Developing a career development strategy benefits both your organization and its employees.
But, exactly, what is a professional development plan? What makes them so valuable? And how do they function?
In this post, we will address all of these concerns as well as provide you with some useful tips on what to do and what to avoid while assisting your staff with their career planning.
What Exactly Is a Career Development Strategy?
A career development plan, also known as a career advancement plan, is a personal roadmap outlining a person’s career goals, along with actions to attain them.
Each of us at Learnerbly creates a career plan, or personal growth plan, focused toward our “North Star” aspirations, or our long-term, ultimate professional goals.
Once we’ve established our North Star ambitions, we can define short- and medium-term objectives to help us trace a more detailed career path.
We may then develop an action plan outlining the abilities and experiences we need to gain in order to attain our most urgent goals, as well as how to do so. This process of job planning also influences our personal learning plans.
Why Are Career Development Plans Important?
A career development plan benefits both the person and the firm. This is why:
Most individuals aspire to advance in their jobs. This is perhaps why, according to Addison Group’s 2019 Workplace Satisfaction Survey, 76% of workers would search for job elsewhere if their employer passed them up for a promotion. Offering professional career planning demonstrates to employees that their employers want to see them succeed.
Opportunities for professional growth make employees feel appreciated and believed in, not just for what they can provide today, but also for their future potential.
Transparency is enhanced through a career development plan. By showing your workers what they need to accomplish to advance and providing them with the tools they require for their career advancement, you increase the transparency of your organizational structure and gain the trust of your employees. On the other hand, when firms are overly opaque about who gets promoted and why, it’s difficult for their employees to believe or support these decisions. Many people wind up at work feeling bitter and underappreciated, which is not a nice feeling!
People who are developing their careers see their work as “more than simply a job,” which increases their engagement and happiness at work.
People that are upskilled are better at their employment, which adds value to the organization and the work it accomplishes. Employees who lack professional growth, on the other hand, can do significant harm to a firm if they perform poorly over an extended period of time.
Internal upskilling is less expensive than external hiring. If you need to fill a non-entry-level role, upskilling one of your current employees might be far more cost-effective than acquiring someone from outside. It can save you all of the costs associated with sourcing and onboarding a new employee from outside sources.
Internal upskilling necessitates the acquisition of dependable personnel. Although there are many people outside of your firm who have the talents and expertise you want, the majority of these people are strangers—and the element of the unknown always brings risk. Although a new employee may have a spectacular CV and appear wonderful in an interview, there are several reasons why they may not be as well fit for the post as you thought. On the other hand, if you opt to upskill someone you know and trust within the organization, you may avoid many of these hazards.
People who have prospects for advancement stay with their businesses for a longer period of time. If most individuals want to advance in their careers and their current work does not provide them with that chance, they are likely to quit as soon as a better—or even just a different—opportunity arises. Implementing an excellent career development plan program at your firm may do wonders for employee turnover, which makes a lot of financial sense when you consider the cost of onboarding individuals.
How to Put a Career Development Plan in Place
Let’s speak about how to execute a career development plan in the workplace now that we’ve reviewed what a career development plan is and what guided career planning can provide both your employees and your firm. We’ve simplified it into eight easy steps.
Determine Who Wants or Needs One
If you’re just getting started with career development planning, or if you don’t yet have the resources to provide career development planning to all of your employees, you might choose to start by delivering a career development plan to a small group of individuals and then grow from there.
If this is the case, determine how many employees you have the time and resources to support with a career development plan right now, and then select those who you believe would benefit the most from it.
Consider who appears to be the most disappointed or constrained in their present professional path, who shows the greatest desire to learn new things, and who appears to be the most eager to take on new tasks.
It’s also a good idea at this point to explain what a career development plan is and ask if they’d like to create one with you.
Some employees may be content with their present career path and may not wish to pursue a career development plan at this time. You can approach others instead if this is the case.
Assign a self-assessment task to them.
Request that those who wish to participate complete a self-assessment form.
The goal is for employees to discover the talents they need to accomplish their job successfully, what they presently excel at, and where they may benefit from more professional development. This knowledge is critical for career planning.
This knowledge may also assist managers understand what each person is capable of and provide them a job that they can manage.
Have them conduct research about themselves and their objectives.
Prepare answers to the following questions for each employee prior to their first career development plan meeting. They might want to spend some time researching their replies, particularly any skills classes they might wish to take.
What is your ultimate professional goal?
What do you believe are some of the short- and long-term objectives you must achieve along the way?
Which of your short-term objectives are you most likely to achieve?
What talents or experience are required to achieve it?
What steps could we take to help you attain these abilities or experiences?
What obstacles do you believe are stopping you from getting the skills and experience you desire from your present position?
How do you believe we can assist you in meeting these challenges?
If the person you’re meeting with is still adjusting to their new position, you might ask them to consider the following questions:
What obstacles do you face in achieving your daily objectives?
What do you believe we could do to assist you in meeting these challenges?
Schedule a meeting with their managers.
Schedule a meeting with each employee’s line manager to go through their responses to the questions, flesh them out with the manager’s assistance, and create a “official” career development plan for them to work on.
Assess Your Organization’s Capabilities
Determine which of the person’s professional development goals the organization can assist them in achieving, as well as what skill development and experience opportunities you can provide.
Consider what their career with the organization would look like in five years, and what responsibilities they might occupy in that time.
Consult with the appropriate persons to determine which development opportunities you can provide to which individuals and how this process will function.
Remember that learning chances aren’t limited to formal classes. They may also include knowledge-sharing activities like as conferences, working on specific projects, and shadowing or aiding individual employees.
Put the Career Development Plan into Action
This is the fun section where you will work together to put the professional development plan into action!
Meet with each employee again to go through the options available to them and choose which ones they want to pursue.
Remember that, while you’ve done a lot to get things started, it’s ultimately up to each individual from here to work hard and take advantage of the possibilities to learn and improve.
Now that we’ve established a step-by-step procedure, here are some key points to remember and typical blunders to avoid while adopting a career development plan.
To wrapp it up
Career development plans may provide your employees with the possibilities for advancement they seek while also assisting your organization in placing the appropriate people in the right positions to allow your workforce to flourish.
Developing a career development plan necessitates buy-in and assistance from a variety of individuals inside a firm, but it is ultimately the duty of each person to drive their own growth with the resources they are provided.
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