Career Planning and Development

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Most of the organizations today are looking at different ways to improve talent retention. There is also a greater degree of willingness to look at the future from the employees’ point of view. The ‘what is in it for me’ question is bound to come up sometime or other, and if the organization is unable to address it satisfactorily, the critical employee may move on to greener pastures. Career planning and development has become increasingly important not only for talent retention but also for preparing high potential individuals by requisite training and education to be able to address the organization’s needs in the future.

Career planning and development is an exercise where employees’ aspirations and career goals are aligned with the organization’s, and a blueprint for career development is prepared. Relevant development activities are chosen, keeping in mind the competencies and plans of employees and the larger objectives of the organization.

Career Development Programs

For an effective career development program, a thorough assessment of employee’s current abilities and potential must be done. This is followed by plans to develop competencies which have significance for both the individual and the organization. The organization can then spur the individual’s growth by initiating learning and development opportunities that help cultivate the required skill sets.

From the organization’s end, career planning and development could be setting up a job posting system that announces internal vacancies, initiation of mentoring activities, or setting up a career resource center, engaging services of some managers as counselors, organizing career development workshops, forecasting of future requirements, conducting performance appraisals to determine competencies and potential, and career path charting where sequencing of job learning assignments are decided in a step by step manner.

Career planning and development is not only the responsibility of the HR arm of an organization, but also of the employees. The employee must be interested in his growth and should have awareness and a basic career plan in place. There has to be a clear idea regarding personal interest, proficiency and values.

Workforce Analysis Technology

Workforce analysis helps one to avoid tedious plodding through scattered demographics to assess employee population, determine needed skills and knowledge and highlight key roles. Career planning and development is not just about encouraging high potential individuals to reach their potential or about encouraging the average employee to take his/her performance to the next level, it is about engaging the employees constructively to ensure that there is a healthy pipeline yield of talent when the need arises and that the goals are met.

Technology has come to aid this process in a marvelous fashion, where intelligent software analyzes the employees for work history, experience, accomplishments, skill development, needs etc. and generates a comprehensive yet very wieldable profile. This can help not only link them to appropriate training and stints in relevant departments, but also track effectiveness of the career plan and the improvement registered. The finances can also be budgeted for efficiently as the information is clearly available to allocating personnel. It saves unnecessary expenses to the firm, by way of listing only the best suited learning initiatives for the employee. Succession Planning needs can also be met through effective employee career development plans.

Smart career planning and development not only encourages collaboration between management and employee on a one on one level, it also increases productivity, encourages employee commitment and helps improve tracking of metrics.

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