In a recent study by Work Institute (2017), career development – or lack of – was one of the most common reasons why employees leave an organization, which can cost over $4,000 per employee (depending on the level). This can cause not only a fiscal impact but also a disruption in work flow that creates havoc within.
What is career development and why is it so important? I would venture to say that almost every employee wants to develop their SKA’s, i.e. skills, knowledge and abilities, to be more effective in their work and to help them move up the ladder in their career. Career development defined is “an ongoing process by which an individual progresses through a series of stages, each of which is characterized by a relatively unique set of issues, themes, and tasks” (Greenhaus, Callanan & Godshalk, 2010, pg. 13).
Career developmental stages often are tied in with our natural progressions of life and the various stages we go through as we age. The tasks that we do at 20 will not be the same as those in our 40’s. Knowing these stages helps us to set goals and strategies to navigate each stage. Organizations, who provide such opportunities that will help with this navigation become valuable to a worker, who also feels valued, thus gaining both loyalty and retention by the worker.
Career pathing should be a given in every organization; there should be a plan, as well as career offerings, for every employee as this would not just help employees to know the direction they would like to go but it also would help their manager to benchmark how that worker is performing. It would gauge areas that may need strengthened in their performance but also what they can build on. The report cited that 2 out of 10 (out of 240,000 surveyed) left their employee due to the lack of growth and feeling unchallenged and unable to use their SKA’s to their fullest.
I believe organizations need a “Career Center,”or a separate “Performance Management Department” within; this would be a place where employees could come and get help with their career paths, as well as find trainings and tools/resources to help with their professional development. Such a department would be a great partnership with managers to help them help their employees in their development, which would be a win all-around.
Having a separate center would also allow managers time to do their job; time has been one of the biggest reasons I’ve heard leaders give for why they aren’t focusing on career development so having a one-stop location, where the manager could partner and collaborate with experts in this area, would give them peace of mind by knowing development is taking place. It’s a great offering for workers who will feel invested in. Happy, developed workers equate to happier, higher-performing and fiscally sound organizations.
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