conversations to be had around personal life, parenting dilemmas or mental health and

wellbeing. Conversations that may not be possible with line managers, but which may impact

on the returner.


Key coaching topics:

While each person we coach has a unique set of circumstances, these are some of the

topics we see arise.

  • Practicalities of a return to work including company policy, keep in touch days, childcare, return dates, handover and planning. 

  • Reviewing career goals. 

  • Time Management including work life balance and performance at work.  

  • Confidence returning to work, including looking at skills and strengths. 

  • Professional Identity and becoming a parent.  

  • Adjusting to life at home and managing expectations.

  • Having meaningful conversations.  

  • Managing the mental load.

  • Acknowledging emotions such as guilt and overwhelm

If you’ve found this useful and would like to discuss our coaching programmes in more

detail, please feel free to contact us.


My colleague Sarah Turner and I have been busy creating content highlighting the importance of organisations providing support for working parents. As part of this, we created this video series exploring the entire journey of maternity leave, from before the leave starts, through to preparing to return and then the first few months back at work. If you or your organisation would like to understand more about how to support your employees as they take parental leave, please get in touch. This blog post is a collaboration between Maternity Coaches Laura Duggal and Sarah Turner. They are working together, sharing their experiences and bringing the best of their joint advice and knowledge to you.

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