Even though a career development plan is a win-win deal for both employees and the companies, but still most of the workplaces don’t give enough attention to it. This has been proved by a recent research led by the Society for Human Resource Management, which required the employees to identify 18 must-required conditions for the workers to remain engaged to their work. “Unsurprisingly, the need for a plan for career development was one of the primary requirements that the employees asked for during the research”, says the research.
An effective career development plan plays a game-changing role in the lifetime of an employee, who is looking to enhance his skill set and career opportunities. Such a plan focuses on the growth and development needs and of an employee and logs the assistance from the company that it can provide to its employees to help them grow their careers.
Career Development Plan Steps
A winning plan for the career development of the employees is not something that a company can achieve all by itself. Instead, it requires a detailed talk between the employees and the managers to help the company in figuring out their real motives. For the purpose, this discussion will have to cover most of the ground i.e. clarify the expectations of employees to managers, help them grasp what kind of assistance the company can provide and what it cannot, etc. Seems like a tough task! Just follow the following steps and you’ll surely understand.
- Identification of Business goals
It does not matter, whatever you are trying to do, most often, you will find the goal identification as the first step of any process. So, the same goes for this case, too. Even before, you set objectives and goals for your employees, it’s important to keep the career development plan in a perfect alignment with the major goals of the business.
Therefore, start by identification of the goals and bridge the gap between the present skillset and the required skill set is actually the one thing that will save you a lot of money and time that you will have to waste for recruiting and training for the outsiders. So, it’s better if you develop your existing staff to do even more advanced things than before.
- Discuss with your Employees
Having a face-to-face discussion for keeping an accurate track of the career aspirations and current skill levels of the employees, is far better than just prediction, which is prone to huge errors. Since in this way, you can get a better understanding of their career goals and their expected methods to accomplish them. Talking about any other challenges that they are facing while they are working for you, is surely worth the time and sometimes, this thing matters even more than any of the other factors.
It is also true that some employees might already have embedded a career in their minds but most of the times; they don’t even know that from where they should start. Ask you employees to assess their own work and help them identify the areas, which give them a tough time. Moreover, it is also important to know that if they can be benefited by mentoring or additional training.
- Deciding the required Skill set
The third step towards a successful career development plan involves the decision taking the stage while keeping an eye on the abilities and experiences of each of the employees along with the needs of the company. Even though, it is a lot difficult to measure that how quickly or how slowly an employee is progressing, individually. But at least, you can make sure that the goals selected by them are specific and timely.
- Shaping up an Action plan
Up till now, you have been working to gather all the necessary information in the form of the employee’s objectives, but from here on, you will have to try to figure out that how the employees will achieve them. Well! There are different methods that can be employed as the solutions like reading, formal training, learning by working directly under the supervision of an expert, mentoring or coaching, etc.
After the identification of the learning opportunities, do some brainstorming and consider the factors that can make or break the employee’s career development plan. For the purpose, you need to answer a few questions like is there still something left that needs to be determined and evaluated. Is it that the employees will have to stay away from work for the cause of training? If yes, then will this position be covered by someone else, while they are out for training?
Once, even the minute of the details has been pointed and sorted out, create a timetable that separates the training time from work time and gives priority to their training. This is done to ensure that there is nothing that’s limiting the learning capabilities of the employees, so that pursue their goals without having to worry about any other problems.
- Application of New skills
To get the best possible return of the time, and maybe money, you will have to make sure that the employees are capable of putting their newly acquired skills to their practical aspects of jobs. Since it is the best way to assess the success level of career development plan. So, set up opportunities where they can easily apply the skills to get a feedback. There is, also, a huge possibility of losing their newly acquired knowledge and skill, if they don’t get to use it in their jobs.
A career development plan is not all about new skills and new knowledge, instead, it plays a major role in the retention of the existing workforce. It’s because these are capable of making your existing workforce effective and satisfied. So, you won’t have to recruit new talents and faces for every new type of job. This makes the employees happier and makes them less prone to the decision of leaving the company in search for working somewhere else.