Career Management: The Recipe for Success
In the coming years, it will be increasingly rare for employees to be in the same position in the same organization for the entirety of their careers, especially because of the shortage of skilled manpower. Moreover, technology has become unavoidable in the job market, and it will likely cause some jobs to disappear or evolve, regardless of the business area. Employees and employers benefit from putting career management at the heart of their strategic priorities. As mentioned in the previous article by Mr. Durivage, many companies have made the mistake of promoting an excellent professional to a poor manager. Note that this reality does not apply only to management positions. Regardless of the situation or the level of the position, there are steps to be taken by the employee and the employer before making a career decision.
- Get to know each other better and identify the ideal work environment
Regardless of the employee’s situation, whether on the job market or in search of a job, this step is fundamental because it will enable them to target their needs. There are several methods to help employees better understand their strengths and areas for improvement. Psychometric tools are one of these methods. In no time, they will help employees better understand their personality style, skills, interests and values. Organizations must invest in making these methods accessible to employees. These investments are minor compared to the losses that can be caused by the departure of a qualified resource (recruitment process, deadline for completion, training, loss of knowledge, etc.). In addition, these investments will allow the organization to offer attractive opportunities that will be relevant to the needs of the employee. Employees will always favour organizations with which they have a strong fit in terms of values, mission, needs, and in which their strengths will be valued and their areas of improvement can and will be developed.
- Provide opportunities
The more your employees know about themselves and their needs, the more they will be able to find a job that matches their career aspirations and the happier and more productive they will be in their new job. Do not be afraid to offer them career opportunities, new files or new responsibilities and not necessarily a promotion to higher hierarchical levels. There are many other possibilities besides this one. If you do not do this, they will eventually look for such opportunities by themselves and will likely look for them outside the organization. Moreover, in most cases, employees who are thinking about their own career will first look for available opportunities within their own network of contacts.
- Make a choice (or more)
Once the organization will have presented the opportunities to its employees, the organization will have to support its employees, no matter their choice. It is preferable for an organization to see an employee move to another one of its departments, for example, rather than losing the individual to another organization. To achieve this, it will be important to identify the efforts the employee will have to deploy in implementing the choice made (e.g. training, going back to school, relocation, etc.), based on the elements you have learned on the individual at Step 1. Subsequently, goals will need to be set and an action plan will need to be developed with the employee concerned. The SMART approach is a proven way to set goals: goals must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based, so it will be easier for the employee to reach them.
- Take action
The employee must be the first one to initiate action. However, the organization also has a role to play at this step. For example, in the case of employee A, perhaps simply updating his resume would be enough since he keeps the same job, but in another department of the organization, whereas for employee B, going back to school would be more appropriate in order to acquire the skills and knowledge required in his new position. In the first case, the organization can offer tools that will allow the employee to write and revise his resume; in the second case, the organization could offer an adjustment of his work schedule so that he can attend classes. There are many actions that can be implemented and they can vary from one person to another depending on the stage in their career development process, their employment status and their current situation in relation to the opportunities they will favour.
Lastly, it should be noted that the employee is and will remain the captain of one’s career development process, whereas the organization is and will be the vessel that will take him to destination, for the employee to be happy, satisfied and productive.
Eric Donahue, M.Ps., Ph.D.
Senior Assessment and Evaluation Consultant, EPSI