Supporting Career Development in your organisation

Learning is of course linked closely to career development.

Yes I know what you are thinking, but that does apply to your Boss too!

Career development helps individuals achieve career objectives.

It follows closely from career planning and in the workplace it includes practices that help employees complete those plans.

but what does that actually mean on the ground in the organisation?

..and what kind of career interventions might be relevant at different stages of people's careers?

Organisations these days usually expect employees to assume the responsibilities for their own continuing development and career. Having said that, career development does require an integrated organizational response.

Great so what does that mean in tangible terms?

What aspects should organisations build into their career programmes?

Well it includes career practices aimed at recruiting new talent, matching people to jobs, helping them to perform and develop and preparing for a satisfactory retirement.

Yes I know we have an economic recession but if you think that is going to make more than a small dent in our global talent shortages you are mistaken. A focus on faciliating careers as part of a Talent Management strategy is going to be increasingly important over the next 10-15 years

Here is a simple and useful framework for considering career development.

If you close one eye and squint a bit you can link different career development practices to 4 different career stages which are:


1. Establishment
2. Advancement
3. Maintenance
4. Transition.



Read about the lifeline activity and how it can help you choose your career.

1. Establishment


Initially this is about getting the right job or securing the right talent depending on your perspective. New employees need to orientate into the organization and gain the skills and knowledge they need to perform effectively. They need to find out how things operate and start to see the areas of interest and potential that they might have.

Key career development needs at this stage are:
Getting the right first "job fit"
Varied job activities
Skill development opportunities
Lots of performance feedback.


Some of the organizational interventions might be:
Realistic job preview at induction (avoid reality shock)
Performance feedback (one of the most effective things)
Coaching (one of the most effective things)
Understanding possible career paths (sequence of progressively challenging job assignments)
Career objectives setting and career planning training



2. Advancement

This is about getting ahead in the organisation, by now ambitious employees want bigger roles and more challenging jobs to test and hone their skills. It is also a time when they have may to start to balance career interest with life outside work

Key career needs at this stage are:
Challenging Assignments. (Provide challenge and visibility, might include job rotation, project work, promotions.
Mentoring: (can be very useful if the right mentor is found who will invest time and energy)
360 Feedback Assessment and Development Centres (good for benchmarking attributes and identifying talent, great for developing self awareness of blind spots)
Stress management training



10 alternative career ideas here

3. Maintenance

Might be about honing technical skills, or developing areas of interest. At this stage career is often about having autonomy, developing others, and redefining their role in the company. Career is less about hierarchical advancement.

Key career development needs at this stage are:
Developing coaching and mentoring skills,
Deepening or refreshing technical skills,
Becoming a Mentor,
A revitalising job rotation,
Rewarding excellence in roles.

4. Transition

An under utilised areas until recently where organisations did not have many interventions.

Expect this to change with skills shortages and ageing populations.

This is about gradually letting go of the organisational identity and approaching a lifestyle change or retirement. Here people are using their wisdom and experience to help others. There may be a gradual exit plan from the organisation including a move to part-time or contract work.

Key career needs are:
Preparation for lifestyle changes,
Phased transition out of the role,
Change employment towards a consulting type of role.
Consultation with the employee to find a win: win.

More career information here

Back to career development plan here

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