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How Coaching can help maternity returners

It’s a fact. Women are going to be leaving and returning to work after having children. Lots of other things change in the world of employment all of the time …thankfully. But this miracle of having children business, isn’t going anywhere!

And yet it seems incredible that some organisations aren’t aware of the concept of maternity return coaching. So, if you’re reading this and you’re a Mum, an employee of a business or business owner, please take a moment to read the benefits of maternity return coaching, and then share it with someone who can make a difference:

· Women return to work more confident

· And are back to speed quicker

· There is improved communication with line managers and throughout departments

· This in turn means that there are higher retention rates and lower recruitment costs

· It’s also something on women’s checklist when choosing new forward-thinking employers

It’s a win-win situation. A no brainer. Happy and successful employees and great for businesses and its bottom line.

Plus, there’s loads of support out there. I know from the work I do as a career coach for Mums, that there are plenty of maternity return coaches, career coaches and parent coaches able to help. It’s simply a case of finding the person who is the right fit.

So, how does it work?

Everyone will work differently but this is generally what you might expect. During maternity leave and before the return to work you arrange a number of coaching sessions, a few weeks apart. These are usually held at the place of work, or over Skype if that’s easier.

Usually these are around and hour and a half in length – but could be more or less. The coaching sessions can cover areas such as:

· Practicalities of 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

Following coaching sessions there should be a further meeting to discuss progress and assess any needs moving forward.

And that’s it - a really simple and highly effective way to achieve a smooth and successful return to work.

If you’re a business owner / decision maker

I read some research recently that 61% of organisations had maternity return coaching on their agenda but hadn’t actioned it yet. If you’re one of the 61% - what’s stopping you? Don’t let it sit on your to do list – make it a priority. Other business owners, your competitors - are already doing it.

If you’re a Mum on maternity leave

Show this article to your employer and see if it’s something they’d consider. You’ve nothing to lose. Being proactive and taking control of your career is something that is appealing to employers. It shows that you’re passionate and determined. Take action now as your return date will come around quicker than you think, and you want start back to work with joy – not dread.

If you’re a line manager or HR person

Virtual high five to the HR peeps! That’s my background so I get how tough your job is! Please speak to someone within your business who can put maternity coaching on the agenda to be discussed. You’ve seen so many Mums return to work scared, upset, disconnected and unsupported. And then what happens? They leave. And they were amazing at their job! Help stop that pattern where you work.

Within time, I hope that maternity return coaching will be standard practice, but until then, please consider the amazing benefits and take some action. You can start a conversation with me today by e-mailing me at

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