Helping Employees Find Best Career Path

Management can make individuals feel valued -- and more loyal -- through strategic collaboration around career development.

According to a recent Gallup study, more than one in three employees have changed jobs within the past three years. Among this group, common driving forces behind the change included gaining an improved work-life balance, having opportunities to do the work they want to do in the best environment possible and feeling valued as an employee over time. Feeling valued is arguably the most important among individuals and employers today, given the increased competition in the corporate world. Without a deep connection to a company, employees are likely to be on the prowl for a different opportunity elsewhere. One of the ways employees and their management can eliminate the urge for individuals to leave because they feel less than valued is through strategic collaboration revolving around career development. Team leads and employees have an opportunity to come together to develop well-defined, achievable career goals based on both individual needs and corporate goals. This is most effectively accomplished when a realistic plan of action is in place, including the mechanisms listed below. Meaningful Discussion About Career Progression It is nearly impossible to create strong career paths for employees in a collaborative environment without both individuals and management teams taking part in the process. This begins with in-depth discussions about what an employee wants and how that fits in with the company’s overarching vision. Sitting down with employees to talk through possible career paths, professional development opportunities and training requirements is a necessary step in collaborating. These conversations should cover what the employee wants over time, what the employer needs and how that can be accomplished based on current and future skills and competencies. See also: 4 Keys to Charting Your Career   Provide Training Opportunities Collaboration on career path progression also requires some form of corporate training and professional development opportunities for employees. Based on the career goals of employees and objectives of the organization, individuals and managers can come together to better understand what training initiatives are needed and wanted. Leaders should be willing to ask employees what professional development tools they required to move forward in their career, and how they are able to acquire new knowledge and skills. Similarly, employees need to feel confident that their wishes are heard and acted on in corporate training offerings. This collaboration leads to a more effective development program that helps improve the success of career pathing for leaders and employees. Using Integrated Technology Solutions In today’s business world, the use of technology has made collaboration a much easier process for companies and employees, regardless of location or size of the organization. Using a digital platform like career pathing software provides a streamlined way to define clear career paths for employees based on organizational needs. Through this technology tool, employees can select the skills and competencies necessary to achieve career progression while linking these to the necessary training and development courses. Employees can then easily see what they need to accomplish over time to move toward their selected career path. Once new skills are achieved, managers can offer recognition to employees and select those who are ready for a promotion or lateral move. Not only does this ease the process for both managers and employees, but it also offers more flexibility in and control over career movement over time. Connecting Individual and Corporate Goals Collaboration in career development among employees and managers also requires a connection between company goals and individual wants and needs. With the help of performance management tools, an organization has an opportunity to integrate career scenarios and employee accomplishments with the larger objectives of the company on an continuing, consistent basis. When these crucial aspects are clear and trackable for both management teams and employees, there is a greater opportunity to develop career paths that are beneficial to both parties. See also: Time to Formalize Insurance Career Path   Organizations that focus on a collaborative work environment in the realm of career development are known to thrive more than those that separate managers and employees in the process. Coming together to discuss career opportunities, designing professional development and training programs and using technology solutions to do so gives both employees and managers a voice in the process.

Linda Ginac

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Linda Ginac

Linda Ginac is the founder and CEO of TalentGuard, a global provider of award-winning career pathing and talent management software.

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