Career development is the process of improving an individual’s abilities in anticipation of future opportunities for achieving career objectives.
A formal approach taken by an organisation to help its people acquire the skills and experiences needed to perform current and future jobs is termed as career development.
Recently, career development has come to be seen as a means for meeting both organisational and employee needs, as opposed to solely meeting the needs of the organisation as it had done in the past.
Now, organisations see career development as a way of preventing job burnout, providing career information to employees, improving the quality of work lives and meeting affirmative action goals
The following stages should be considered for career development:-
1. Career Need Assessment 2. Developing and Publishing Career Development Opportunities 3. Need-Opportunity Alignment 4. Selection
5. Appraisal and Reward System 6. Training and Development 7. Potential Assessment 8. Monitoring Career Moves.
Learn about the Different Stages of Career Development
Stages in Career Development – 4 Stages of Sound Career Development Program
Career development is the process of improving an individual’s abilities in anticipation of future opportunities for achieving career objectives. A formal approach taken by an organisation to help its people acquire the skills and experiences needed to perform current and future jobs is termed as career development. Company’s policies especially policies regarding promotion, counselling the employees and opportunities to excel in future help employees to develop their career.
Career development consists of skills, education and experiences as well as behavioural modification and refinement techniques that allow individuals to work better and add value. Career development is an ongoing organised and formalized effort that recognises people as a vital organisational resource. It differs from training in that it has a wider focus, longer time frame, and broader scope. The goal of training is improvement in performance; the goal of development is enrichment and more capable workers.
Recently, career development has come to be seen as a means for meeting both organisational and employee needs, as opposed to solely meeting the needs of the organisation as it had done in the past. Now, organisations see career development as a way of preventing job burnout, providing career information to employees, improving the quality of work lives and meeting affirmative action goals. That is, career development must be seen as a key business strategy if an organisation wants to survive in an increasingly competitive and global business environment.
A sound career development program includes the following stages:
1. Career Need Assessment:
Many firms provide formal assessment centres, workshops, etc. where small groups of employees are subjected to psychological testing, simulation exercises and depth interviewing.
With the aid of expert observers, employees are helped to make decisions concerning proper career goals and specific “development needs” appropriate to those goals. The role of the Human Resource Manager is to assist in the decision-making process by providing as much information as possible to the employees.
2. Developing and Publishing Career Development Opportunities:
Career opportunities should be identified through job analysis. Job description, job specification and job redesign reveal path of advancement for employees. The available career opportunities should be published in a booklet form. On the basis of such information employees can plan their own career movement and progression.
3. Need-Opportunity Alignment:
At this stage, greater emphasis should be given to the more individualized development techniques such as special assignments, planned position rotation, and supervisory coaching.
The specific transfer and promotion decisions made by management for each employee are the final payoff of a career development program. Appraisal, counselling, training and education go useless if the employee does not progress along his perceived career path.
The following two techniques are highly useful at this stage:
(a) Management by Objectives:
Under this system, employees are encouraged to set personal development goals and develop action plans for achieving them. Efforts are made through continuous self-monitoring to integrate the individual goals with the organisational goals. Management by objectives is also a strategy for planned change.
(b) Career Counselling:
Supervisors or professional experts may provide career guidance to assist employees understand their strengths and weaknesses and to appreciate the career opportunities available in the organisation. It can help employees set realistic career goals and formulate concrete action plans to achieve the goals.
4. Monitoring Career Moves:
It is essential to maintain a record of career movements of employees and to monitor their progress towards the predetermined career goals. This will enable the HR department to identify discrepancies and to adopt corrective measures at the right time.
In case career opportunities are not available for some employees, they may be assisted in developing the skills or finding suitable openings outside the organisation. Thus, there are two types of employee mobility in career development actions. They are internal mobility and external mobility.
Stages in Career Development – Top 4 Stages Considered for the Career Development of Employees
No matter whether the business is small, medium or large if a portfolio analysis is done how can people be developed to cope with the changes?
The following stages should be considered for the career development:
Stage # 1. Selection:
A tough quality control system at the intake stage is critical. When a young trainee is recruited the basic emphasis is given on the selection board’s own judgment about the candidates’ long-term managerial potential. Generally, a trainee is not recruited to do a specific job in the company. Rather he is selected for a longer-term career in the company. Equally important is the choice of trainer managers who can facilitate the new entrants’ early integration with the organization as well as his personal growth and effectiveness.
Stage # 2. Appraisal and Reward System:
Performance must be regularly appraised. Appraisal is a key feature in reviewing management resources and how best to utilize them. It is also a natural follow-up to the selection process. During the early years of a manager’s career, special emphasis to the appraisal process to ensure that the young manager is capable to run the organization and having the similar expertise to have arid that he is capable of assuming higher responsibilities later in his career.
The appraisal process should also allow him to know how well he is performing, what has been his significant accomplishment, how his performances can be improved upon and if there are shortcomings in accomplishments or personal weakness identified what specific training and development inputs are to be given to him to strengthen his effectiveness and contribution to the company. In this process, the role of self-assessment cannot be under-estimated. In professionally managed organization, performance evaluation forms the basis for rewarding the manager.
This whole process can be described as a “monitoring system” – this being a very important task, is also a most difficult one to be used – the careful way in which it is used calls for an honest and courageous approach on the part of every appraiser assisted by the HRD function.
Stage # 3. Training and Development:
Training is a continuous process in a manager’s career. Pre-dominantly training becomes most effective when it takes place on the job or as closely related to it as possible. It enables the person to learn by doing. Some 10% can be supplemented by classroom courses, provided they are designed to meet specific needs of the managers at various stages of their development.
Courses can be broadly divided into two categories:
a. Functional/inter-functional courses, e.g. marketing, accounts, engineering, buying, industrial relations etc. or finance for non- finance managers, marketing for technical managers, commercial appreciation for research scientists etc. General Management/ Business courses form the second category.
b. Most experienced managers get stuck with their own specific jobs, be it production or sales they become somewhat incest with it. Training courses provide them with a new vista.
This exposure value, the opportunity to evaluate one’s own performance vis-a-vis his peer group and the peer group ‘evaluation’ and the estimation also adds considerable impetus for self-development. Ultimately, all managers have a responsibility for their own development. Courses facilitate this process of introspection-the manager with the right attitude to self-development takes such feedback as a personal challenge and converts them into an agenda for self-learning and development.
Stage # 4. Potential Assessment:
One of the most common failures in the career development is the late identification of managerial potential instead of a planned and systematic attempt to identify potential at an early stage in a young manager’s career. In fact, the identification process should start from the selection and recruitment stage. The value of speed in pushing up high potential managers in their early thirties through job rotations involving functional, inter functional and eventually general management track is very essential.
The values of a planned job rotation are many. Firstly, it provides an in-depth understanding of the various managerial tasks and roles, which cut across functions, product groups, regions, etc. it promotes team building. Above all the manager comes out through a variety of on-the-job experiences with a great deal of depth, breadth and vision. It is disappointing to note that in India, very few companies are practicing job rotation on a planned basis.
It is, therefore, not surprising that in some of the professionally managed organizations the Chief Executive and the Board Members invariably come through the trainee schemes which provide ample opportunities for planned job rotations.
Conversely, it is also true that some organizations follow the corporate belief system that early identification is somewhat difficult and not essential and that long experience in a job and proven loyalty should be the basis for advancement. Such organizations invariably have paid a price in moving up people to the top who have clearly not measures ups to the requirements of the business.
As the business environment become increasingly more complex and demanding, the development of potential for senior management will continue to assume greater importance. It is, therefore, necessary for all organizations that want to stay successful to identify some general principles.
(a) Most of those who progress to senior management positions will in the future have been recruited immediately after University Degrees. Selection and training of trainees with really high potential is, therefore, fundamental to the successful performance of organizations. Recruitment must be regular; in bad times as well good times. The career development system must be fed by a regular in-take of high potential trainees.
(b) The first 4-5 years are particularly important. Firstly, the new entrant has to be provided with actual responsibility. Appraisal and feedback are vital. Personal interest by senior management in his professional growth is vital and should be built into the system. The outstanding managers are vulnerable to the market in their early years and loss rates should be a matter of constant attention and review.
(c) Planned experience is the key element in the development of senior managers. Every management vacancy must be considered as an opportunity to develop someone with proven managerial competence. Besides the experience of being in charge, experience of the main elements of a function is very important for a manager with high potential.
A ‘Career Template’ to guide the planning of careers would be useful.
A typical template for a senior commercial manager would have the following elements:
i. Financial accounting
ii. EDP system
iv. Management accounting
v. Head office finance function like banking, taxation
vi. Commercial functions like buying, planning, distribution, etc.
Equally, breadth of experience is important. A high potential manager necessarily should have had broad range experience. Identification of such job opportunities, implementation of such moves, planning for future development, de-blocking key development positions etc., are key tasks of the Board of the company, ably assisted by the HRD function. The organization structures must also be designed in such a way to provide “stepping – stone jobs”.
(d) A cadre of high potential managers can only be achieved with full commitment of the top management of the Company. An organizational culture conducive to the system has to be evolved. Every opportunity should be vised to communicate the career planning and development policy of the Company to the management group. Regular courses are good medium for such communications and for greater understanding.