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Career Development

A Discussion Paper


An Approach to Career Development

Our approach to building Career Development Systems enables organisations to identify required future skills needs and provide an environment where staff can take responsibility for their own career management and develop those needed skills as appropriate. There are a number of options for developing a Career Development System (see diagram opposite), which we can discuss in more detail.

Your Career Development System needs to support your strategic planning objectives and be integrated with your other key Human Resource initiatives. In particular, strong links to your Performance Management System will maximise the benefits of both systems to your organisation and to the targeted development of your people.

You need a continuing talent pool of confident, self reliant and appropriately skilled and motivated people to ensure effective succession into key roles.

Our approach is aimed at delivering workable succession planning for all areas of your business so that you are not at risk of vital skills 'gaps' in the future. It incorporates a number of core concepts that define the current world of work

  • On going, rapid change in your business is a constant

  • Employers cannot be expected to manage employees' careers in this environment

  • Employees must be career self reliant, proactive and informed

  • Employers can provide a framework that supports and informs employees so that they can manage their own careers within the available opportunities

  • Work is less 'job' and more occupation oriented

  • The focus is on skills and the added value that an employee can contribute

  • Career paths are increasingly non-hierarchical

  • Continuous learning is fundamental to having a career and staying employable

  • Connectedness (through people networks and to up to the minute ideas in your professional area) is critical to career success

  • Career self reliance is based on self knowledge and knowledge of what is required and available in your work environment. It needs to be reality tested.

Career Development System Options

Options for consideration in designing and implementing a career development system include

  • Executive briefing with two main objectives

    1. Elicit their definition of future skills required, style of people they want to develop and keep and where the organisation may be at risk with emerging skills gaps between what you have and achieving your strategic objectives.

    2. Explore the core concepts in current career development within organisations and the available options. Develop a shared understanding of and commitment to the preferred approach to meet organisational business needs.

  • Provide a resource centre / library that can include
      - information about the organisation and its career opportunities
      - self help career books and tapes
      - computer programs to guide employees through a career self assessment and action planning process
      - referral information to educational institutions, career counsellors etc.
      - Educational support policy, internal training available

  • Skill Human Resources staff as career consultants

  • Train managers as career coaches to assist their staff in identifying development needs and options

  • Provide a mentor system, initially target 'endangered' areas of the organisation where specific skills retention is essential to your business

  • Provide a 'safety net' of external career counsellors for employees in crisis

  • Skill employees in career management understanding and techniques (workshops, self help kits)

  • Ensure the Human Resources information system can easily gather and analyse skills development data for management reporting

How can we help you to move forward ?

We can help you to analyse your needs and plan, implement and manage a career development system that supports your business and your people. We work in close partnership with our clients to pass on our knowledge and expertise so that the career development system is ongoing and robust and will be effectively managed by your own qualified staff.


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