In­ter­nal ca­reer de­vel­op­ment

Pre­pare younger staff for baby boomer ex­o­dus

Winnipeg Free Press - Section H - - FRONT PAGE - BAR­BARA BOWES

THE pop­u­lar old say­ing, “why wait till Christ­mas?” is re­ally a poke at some­one who pro­cras­ti­nates in their de­ci­sion mak­ing and/or is slow to act. While the comment might be directed to in­di­vid­u­als, the same holds true for or­ga­ni­za­tions, es­pe­cially when it comes to adapt­ing to chang­ing busi­ness trends.

For in­stance, ev­ery­one knows that baby boomer em­ploy­ees are go­ing to start leav­ing the work­force in droves, but how many or­ga­ni­za­tions are truly pre­par­ing for this event? My ex­pe­ri­ence sug­gests that many are sim­ply “wait­ing for Christ­mas!”

In ad­di­tion to pro­vid­ing lead­er­ship train­ing pro­grams, one of the best-prac­tice HR strate­gies to pre­pare for an event such as a baby boomer ex­o­dus is to ini­ti­ate an in­ter­nal ca­reer de­vel­op­ment pro­gram. Th­ese pro­grams help em­ploy­ees to un­der­stand their strengths and skills as well as devel­op­ing a strong sense of per­sonal self­es­teem. This in turn as­sists with in­ter­nal mo­bil­ity be­cause as em­ployee con­fi­dence in­creases, they are more likely to take an in­ter­est in ap­ply­ing for and/or train­ing for dif­fer­ent jobs.

An in­ter­nal ca­reer de­vel­op­ment pro­gram is also valu­able for ma­ture work­ers who are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a bit of a lull in their ca­reer as well as for those baby boomers them­selves. Af­ter all, many baby boomers might find the op­tion of part-time work meets their ca­reer goals. But no mat­ter what, when em­ploy­ees know and un­der­stand them­selves bet­ter and feel val­ued and in­vig­o­rated, ev­ery­one wins.

For in­stance, em­ploy­ees can en­vi­sion dif­fer­ent op­por­tu­ni­ties for ca­reer move­ment and/or semi-re­tire­ment while the em­ployer ben­e­fits from higher lev­els of align­ment be­tween em­ployee/em­ployer ob­jec­tives, re­sult­ing in em­ployee job sat­is­fac­tion, en­gage­ment, pro­duc­tiv­ity and ul­ti­mately, em­ployee re­ten­tion.

What should an in­ter­nal ca­reer de­vel­op­ment pro­gram look like? What top­ics and con­tent would be ben­e­fi­cial? How should it be de­liv­ered and when?

First of all, an in­ter­nal ca­reer de­vel­op­ment pro­gram should be part and par­cel of your reg­u­lar train­ing pro­grams rather than im­ple­ment­ing some­thing at the first sign of a cri­sis. At the same time, em­ploy­ers and their se­nior ex­ec­u­tives must dis­pel the old myth that many har­bour that, if you train em­ploy­ees they’ll leave. This sim­ply isn’t true. In­stead, se­nior lead­ers need to see the pro­gram as pro­vid­ing over­all value for both par­ties and be seen to sup­port it.

A best-prac­tice pro­gram be­gins with help­ing em­ploy­ees un­der­stand that ca­reer de­vel­op­ment is a part­ner­ship be­tween the em­ployee and em­ployer but that ul­ti­mately, each per­son is re­spon­si­ble for their own ca­reer. As well, the pro­gram helps par­tic­i­pants to un­der­stand how their work is re­lated to the de­vel­op­ment of their per­sonal iden­tity. Ev­ery em­ployee comes to the work­place with cer­tain ex­pec­ta­tions and bonds with the em­ployer through a so-called psy­cho­log­i­cal contract. It is th­ese ex­pec­ta­tions of work that set the tone for achiev­ing job sat­is­fac­tion and con­tin­ues to af­fect the level of em­ployee en­gage­ment.

Par­tic­i­pants then take a jour­ney through mar­ket­place trends so that they un­der­stand how global fac­tors af­fect in­dus­try sec­tors, job cre­ation and job sta­bil­ity. Em­ploy­ees who un­der­stand the big pic­ture are bet­ter able to deal with eco­nomic and job mar­ket in­sta­bil­ity and can plan their ca­reer jour­ney so that their skills are al­ways cur­rent and mar­ketable.

An im­por­tant part of any ca­reer de­vel­op­ment pro­gram is help­ing par­tic­i­pants to bet­ter un­der­stand them­selves. Em­ploy­ees need to know how per­son­al­ity and com­mu­ni­ca­tion style af­fects ca­reer choice.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.