Everything you need to know about career development. A career is sequence of separate but related work activities that provide continuity, order and meaning to a person’s life.

“It is not merely a series of work-related experiences, but consists of a series of properly sequenced role experiences leading to an increasing level of responsibility, status, power and rewards.

It represents an organised path taken by an individual across time and space.

The career development is the process of conversion of personal career plan into action in order to achieve career goals. There are three key heroes who share responsibility for an employee’s career development- the employee, the organisation, and the manager.


A career development system includes a variety of components for use in the organizations.

In order to increase the efficiency of the system, the HR mangers must have complete knowledge about these tools since they play a role of consultant when employees and supervisors use this system. Plus, they are responsible for designing and developing an effective career development system for their organization.

Learn about:- 1. Introduction and Meaning of Career Development 2. Need for Career Development 3.Significance 4. Steps 5. Actions 6. Strategies 7. System 8. Responsibilities and Benefits 9. Problems and Role of HR in Managing Problems 10. Meeting the Challenges.

Career Development: Meaning, Need, Significance, Steps, System, Benefits, Problems and Challenges


  1. Introduction and Meaning of Career Development
  2. Need for Career Development
  3. Significance of Career Development
  4. Steps in Career Development
  5. Career Development Actions
  6. Strategies of Career Development
  7. Career Development System
  8. Responsibilities and Benefits of Career Development
  9. Problems and Role of HR in Managing Problems of Career Development
  10. Meeting the Challenges for Career Development

Career Development – Introduction and Meaning

According to Edwin Flippo, “A career is sequence of separate but related work activities that provide continuity, order and meaning to a person’s life.” It is not merely a series of work-related experiences, but consists of a series of properly sequenced role experiences leading to an increasing level of responsibility, status, power and rewards. It represents an organised path taken by an individual across time and space.


In the case of an employee, career planning provides an answer to his question as to where he will be in the organisation after five years or ten years or what the prospects of advancing or growth are in the organisation. Career planning is not an event or an end in itself, but a process of development of human resources. In short, it is an essential aspect of effective management of people at work.

A career path is the sequential pattern of jobs that forms a career. Career goals are the future positions one strives to reach as part of a career. Career planning is the process by which one selects career goals and the path to these goals.

Career development involves those personal improvements that a person undertakes to achieve a personal career plan. Career management is the process of designing and implementing goals, plans and strategies to enable the organisation, to satisfy employee needs while allowing individuals to achieve their career goals.


The career development involves the process of conversion of personal career plan into action in order to achieve career goals. There are three key heroes who share responsibility for an employee’s career development- the employee, the organisation, and the manager.

The basic and fundamental responsibility of career development lies with the employees only few vital support can be provided by managers and organisation. Generally there are six major mistakes which would come in the way of employee during career development programmes as identified by E. D. Betaf.

Career development is indispensable for implementing career plans. It consists of activities undertaken by the individual employees and the organisation to meet career aspirations and job requirements. An important requirement of career development is that every employee must accept his/her responsibility for development as all development is self-development.

Career Development Model depicts that organisational career planning and individual career planning need to be integrated to design mutually acceptable career paths and formulate appropriate developmental strategies.

It is based on needs of human resource and skill and potential require by the man to perform on various jobs. The one of the important aspect of career development is that every employee must accept his or her responsibility for development.

Many organization spend good amount of money on education and training of the employees and get the required talents and potential from within the organization only and there is no necessity to search such personnel outside the organization. The following are the career development actions.

1. Performance of the job- In career development progress an individual employee must prove that his performance on the job is upto the standard established.

2. Employee exposure- The employees interrupting in their career groups should expose it by their skills, knowledge qualification, achievement outstanding performance etc. to the staff members to take the decision about the career development elsewhere.

3. Resignation by the employee- The employees may resign the present job in the organization, when they get better career opportunities elsewhere.


4. Change the Job- Employees those who have better career prospects in some other job in the some organizations, such employees may change the job.

5. Career guidance and counselling- It provides full information, proper advice and encouragement to move from one career to other better career in the same organization or in some other organization where better career opportunities are available.

Career Development – Need for Employees’ Career Development in an Organisation

The need for effective employees’ career development are for following reasons:

i. Making Available Needed Talent:

Career development is a natural extension of strategic and employee training. Identifying staff requirements over the intermediate and long-term is necessary when a firm sets long-term goals and objectives. Career development will help organizations in putting the right people in the right job.

ii. Attracting and Retaining Talents:


There is always a scarcity for talented people and there is competition to secure their services. Talented people always prefer to work in organizations which care for their future concern and exhibit greater loyalty and commitment to organizations where there is career advancement. As career development is an important aspect of work life as well as personal life, people prefer to join firms which offer challenges, responsibility and opportunities for advancement.

iii. Reduced Employee Frustration:

Along with educational level and knowledge, the aspirational level of occupations is also increasing. When these levels are not met due to economic stagnation frustration sets in. When organizations downsize to cut costs, employee career paths, career tracks and career ladders tend to collapse resulting in aggravation of frustration. Career counseling comes a long way in reducing frustration.

iv. Enhancing Cultural Diversity:

Fast changing scenarios in globalization reflects a varied combination of workforce representing different types of races, nationalities, religious faiths, ages and values in the workplaces. Effective career development programmes provide access to all levels of employees.

v. Improving Organizational Goodwill:

It is quite natural that if employees think their organizations care about their long-term well-being through career development they are likely to respond in kind by projecting positive images about their organizations. Career development does help organization in impressing image and goodwill.

Career Development – Significance in View of Increase in Diversity of Employees at Work Place


Career development for diversified group of employees assumes greater significance in view of increase in diversity of employees at work place.

1. Career Development for Women:

Increasing need for utilising the talents of females which would be around 50% of human resources and increase in educated female force made organisations to plan for the career development of women. Women in management are normally in disadvantage position as they are not part of ‘good-old-boys’ network.’

So, managements have to eliminate the barriers in the process of career advancement, encourage women for skill development and facilitate the process of career development of women employees.

2. Glass-Ceiling Audits:

Glass-ceiling is defined as, “those artificial barriers based on attitudinal or organisational bias that prevent qualified individuals from advancing upward in their organisations into management level positions.” Glass-ceilings may prevent women employees from advancing in their organisations. Therefore, managements should prepare women for managerial positions through counselling, mentoring and training.

3. Allowing Family Responsibilities:

Women employees are tied up with family responsibilities, which would hamper their career development. Therefore, some firms introduced certain programmes like alternative career paths, extended leave, flexi-time, flexi-work, job sharing and telecommuting in order to enable women to balance career and family.

4. Career Development for Minorities:

Employees belong to minorities are in a disadvantageous position in career progression. Therefore, organisations provide certain programmes for the development of minorities. These programmes include special training, reservation of certain number of positions for minorities, internships and organising training courses.

5. Dual Career Couples:


Dual career couples follow their own careers; support each other’s career development. However, career opportunities of any of the couple may hinder the career of the other. Economic necessity, social focus and psychological adjustments encourage dual career marriages.

Dual career families undergo social maladjustments due to transfers, uneven career progressions of one of the couples etc. Therefore, managements should take care for balanced career progression and development of career couples.

Career Development – Top 4 Steps

The steps in career development are:

(1) Identifying career needs.

(2) Developing career opportunities.

(3) Integration of employees needs with career opportunities.


(4) Regular monitoring.

Step # 1. Identifying Career Needs:

Some large organizations have assessment centres or conduct career development workshops wherein a group of employees are brought together to undergo psychological testing, simulation exercises, and depth interviews. This process helps the employee to make a decision regarding career goals and the steps to be taken to put efforts to attain these goals. The HR manager also plays an important role of providing information and assistance in making decisions about the career needs of the employee.

Step # 2. Developing Career Opportunities:

Career opportunities are identified through job analysis. The manager should identify career path for employees in the organization. He/she should dis­cuss with the employees what jobs are available in the organizational hierarchy and at the same time find where the employee would want to go up in the organization in future. The employees should be provided information regarding job postings that are available in the organization and, for future reference, what requirements they will have to fulfill to achieve the promotion which they aspire.

Step # 3. Integration of Employee Needs with Career Opportunities:

It is necessary to align the needs and aspirations of the employees with career opportunities in order to ensure right people will be available to meet the organizational manpower requirements. Therefore, emphasis is placed on the training, on- and off-the-job, counselling and coaching by supervisor, and planned rotation in positions of varying functions and in different locations. The process is pursued further with the help of periodic performance appraisals. Training and counselling will be a wasteful exercise if the employee does not make progress along his/her career path.

The two important techniques in this stage of career development are:

(a) Management by objectives


(b) Career counselling.

Under ‘management by objectives’, the employee sets his/her development goals and also an action plan to achieve those goals. Steps are taken by the line managers to integrate personal goals with the organizational goals.

In the case of counselling, the manager discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the employee. This helps the employee to identify areas of development so that he/she can meet future chal­lenges of his/her job.

Step # 4. Regular Monitoring:

It is necessary to regularly monitor the progress of the employee towards his/her career development plans and see that the support is being provided to develop those career plans. If there is a discrepancy, steps should be taken to reassign work as necessary to ensure that career development plans are met. In situations where career opportunities are not available due to influence of technology and economic factors, the organization should redesign jobs or make career shifts.

Career Development – Main Actions

It is very important that all employees must accept their responsibilities for career development because it is only then that various career development actions prove effective.

The main career development actions include:


1. Adequate job performance if career progress is desired.

2. Exposure of skills, knowledge, achievements, performance and so on to the decision-makers regarding career development programme.

3. Resignation from the present job if new career opportunities are found elsewhere.

4. Change of jobs in the same of organisation if better opportunities are foreseen in that job. This happens when the employee views organisation loyalty more important than career loyalty.

5. Career guidance is necessary to find better job elsewhere.

Career Development – 2 Important Strategies: Individual Strategies and Organizational Strategies

1. Individual Strategies:

Organizations initiate efforts to develop their employees. However, they cannot take the sole respon­sibilities to develop each individual’s career. Individual employees must also take initiatives themselves.

Career results from the matching goals of the individual with that of the organization.

Career development is a joint responsibility of an employee and the organization. If an employee wants only the organization to develop his career, the organization is likely to impose too much organizational control restricting the autonomy of that employee. Therefore, it advised that you should be instrumental to manage your own career.

The self-management of your career will help you determine your own destiny and enhance your independence. In career decisions, the individual is the only one having appropriate information. He must be assertive to express his feelings so that he does not get deceived with regard to his career.

Managing the self is of utmost importance. The steps involved in successful self-management of career are – do it now, know thyself, analyse career opportunities, establish career goal, obtain feedback, and manage your career.

i. Do it Now:

Suppose you have made decisions that will have an impact on your career. Do not delay in implementing the decisions. Do not wait for an auspicious day to come; for completing an academic activity, for settling down, and for any other reasons. Pursuing a career will always have uncertainties. Self-management helps to reduce the uncertainties.

ii. Know Yourself:

You need to know your own strengths and weaknesses. Take the help of someone, whom you like and regard, to help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses. You must know how others see you; view your behavioural pattern, and opinions they possess. You must have the ear to hear what others are telling about you.

iii. Analyse Career Opportunities:

Try and examine the sources of career opportunities. There are many sources of information concerning occupations and career opportunities. Many B -schools are publishing placement manuals or brochures containing information regarding career opportunities. You may also collect information from some of your friends or relatives who keep themselves informed. Spend few hours browsing the internet to determine what potential employers are seeking.

iv. Establish Career Goals:

In the preceding three steps, you have learned that you should not delay in implementing decisions, you need know yourself, and you must analyse career opportunities. Using these as your arsenal, you should now develop your specific career goals. The goals should be measurable and attainable; may be for short-term or long-term. The self-determined goals should stretch your performance. As success breeds success, meeting a short-term goal leads to even higher aspirations and improved performance.

v. Obtain Feedback:

Feedback from relevant people help one correct his/her errors. You are required to think and plan how you will gather feedbacks from others with regard to your self-analysis and current career planning.

vi. Manage Your Career:

Managing career is not just implementing your plan. It is not a one-shot operation; but rather an on-going process. The self-management spreads over your entire working life. You need to constantly look for opportunities, and take advantage of them. It is of utmost importance to build and maintain relationships. Evaluating and modifying career goals and plans should be a continual process. You must be flexible while taking decisions. You should not be tied up completely with a particularly job, department, or organization.


Self-assessment is essential for self-management. Self-assessment is researching within you; finding who you are, what you like or love, what you have to offer, and so forth. Self-management enables you to take decisions about your career. Findings of self-assessment should be recorded on paper.

Self-assessment includes some vital aspects such as:

i. Achievements,

ii. Skills and abilities,

iii. Personal values,

iv. Interests,

v. Disabilities (if known),

vi. Personal and family circumstances, etc.

i. Achievements:

Thinking deeply and writing down your achievements enables you to rediscover yourself. The easiest way of reflecting your achievements is to start with your academic achievements at your school or university. Do not hesitate to include your achievements in co-curricular activities. Identify what led you to select a course of study. Think about the strengths you have developed along with specific knowledge gained.

If you have got a job in an organization, think about the achievements, in terms of the responsibilities accepted. You must be deriving pleasure discharging certain responsibilities in your family or in the society. Recall those positive comments made by teachers, classmates, family members, friends in the society, colleagues, and organizational superiors.

ii. Skills and Abilities:

While pursuing self-analysis, never underestimate yourself; never say, ‘I don’t have any skills’. You must have many skills and abilities which are unknown to you. Skill is a vital element of Mckinsey’s 7-S framework. Skills are the essence of what we contribute to the world. Skills bring perfection.

Listening, memorizing, negotiating, persuading, inspiring, investigating, problem- solving, motivating, etc., are only few of the many skills one may have. A single person cannot have in his possession all the skills. In addition, a job does not need all the skills. Moreover, a job may need the required skills in varying degrees.

Remember the skills and abilities you used to complete those achievements that you have already thought about. Highlight the skills that you would enjoy using on a regular basis as part of your ideal job.

iii. Personal Values:

Values guide a person to lay importance over things, turns him on and off, gives happiness in circumstances or otherwise, helps to decide the extent of integrity he needs in his work or life, exercise power and responsibility in the work place, and so on.

Thus, the questions for self-examination are—what are the most important things to you? What turns you on and off? What are you committed to? What gives happiness to you? What degree of integrity do you need in your life and work? How much power and responsibility do you want in the work place? Your values further guide to your extent of devotion to work—do you want to live to work or work to live, and to strike a balance between them.

iv. Interests:

There are many things that generate your interests. First, you make a list of 25 or 30 things you love to do. Thereafter, pick up the favourites and shortlist the interests. The job you are doing must have some of these. Give some thoughts to areas which fascinate and mesmerize you the most, that is, production, quality control, quality system, maintenance, purchase or planning, administrative, computational, scientific, indoor or outdoor work, etc.

v. Disabilities (If Known):

Your disabilities cannot stop you from achieving that you most aspire for. Your strong will always supports you to reach your goal. Be honest with your known disabilities or physical impairments that may impact upon what you want to do. You may have allergies, colour blindness, back problems, asthma, etc. The presence of anyone or two disabilities does not mean you cannot do a particular job. You need to be aware of how you would manage any roadblocks restricting you to achieve. Your strong will lead you to success.

vi. Personal and Family Circumstances:

You now know your achievements, skills and abilities, personal values, interests, etc. Prepare yourself to face the impacts of these on your employment in terms of hours, financial commitments, limitations, etc. You will definitely be able to overcome the roadblocks.

2. Organizational Strategies:

Being aware of the utmost need of employee career development, organizations are designing pro­grammes for effective management of human resources. The aim of this effort is directly related to career issues such as reducing employee attrition, exploring potential and providing matching assignments, developing high-potential candidates, preparing for managerial positions, enhancing problem-solving abilities, reducing problems arising out of lack of knowledge and skills, providing ample opportunities for growth, ensuring upward movement for potential employees, and so forth.

Many organizations have instituted a system of career counselling through workshops, and have employed career guidance specialists. Literatures suggest a number of specific drives that organizations can take to make the career programmes effective.

i. Improving Human Resource Planning and Forecasting System:

Considering and analysing the targets of the organization, it should develop the job specifications and recruit personnel of the required quantity and requisite quality. Companies need to develop procedures to meet the target in fluctuating situations. They need to select the appropriate forecasting technique to assess manpower needs.

ii. Improving Dissemination of Career Option Information:

Employees always remain impatient to know about their career and the various career options available. Companies having career planning system should share the information with the employees through administrative manuals, circulars, or other documents. The information calms their restless minds and they can concentrate on the work assigned to them. Organizations should develop instruments to keep employees informed about the career options.

iii. Initial Career Counselling:

Career counselling is a way of periodic performance appraisal. In addition to appraising performance, counselling provides excellent opportunity to discuss career problems of employees; their goals, and opportunities available for developing in career.

iv. Support of Education and Training:

Education and training system supports all levels of employees to improve their careers. The prerequisites for further career growth are first identified, and need-based training is conducted accordingly. Furthermore, for enhancing an employee s overall growth, education is imparted. It is important that the organization must have clearly-defined policies concerning time-off and the necessary financial supports.

v. Job Posting:

Employees aspire to advance in their careers. In larger organizations, the aspirations are higher. Employees need to get information for advancement in their careers. Organizations must provide all employees with information concerning job openings. Moreover, a system of job posting helps an organization to attract talents from market. The system stimulates employees of all levels in career planning and development.

vi. Special Assignments and Job Rotation:

Doing the same job over a long period of time generates boredom. Employees should get the opportunity of gaining new experience by way of performing special assignments and through job rotation. These actions enable employees to learn new things first-hand and performing them in different settings. Simultaneously, management can also ascertain the capacity and potential of an employee to accept challenges, working in new settings, and with new people.

vii. Career Development Workshops:

Considering the importance of employees’ career development, organizations are arranging workshops and seminars as essential career development activities. These workshops clearly indicate organizations’ concern for career development. However, the central assumption of these workshops is the joint responsibility of individual and the organization for career development.

viii. Sabbatical, Flexible Working Hours, and Other Off-Work Activities:

At present, people get engaged in multiple family and social activities. In spite of realizing the urgency of office work, they rush to perform the non-organizational activities considering the relative importance. Later, they repent thinking about the undone office work. This leads to the generation of organizational role stress on account of inter- role distance.

Organizations need to develop sabbatical (time-off) leave, flexible working hours, and other off-work activities. Allowing employees, particularly middle-aged people, to avail sabbatical leaves provide the opportunity to develop new life interests. This organizational system may be a possible answer to boredom and apathy.

ix. Flexible Rewards and Promotional System:

Organizations use both financial and non-financial rewards to recognize employees. The scope of rewards and determining success criteria are really limited; presumably due to limited thinking about them. Nowadays, in the financial arena, there is a growing trend toward giving employees a choice among several forms of financial rewards.

In fact, organizations need to develop multiple ladders to consider promotion and rewards. The promotional system should reflect the desires for spiral as well as linear careers. The employees will definitely contribute their best to the organizations if flexible rewards and promotional system are installed.

x. Development and Use of Assessment System:

Many organizations use formal assessment centres and development centres in order to evaluate potential of employees to help them advance in their careers. Use of assessment centres have emerged as a practice while selecting people. Later, organizations use assessment centres for career planning as well.

Career Development System – Tools and Activities, Design and Benefits

A career development system includes a variety of components for use in the organizations. In order to increase the efficiency of the system, the HR mangers must have complete knowledge about these tools since they play a role of consultant when employees and supervisors use this system. Plus, they are responsible for designing and developing an effective career development system for their organization.

Some activities or components are known as individual career planning tools while some are used for organizational career management. To achieve greater efficiency, most organizations use a right combination of both types of activities.

Let us understand these tools and activities to learn in-depth about career development system:

1. Self-Assessment Tools:

This is the first technique that is widely used by organizations in their efforts to career management of their employees. This is a career exploration tool where individuals complete self- assessment exercises and fill information about their skills, interests, competencies, work attitudes and preferences, long and short term goals and obstacles and opportunities. The whole exercise helps them understand their own desires and aspirations and likes and dislikes.

2. Career Planning Workshops:

Once employees are through their self- assessment, they share their findings with other individuals and their supervisors in career-planning workshops. It allows them to receive feedback from others and check the reality of their plans and aspirations. They may change their plans if they find them unrealistic and move in new direction.

3. Individual Counselling:

It is one of the most common activities that are undertaken by almost all people developing organizations. Generally, individual counseling is provided by career development specialists, HR specialists or life skills development trainers. Some organizations hire them from outside while some have their own fully fledged departments where they recruit and hire trainers for full time. It helps employees in understanding their own goals, making a change in them if required and working on improving their skills and competencies.

4. Organizational Assessment Programs:

Organizational assessment programs include tools and methods for evaluating employees’ potential for growth within the organization. Johnson &, Johnson is one company that uses these programs to assess the careers of their employees and evaluate their potential in order to facilitate the staffing and development of special teams known as “tiger teams”.

These special teams are formed to speed up the development of new products. The most popular programs under this category include assessment centers, psychological testing, 360 degree appraisal, promotability forecasts and succession planning.

5. Developmental Programs:

Developmental programs are used by an organization to develop their employees for future positions. They can be internal as well as external and can be performed under the supervision of human resource staff or trainers and specialists from outside. These programs include assessment centers, job rotation programs, tuition refund plans, internal training programs, external training seminars and formal mentoring programs.

In addition to these programs, there are several other components of a career development system such as career programs for special target groups, fast- track or high potential employees, supervisors, senior-level employees, women, technical employees, minorities and employees with disabilities, etc.

Designing Career Development Systems:

Designing career development systems according to specific needs and requirements of an organization can help HR specialists in bringing efficiency to the entire process of career management. Since the system tries to integrate all the activities of an employee, management as well as an organization, it has to be tailor-designed. There is nothing that fits all since the nature of the every business is different and aspirations of every employee in every industry are different.

Most companies along with career management programs also involve career assessment process by the employee. If they have supportive environment such as a facilitator and properly automated system, they will properly assess their careers and fill genuine information about themselves.

Most organizations such as Xerox, IBM, Wal-Mart, Lincoln electric and Bell Atlantic have their own specific career development systems. Along with this, they provide their employees with supportive environment and a culture that supports the whole process of career development.

While designing career development system for an organization, the nature of their business, the industry and the business environment they are operating in should also be considered. Although it is an internal process of an organization but outer environment factors such as job market, current trends, economic conditions, etc., affect the entire process.

Benefits of a Career Development System to Organization:

1. Once organization has a fair idea about employee’s strengths and weaknesses, attitude and behaviour, values and future aspirations and skills and competencies, they are able to make better use of employee skills and put them at the right place.

2. The organization can disseminate all important details and information at all organizational levels in order to ensure effective communication at all levels. It fosters and lays emphasis on better communication within the organization as a whole.

3. It also helps organization retain valued employees by providing them what they want. Since the organization is able to collect all necessary information about a specific individual, it can make efforts to retain them.

4. It establishes a reputation of the organization in the market. More and more working professionals see it as a people developer and get attracted towards it.

Benefits of a Career Development System to Employees:

1. The major benefit of career development system to employees is that they get helpful assistance and guidance with their career decisions. They get to know about their own aspirations, objectives and desires and understand how to shape their career.

2. By using this system, they can set more realistic goals and objectives that are feasible to be accomplished over the span of one’s life.

3. It fosters better communication between the employee and the manager as well as at all levels of the organization.

4. The best part is that they can get feedback on their performance. This helps them improve their working style and compels them to upgrade their skills.

5. The process leads to job enrichment and enhanced job satisfaction.

Benefits of a Career Development System to Managers/Supervisors:

1. A career development system helps managers and supervisors in improving and upgrading their skills in order to manage their own career. Even they get to where they are heading to and what their aspirations are.

2. It fosters better communication between managers and employees.

3. It helps them in retaining valued employees as they get to know about their skills and competencies and future aspirations as well.

4. It helps in discussing productive performance appraisal of employees and planning their promotions as well as their career graph.

5. It leads to greater understanding of the organization as a whole and cultivate a supportive and conducive culture in the organization.

6. It helps managers in understanding the hidden aspects of employees and guides them to allocate employees the right job that matches to their skills and competencies.

Career Development – Responsibilities and Benefits of Career Development Programmes

To avoid all the above mistakes, the employee, the manager, and the organisation must play or exercise a set of responsibilities in career development programmes.

1. The Organisation’s Responsibilities:

(i) Proving resources for self-understanding and goal setting.

(ii) Setting and communicating mission, policies, goals and objectives.

(iii) Providing information on organisation’s options and career paths.

(iv) Providing training, education and mobility opportunities.

(v) Rein forcing and supporting manager’s role in career development and counselling.

2. The Manager’s Responsibilities:

(i) Giving clear feedback about what employees should reasonably expect.

(ii) Providing forums for discussions.

(iii) Providing support and opportunities.

(iv) Identifying employee potential.

(v) Providing growth opportunities consistent with employee and organisation goals.

(vi) Communicating the formal and informal realities of the organisation.

(vii) Providing exposure for employee; and linking employees to appropriate resources and people.

3. The Employee’s Responsibilities:

(i) Self-assessment.

(ii) Setting goals and plans.

(iii) Expressing expectations.

(iv) Making use of opportunities, education and training.

Career Development Programme Benefits to Employees:

Organizations organize lot of career development programmes for the benefits of employees.

Such benefits are as follows:

1. Development of Competencies:

Career development programmes help employees to develop competencies in them. Areas in which competencies developed are decision making and problem solving, interpersonal interaction, group interaction, leadership, and directing. These competencies are quite important for employees for continued success in their work- life.

2. To Help in Developing Motivation:

Motivation to work, though an internal element for a person, gets enhanced when employees develop the sense of competence in themselves. When they feel that they are competent enough to do a work, they are more motivated to do the work. Sense of competence is developed in the employees because of the competencies developed in the employees through career development programmes.

3. To Help in Overcoming Frustration:

In the present context, there are a number of factors which are responsible for causing frustration in employees at workplace. Because of reorganization, work rationalization, downsizing to rationalize workforce, etc., there is imminent threat on job security. This creates frustration among employees.

However, when the employees develop multi-skilling through career development programme, they feel secure against the threat of job insecurity. They may develop a feeling that their career is not tied with a single organization; they have other avenues too. This feeling reduces frustration.

4. To Develop Mental Health:

In the present stress-producing environment, individuals from all walks of life feel some kind of stress. This stress creates mental health problems which percolate into physical and psychological problems. Therefore, there is increasing need for developing mental health. This is true for employees too.

Employees with mental health feel comfortable about themselves, feel right about others, and are able to meet the demands of the life. Many career development programmes attempt to develop mental health of employees.

Career Development – Problems and Role of HR Manager in Managing these Problems

Despite planning the career, employees face certain career problems which are as follows:

1. Dual Career Families:

With the increase in career orientation among women, number of female employees is on the increase. With this the dual career families have also been on the increase. Consequently one of the family members might face the problem of transfer. This has become a complicated problem to organisations. Consequently other employees may be at a disadvantage.

2. Changing Family Needs:

Interaction of career issues with the issues of life stages of the employee and his family, changing needs of employee throughout his life cycle complicate the career issues.

3. Low Ceiling Careers:

Some careers do not have scope for much advancement. Employees cannot get promotions despite their career plans and development in such jobs.

4. Declining Career Opportunities:

Career opportunities for certain categories might reach the declining stage due to the influence of the technological or economic factors. Solution for such a problem is career shift. For example, career opportunities for ‘Statisticians’ declined due to computerisation. The existing statisticians could overcome this problem by acquiring skills in computer operations.

To handle the above problems, the management can take the following steps:

(a) Improving human resource planning and forecasting systems,

(b) Improving dissemination of career option information,

(c) Initiating career counselling,

(d) Developing effective internal and external assessment centres,

(e) Supporting educational and training programs, and

(f) Introducing more flexible reward and promotional systems.

Role of HR to Manage Career Development Problems:

In order to handle and manage the above stated problems the HR function of any organization has to play an instrumental role.

This could be achieved by the following strategies, namely:

i. Improving Manpower planning and forecasting systems

ii. Improving dissemination of career option information

iii. Initiating career counselling programs on regular basis

iv. Developing effective internal and external Assessment Centres

v. Supporting educational and training programs on regular basis (e.g.- Learning and Development Cells in organizations like Dell)

vi. Introducing more flexible reward and promotional systems

Career Development – Meeting the Challenges for Effective Career Development

Today, management comes across three major challenges while putting a career development programme in place. These are – (a) who will be ultimately responsible for career development activities, (b) how much emphasis on career development is appropriate and (c) how the development needs of a diverse work­force will be met.

Meeting the Challenges of Effective Career Development:

Career development which is an on-going organised and formalised effort that focuses on developing enriched and more capable people at work is a continuing cycle of three phases –

(a) An assessment phase in which employees’ skills, interests, values and the like are identified either by the employees themselves or by the organisation or by both,

(b) The direction phase involves determining the type of career that the employees of the organisation want and the steps they must take to make their career goals a reality. Employees may get individual career counselling or information for a number of sources and

(c) The development phase involves creating and enhancing skills to prepare for future jobs and foster this growth and self-improvement through coaching, monitoring, tuition assistance, job rotation, and so on.