Customized, one-on-one support. That’s what Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska’s (BCBSNE) career coaching program offers employees.

BCBSNE’s human resources department launched the program in February of 2020 to provide employees with a new outlet for professional growth opportunities, Rebekka Erks Byrne, organizational development specialist, said.

Through the program, employees connect with a coach to receive guidance on an area they’d like to focus on, such as improving their resume or interviewing skills, developing stronger relationships with business partners and more.

“We’re able to help employees overcome any barriers that they’re facing in their career growth, and they’re able to achieve some of the goals that they have for themselves,” Erks Byrne said. “When we invest in our people like that, it shows them that we value and care about them.”

Career coaches include employees from a variety of business areas, and HR matches an employee to a coach based on their mutual interests and the coach’s skillset.

“Once they’re matched, the coach reaches out to schedule time with the employee to better understand what they’re looking for,” Erks Byrne said. “It’s customized from there and depends on what the person needs.”

BCBSNE had 32 employees undergo coaching in the program’s first year. Cara Jacobson, BCBSNE product manager, is an example of its success.

Jacobson signed up for the program to grow her skillset and challenge herself. She continues to use the tools she’s learned on a regular basis.

“I feel that the program is beneficial because it’s really tailored to you and what you want to get out of it,” Jacobson said. “I definitely would recommend the program to employees looking for ways to be more accountable to their professional growth.”

The experience is rewarding for the program’s coaches as well, said Tom Nimps, BCBSNE organizational development director.

“It’s nice to be able to offer your expertise in a simple way that can hopefully impact a person’s career and their ability to succeed,” Nimps said. “Not everything has to be big and complex; this is something that was fairly simple for us to administer to the organization that people find valuable.”

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