A career transition doesn’t need to be drastic. But HR should always be prepared with thoughtful options, so that the employee re-engages with your organization. The good news is that much of the groundwork, hopefully, has already been done.
What Is a Career Transition?
A career transition is the changeover from one job to another. This can go from performing a different function within the same organization, all the way to taking up a new lifestyle and profession.
Where HR is concerned, different transitions will have a mix of advantages and disadvantages. HR needs to understand how the company will benefit from an employee’s choices before devoting resources to the issue. For example:
Vertical move between departments. An example of this would be going from production to customer service. This can be a good move for both the employee and the organization. In situations like these, the employee understands the product and probably many of its idiosyncrasies, and can enjoy the move from a physical role to more of a sit-down job. The company will benefit from having someone with practical insight helping to solve customer problems.
Horizontal move within the organization. Many employees tend to advance upwards as part of a natural career progression, but a career transition means taking on something entirely different. An example of this would be going from an accounting position to becoming an IT manager (both roles involve technological expertise). HR should determine if the employee has what it takes to make the move, and if yes, provide the right courses, particularly leadership.
Move to an entirely different profession. Some companies are so large and/or diversified that workers can take on completely new jobs. One notable example is Uber, where even drivers can take up new professions and use the company’s talent marketplace to find new careers. However, when companies don’t have such leeway, it might be time for the employee to exit. In such cases, HR should consider helping the worker out with good references and even job hunting support – they might return the favor by becoming a loyal alumnus.
Why and How Should HR Support a Career Transition?
There are two types of career transitions: voluntary and involuntary. Yes, there might be some negative associations with involuntary changes. However, this is really the case only when there has been a lack of career management – which is where the duty of HR related to career transition should actually begin.
By implementing career management programs, and all of their related follow-ups (career development and upskilling), HR can improve engagement and reduce the number of employees who feel they need something new. That’s because a major aspect of career management is monitoring the progress of workers and taking action whenever they seem to be falling behind.
Through such preventative steps, HR can enjoy the benefits that result from engaged employees, such as higher productivity and better retention.
The Reasons Behind Career Transition
There are many reasons why people want to switch careers. Here are the top three according to Joblist, as well as the percentage of survey respondents who cited the reason, and the steps that HR can take to manage them (note that respondents could pick more than one reason).
- Better Pay (47%)
This is often a subject of debate for human resources professionals. They usually don’t have the ability to influence salaries, but have to deal with the consequences. The best alternative is to give employees the ability to improve their skill set, move up the career ladder, and earn a bigger paycheck. In the grander scheme of things, HR can also try to convince management to use more internal recruiting, which actually accounts for only one fifth of all hires.
- Too Stressful (39%)
Anybody in HR should identify with this one, seeing as human resources staffers report the highest levels of stress. Before tackling this issue, some investigation is needed. Is the stress constant, or occasional? How many employees feel that way? The answers will dictate if time-management courses are needed, or if a human process intervention is required.
- Better Work-Life Balance (37%)
Another tough area for HR. Employees love WFH, yet managers don’t. But remember that the average worker wastes about eight hours each week on things not related to their job. This means that most of them should be able to find the time to work less and relax more. Sounds like a case for self-management and productivity skills.
Make the Transition to GrowthSpace
It’s surprising how often a skill upgrade can change a disengaged employee’s future with a company. After all, a lack of development opportunities is the primary reason for people to quit their job. The key is to equip workers with the skills that both fit their goals and support the organization.
GrowthSpace enables this important alliance with a scalable talent development platform that delivers customized L&D experiences. With GrowthSpace, employees, managers, and HR can set development goals, find outstanding instructors, deliver programs, and measure results. GrowthSpace also provides HR with all the tools it needs to administer talent development initiatives through the same platform.