Career management strategies are more important now than ever before as we step into a new year and hope to leave behind one that was full of job losses and instability. While employee career planning is largely left to the employees themselves, considering that organizations play a huge role in making or breaking an employee’s career, it is important for them to also contribute to their career management and planning as well. A career development plan, despite being well-designed, is always going to be subjected to the whims of the market and the organizations that participate in it, making it all the more important to develop an assortment of career management strategies that can help your employees build a better foothold at your organization.
How to Help Employees Develop Career Management Strategies
Career management and planning have become a lot more complicated in recent times than it was in the past as there are no longer singular career pathways towards any particular role. Stepping out of college, job aspirants are bombarded with internship opportunities that take a considerable amount of time to develop into job offers. Once individuals get started with their careers, there are various unique job titles that they are compartmentalized into, which may or may not be positions that are available at other organizations.
Employees often have to reassess their career trajectories and mentally realign themselves to the next step in their careers. If this isn’t clear in their current organization, then they have no option but to look for it at a different company. Instead of losing employees to competitors, companies that help with employee career planning may find their employees growing with the organization parallel building up loyalty to the brand and the company identity unlike ever before.
Performance Feedback and Goal Setting
One of the reasons why developing career management strategies can be complicated for employees to handle themselves is due to their one-sided understanding of their own performance and capabilities. Organizations have a better chance of stepping away and understanding everything that the candidate has to offer on the basis of their past performance and overall skill sets. This can be a useful consideration for the kind of career options that become viable for the employee, preferably within the organization itself.
Now the employee becomes able to chase career growth while an employer obtains an employee who is perfectly suited for the roles that are open within the organization. Prioritizing performance feedback and generating effective performance improvement plans can be a game changer despite being such a basic element in the functions of the organization.
Include Internal Mobility as Part of Your Career Management Strategies
Organizations that help with career development planning will know that a plan is best developed within the company. Left to their own devices, employees might seek to grow by finding better pay and experience outside of an organization as it is often the standard for businesses to have no planning established for the career progression of employees. After being stuck in the same role for ages, employees will inevitably move on to something else.
Consider working with your managers to determine the career path of an employee who joins an organization, and define the ways they can hope to grow with your team. This will provide employees with something to look forward to in their careers, while also providing the assurance that the company is looking out for their best interests as well. Along with a standard plan for a new employee, regular conversations with management might allow both parties to develop their plans better, so the career development plan can be designed keeping the specific employee in mind.
Employees who have the potential to take on leadership roles can be nurtured at an early stage, to develop the skills necessary for the additional responsibilities they can take on later in their careers. Not all leaders are born with the necessary but they can certainly be created with time and effort. While adding employees with their career management strategies, consider those who might be suited for leadership roles as it can simplify your succession planning process as well. Instead of hiring from outside when a senior leader position opens up, you can have your own employees read to take on these roles.
There are many kinds of leadership programs that you can invest in that might help you determine what kind of leader you are looking for and inspire the same desire among your employees. HRBartender breaks down Robert Greenleaf’s “servant leadership” concept and focuses on the leader as the one who humbly motivates others and keeps the team together. Consider if such philosophy resonates with your organization and this can be incorporated into career management and planning as well.
Mentorship Programs Provide Incomparable Guidance and Support
The importance and relevance of mentors cannot be emphasized enough and their own work experience can be a great starting point for a career development plan. Even if the plan that the employee has for themself varies from their mentor, the mentor is still in a great position to discuss the employee’s future with them and help them find some clarity. The insight that a mentor can bring is critical for employee career planning and having a mentorship program ensures that the employee has someone to count on, even if the organization is not able to dedicate time to career planning just yet.
With employees already in a delicate position considering the precarious job market, companies should be more actively involved in building a reliable, stable community and investing in career management strategies is one way of making it happen. Once you start hiring at the organization, treat incoming employees like a part of the family and consider their futures in your plans, and you should see your workforce thriving as a result.