Tales from the Corporate Frontlines: Providing Career Opportunity
This article relates to the Career Opportunity competency, commonly evaluated in employee satisfaction surveys. It explores issues such as internal growth opportunities, potential for advancement, career development importance, and the relationship between job performance and career advancement. It examines whether your employees believe they have a chance to grow within the organization. Studies show that lack of career opportunity is one of the top reasons why employees leave an organization.
Also, continually hiring open positions from outside the organization can be detrimental to morale when a qualified candidate is available internally. Topics covered in this competency are: perceived opportunity for advancement, existence of a career development plan, and organizational commitment to staff development.
This short story, Providing Career Opportunity, is part of AlphaMeasure's compilation, Tales From the Corporate Frontlines. It illustrates how employers can offer career opportunity to their employees using a well-planned career development strategy, and reap the benefits of a knowledgeable and dedicated workforce.
While searching through the employment ads in my local newspaper, I noticed that several companies made a point of adding the line----"we promote from within". Those are definitely the companies I would apply to - if I were on a job hunt.
But, the fact is, I am currently working for one of those companies. That's not to say that we never hire from the outside; sometimes it's unavoidable. If an employee leaves the company with a unique level of skill or training, it may have to look outside for a replacement. The point is that whenever possible, our company offers a career opportunity to a current employee.
This advancement doesn't happen magically. Employees have to be on the lookout for career opportunity within the company, and prepare for it. Our company helps them by operating a structured career development program. Managers are entrusted with the duty to help employees evaluate their skills and performance on a regular basis and create a plan for the future based career goals.
Departments also form career development teams. They meet regularly and help employees to define their goals, provide feedback about applicable training programs, assign duties to employees to help them gain new skills, formulate job descriptions and generally make sure that employee career development programs are on the right track.
As for my own career development, I've been promoted three times over the past five years. Once because of an opening left by a retiring coworker, and twice into new positions created due to expansion. A few months after I was hired, my manager sat down with me and began to work up a career development program. He was very helpful in evaluating my current skills and finding ways to learn new ones that would help me to advance. He evaluated me honestly and encouraged me to alleviate any shortcomings and examine problems before they grew into major issues.
I can't imagine working for a company that doesn't offer its employees substantial career opportunity. It takes more than just posting job openings, it's a lengthy process that takes time, effort, organization and planning. Companies must be willing to invest the effort and money to cultivate their workforce. It's a worthy effort, in my opinion. I'll stay where I am - and those classified ads that I mentioned earlier? I'd be willing to bet that those positions are filled quickly - with no shortage of qualified applicants.
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Josh Greenberg is President of AlphaMeasure, Inc.
AlphaMeasure provides organizations of all sizes a powerful web based method for measuring employee satisfaction, determining employee engagement, and increasing employee retention.
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