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Career Development for Your Company's Employees

by Lian Peters

August 2 2019 - It's no secret that companies with the most talented workforce will be the most successful in their industry. High-performing, talented, capable employees are the people who every hiring department wants to fill their company with. When it comes down to the practicalities of building this dream team, no company can hire a complete workforce of brilliant employees, ready to go from the start. With this in mind, it becomes paramount to support employees career development.

Human resource personnel occupy a unique and vital position within a company by bridging the gap between employees and management. This is particularly poignant when companies have been asked to prioritise their most important business needs. Often, employee progression is never cited. However, if you were to ask employees, a substantial about would cite career progression as an important aspect to their working lives.

Why is career development so important?

As a vital aspect of talent management, career development is about letting people within the company reach their full potential. This ensures there is a long term growth on hiring investment for your organisation. Through career development processes, gives a company greater ROI from employees. Whilst this is a long term positive, there are also shorter term benefits. The most impactful positive point is that employees will be more engaged and committed with a career path before them.

A further point to consider is that external hiring can cost a lot and also uses up more resources. By fostering talent internally, staff who might have been looking to leave are retained and their knowledge kept in house.

Actionable plans for employee career development

One of the most important facets for career development plans is a clear structure with clear outcomes. This process should usually be lead by HR when in development. The first thing that needs to be constructed is a system that defines:

  • Markable goals for identifying what employees have the correct talent and potential for development
  • Career development initiatives. These include development programmes, coaching, mentoring and career counselling.
  • A clear structure for progression that employees taking part in development initiatives will follow.
  • Measurables for career development outcomes, this lets initiatives be evaluated and improved upon.

To coincide with the above, personal plans should be created for every individual employee development. Then during appraisals and reviews, these plans can be referred to and used as a basis to structure the meeting around. Each of these career development plans should feature:

  • Career progression goals for both the long and short term. These will need to be agreed between HR and the employee. To go about this, inform the employee that you want to meet with her or him to discuss career development plans and hopes.
    • Prior to the meeting, request the employee thinks about their options for growth and development, as well as how they would like to see their career develop within the company. Where would they like to be within the next three years and what would they like to achieve within one year? Sometimes an employee's goals will be salary orientated. If so, they should be well informed about expectations within the company as well as within the industry.
    • Explanation of the skills required to reach the desired goal. This also involves preparing recommendations for the employee on what they can do to make sure progress along their career path is being made. In this process, discuss what resources, and support from the business, can be given.
    • Next steps for career development, for instance, completing training and improving performance is certain areas.

    Succession planning and career development

    The term succession planning refers to fostering talent within a company that has the potential to succeed a valuable position, should the person working in that role decide to leave. There are many different forms this can take whether, shadowing, coaching and mentoring, as well as a whole host more. Its benefits include:

    • The ability to recruit for vital positions from inside, ensuring the role is filled by someone who already know the company well.
    • More varied applicants for roles that are difficult to recruit for.
    • Employees within the company are offered exciting career paths.

    Bear in mind that succession planning doesn't just support the most senior roles. Managers and HR should work to make sure all employees will reach their potential.

    Points to avoid in Career development planning

    As is often the case, there are certain points you want to avoid when creating these plans with employees. Below we've outlined some of the most important:

    • Promising that the company will provide training, this includes forming a contract and a verbal guarantee. Instead explain that you can help however you can, but there are other factors such as company growth and economic circumstances that can impact decisions.
    • The manager or HR personnel taking responsibility for the plan to be fulfilled. Career development plans belong to the employee.

    This article was written by Check-a-Salary, a platform dedicated to providing insight on earnings for every position in the UK.



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