Career development fuels your talent strategy. It’s an approach to meeting business needs by developing current talent, projecting future needs and creating pathways for employees to gather the necessary skills and experiences to fulfill their career aspirations and the needs of the organization. Effective career development programs empower employees to take ownership of their careers and chart a course for personal growth. Successful implementation requires a partnership between employees and organizations to identify critical capabilities, co-create shared goals and support meaningful development experiences.
The Benefits of Career Development
The benefits of a focus on career development are immense. When an individual grows, the whole organization grows. Organizations that invest in career development simultaneously drive business growth and improve the overall employee experience. In the short term, organizations can expect to see an increase in engagement and capability development. As employees see their employers invest in their development, they strengthen their commitment to the organization and increase their effort to acquire new skills and expertise. In the long term, the return on investment includes a deeper bench of talent for succession and more agility in shifting talent to meet market demands.
The Organization’s Perspective
Building stronger individual capability creates readiness for future roles across organizations. From an organizational perspective, attention shifts to identifying growth opportunities and experiences, rather than relying on traditional program-based learning. This shift in perspective requires a greater level of alignment between business and talent strategies. Traditional, siloed centers of excellence do not work here; your talent leaders will need to partner extensively with business leaders to understand the unique business need and develop a strategy that grows necessary skills.
The Individual’s Perspective
From an individual’s perspective, career development is a proactive, thoughtful approach to personal change that enables growth, career projection, improved performance and increased value to the organization. Employees will need to identify their future career goals, determine the required skills and experiences, and then work with their employers to create pathways to acquire them. This likely means considering options outside of promotion, including mentoring, stretch projects, lateral moves, networking and additional training opportunities.
Take some time to think about the importance of defining your organization’s career development strategy. What is your current strategy? What do you aspire to? What support will you need to make this kind of change?