Three Clues That Your Career Management Process Is Working
One thing hasn't changed during the roller coaster economy we've witnessed in the last few years: the number one complaint of employees remains the lack of career management, feedback, training and development they receive. A host of objective data exists - from engagement and climate surveys, 360° feedback results, exit interviews, etc. - as well as our own anecdotal evidence that this is true. Arguably, it's worse now than it's ever been; companies have slashed training budgets, communication efforts are often scant and managers have larger and more virtual teams. All of this makes for an even more difficult career management environment for employees who really want that kind of support.
In many cases, too, companies have given up on cajoling, training and threatening their managers with the task of developing their teams. Managers rarely receive proactive training anymore about how to coach, give feedback, manage performance and guide career development discussions with their people. So what's left? More and more organizations have made the shift to employee-based development - a great idea in theory - but one that can break down if not supported by the right process, tools and sponsorship.
So where does your company stand? Want to quickly size up the state of your career management process? Here are three questions that will give you clues about how well - or poorly - your organization is doing in this area.
1- Does your organization have a concise and clearly-stated career management philosophy?
Is the philosophy supported - either in writing or otherwise - by senior leaders? Is it easy to find the facts about career management in your organization - how the process works, who does what, what tools support the process, etc.? Are new employees - and new leaders - exposed to this philosophy and framework early on in their tenure?
2 - Do employees have tools to help them drive their own development?
Do they have accessible methods for assessing their strengths and needs? Do they have an on-line development IPD/planning tool? Do bite-sized, accessible, free and varied suggestions exist for leveraging strengths and developing areas of need? Is social media and virtual collaboration leveraged or available in the process of learning and development? Is it easy for employees to learn from one another - even in other business groups or locations?
3 - Is the role of managers in career development simply and clearly defined?
Do managers have a road map for how to drive career development among their employees? Do they have tools to help them have these discussions and give feedback about performance? Is their role onerous and involved in the process - or one of a coach and supporter? Do resources exist to help them drive their own development?
If the answer to these questions is no - then now might be the time to take a fresh look at your organization's career management process. It's critical to the engagement of your employees as well as the success of your business.
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Driving Career Management in a Tough Economy