Career development assesses employee skills and activities to determine the area(s) in which an organization needs to develop. Career development is accomplished through the employee’s acquisition of knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSA) gained through learning and activities instrumental in achieving their highest capacity.
Instituting Employee Growth and Development Plans
Instituting employee growth and development plans can be accomplished by using the results of employee reviews to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses as a basis for the focus of the long-term career development strategy.
Immediate initiation of the plan developed mutually by the managers and employers is essential to assure its effectiveness. Employees can take an interactive part in the development of the plan by setting a realistic completion date and identifying the learning sources that will be utilized to gain the new skills required for the success of the plan. Managers can provide support in the progress of employees while these new skills are being developed.
Creating a Developmental Culture
Creating a developmental culture within organizations relies strongly on trust established by mutual respect, honesty, direct conversation, listening, comprehension, and sincerity. The objective of the developmental culture is to improve employees’ capacity thereby improving the overall success of the organization. Employees who are mistreated or underutilized can adversely affect the success of organizations. An organization must understand that it cannot function without the talent, skills and dedication of its employees.
Career awareness is exclusively controlled by employees. The decision to pursue and engage in learning activities can only be made by the individual employee. Employers can foster career awareness by implementing plans to help employees realize their goals. The means and data needed to aid in individual career advancement are provided by human resource development (HRD) professionals. A developmental culture within the organization promotes encouragement for the employees to meet their goals.
Self-Awareness can be analyzed by utilizing computer-aided surveys to demonstrate career objectives and related qualifications. The information resulting from these surveys can play an important role in career improvement/advancement. HRD professionals utilize many surveys instrumental in determining the interests, values, and competencies of employees.
A successful career development plan is viewed as an essential part of the organization and incorporates flexibility, need-based activities and interests, employee review, and is approved and appreciated by higher management.
By Shirley J. Caruso, M.A., Human Resource Development