Career management is as important for a company as it is for an employee. By supporting workers during their pursuit of advancement, organizations enhance their overall performance. To this end, there are many ways in which a career management program can be implemented.
What is Career Management?
Career management is the process of planning an employee’s progress towards a professional goal and then acting on those plans through a variety of methods. There are several entities involved in career management, including the employee, their manager, HR and/or a specialized L&D team or leader, and the organization.
Organizational career management can be defined as all of the activities undertaken by a company to ensure that an employee decides upon, and then follows, their chosen career path. At some point between creating the career path and setting towards it, the employee or organization may even want to change that path in order to fit changing needs of the business or employees’ goals.
Today, career management is more living and breathing than in decades past, due to the speed of technological evolution and business adaption of that tech. But the process is the same – but the process needs to be done more often than before in order to adapt to any changing business goals and ensure employees have the skills needed to. These activities include career pathing and goal setting, as well as many other initiatives, as discussed below.
Why is Career Management Important?
The involvement of the organization in supporting workers’ career goals is recognized as something which benefits both parties. This is despite the fact that the employee might not remain with that organization for their entire career. Companies that provide career management services enjoy higher retention rates, less expensive succession processes, and good employee branding that draws talented employees to apply for positions.
The Role of the Organization in Career Management
Whether planned formally or informally, there are generally a set of functional positions which an employee needs to take as they progress through levels of the company. This pathway serves as a natural lead-in to a career management initiative. With an understanding of how an employee gets from position A to position B, an organization can add various elements to support the development of the worker as they move ahead.
Activities and Resources
Companies should also be part of encouraging workers to manage their careers and make sure to record their progress. To start employees on the road to career management, and to keep them on track, organizations can initiate:
- Informational programs – during the onboarding process, and whenever new L&D and/or company positions become available, the HR department should publicize career management opportunities and provide related resources such as career workshops, explanatory literature, and success stories
- HR functions – implementation of assessment centers, career counseling activities, and performance appraisal systems will form a comprehensive career management system that tracks employees’ progress in an organized manner
Learning and Development
Employees can be enrolled in learning and development programs in order to build the skills required to advance in the organization. This includes managerial training, technical knowledge, and soft skills. It is also possible to fund external educational programs for advanced technology-based skills, university degrees, and professional certifications. Furthermore, coaches are an excellent resource for teaching workers the skills that are best acquired through close observation and advising.
In addition, many organizations already have an outstanding source of internal expertise in the form of mentors. By pairing employees who intend to reach a certain position with those who have already achieved it, companies can provide workers with precisely the knowledge that they require to follow their chosen career path.
Once any skill is acquired, it is essential to ‘use it or lose it’. Otherwise, the forgetting curve comes into effect. To avoid the waste of L&D resources, and to give employees the sense of progress, companies should provide numerous opportunities to apply their skills:
Internal Job Openings
This is the optimal way to apply skills and the most concrete means to enable the progress of an employee’s career path. However, only about 20% of hires are sourced internally.
If the next step up the hierarchy is not available, companies can still look for opportunities wherein the employee takes another position at the same hierarchical level. This can keep workers engaged and provide cross-functional training.
Dual Ladder Mobility
“Dual ladder” means a pathway that is parallel to a management track in terms of benefits but without managerial responsibilities. This is a valuable option for companies that have a flat hierarchy and/or many technology-oriented positions.
Informal, Temporary, and, Seconded Roles
Employees can be encouraged to take on senior responsibilities in addition to their regular tasks and for a limited time. In addition, workers can be ‘seconded’, meaning that they are temporarily relocated to a different part of the organization, or even to a partner company.
GrowthSpace as a Career Management Asset
Nurturing employees so that they can move up in a company relies on many factors, especially skills. Don’t let the challenge of coordinating L&D programs with the career goals of numerous employees, particularly in a large organization, be a barrier to advancement. GrowthSpace’s L&D platform connects employees with exceptional trainers, coaches, and experts from around the world through a technology that ensures an optimal match.