Jessica Chivers gives a perspective to Coaching at Work magazine on how to help a manager make a smooth transition back into her role post maternity leave.
It’s fantastic that Susan has an enlightened manager. Maternity comeback coaching could provide a supportively challenging space for Susan to consider, plan and prepare for her return, as well as think about broader career aspirations and actions.
Three areas to explore in coaching could be: 1. How Susan can reshape her role given the shift to part-time hours; 2. How she might need to adapt the way she delivers, and 3. How to signal organisational commitment while having a life beyond work.
Time with a coach could be useful for Susan to get clear on what will enable her to perform at her best, how to pitch for those things and how to position changes to the way she works to show she has considered the impact on her colleagues.
Given that Susan works for a global firm, there could be scope to work atypical hours n response to different time zones, which may help her have time with her family. AS the business is in a high growth phase, she might also use coaching to see how much she can flex to accommodate business needs.
Involving her line manager in a coaching meeting just before she returns, as well as around a month in, could be valuable. In he first meeting the coaching triad could build a 90-day plan for what success will look and sound like for Susan. The second meeting would review the first month, making adjustments as necessary.
Ultimately, maternity comeback coaching is about reducing time taken to perform at pre-leave levels and building belief about future careers.