Small and mid-size businesses have problems providing career planning for their employees. Career planning takes time and resources. And, without a clear sense of the business’s future, it takes a while before anyone is positioned to see the growth playing out. If you listen to the employees of large companies, those organizations do not put enough work into it. Those employees say career planning would keep them would encourage them to continue working for the company.
Lisa Quest, a contributor to Forbes, notes, “Most workers believe it is employers’ responsibility to teach career development: 74% say employers should provide professional-development training, 71% say they should identify job opportunities and career paths, and 68% say they should provide career-advancement mentoring.” Across industry sectors, businesses are relying on Human Resources software options to help with their career planning goals.
Management tradition has employed periodic personal performance assessments on individual employees. Supervisors meet one-on-one with workers to review their recent performance against established goals.
For decades, these assessments were completed with standardized templates with checkboxes and/or rating scales. But, an increasing number of corporations are dropping this system entirely.
Without clear and shared goals, there is no standard against which to score the employee’s work. Goals must be clear, measurable, and achievable. And, the clearer they are understood, the better aligned they are with the business’s purpose. Read more on how to set the smart goals in your organization!
Of course, supervisors can count production units, quality errors, and/or absenteeism and tardiness. But, realizing business goals also means identifying talent needs and high potential employees.
A well-run business has a plan for its growth and its plan to people that grow. It understands and never underestimates its talent needs. So, one logical place is to first look inside.
Employees feel entitled to and management is smart to provide job vacancies and opportunities for personal growth. A Human Capital Management (HCM) system like ClayHR's offers a convenient, user-friendly, and intuitive system that integrates goal management, performance management, retention management, smart asset management, and more.
Small and mid-sized businesses have difficulty sponsoring the time and expense of employee training and development. To the extent that they can afford to underwrite outside training, it pays respect to the employee and benefits the business.
A business of any size can do a better job of training supervisors and managers to improve their skills at performance assessment and counseling. Correctly done, such counseling builds relationships that help management do a better job at employee placement and talent management.
Managers should draw a picture of the employee future. Using a pencil and paper, they should sketch a vision of the company’s future and of the employee’s part in that picture.
The drawing is a tool where managers and employee can share that vision including the barriers to success as well as the steps required. Drawing the picture objectifies the process and eliminates the personalities. Making a sort of board game of the process engages the employee and assigns accountability.
It’s important for the employee to understand that this specific meeting is for career planning. Announcing the meeting in advance allows the manager and employees to prepare.
The employee should bring plans, goals, and expectations. The meeting is to discuss the employee’s perception of where to be in three years and how to get there. The meeting will assess value of their goals, align them with corporate goals, and remove the barriers to achievement. Using the employee’s feedback and supervisor’s plans, the parties can work out a specific plan on a calendar.
Career counseling and development assume the employee has a working relationship in trust, respect, and collaboration. So, the first step is to discuss how well the employee is meeting the current job’s responsibilities.
There are likely to be gaps of some sort or degree if both parties are being honest. Any career growth must first close those gaps. But, this is only a base from which to estimate the gaps between skill improvement and future job requirements. For example, if the worker is pursuing a college degree, that’s admirable. But, if that college major or course work does not match business needs now or in the future, it lacks value in the big picture.
The employee’s future exists on several levels. Employees should have a vision of where they see themselves in the future, but the manager has a vision, too. If their needs do not coincide, they must negotiate or re-imagine that future. The meeting must produce roadmap, a document that lists areas of development, specific goals, a timeline for meeting expectations, and a picture of the obstacles. While most recommend using a standardized template for the record, there is more value in creating a more casual form where ideas are sketched out, mind mapped, and scribbled.
Regardless of the business size, it must house talented people. Paring an employee with a functioning mentor gives the employee guidance and go-to advice. In a smaller business, this relationship can be a “buddy” system, less formally structured than a mentor-mentee relationship in the larger organization.
And, in large organizations, the mentor relationship can be reversed. That is, if mentoring is usually thought of as a senior employee advising a junior one, a better format would link mentor and mentee on a skills-needed basis. This reverse mentoring allows younger employees to mentor up sharing their skills and entrepreneurial ambitions.
According to the SHRM (2015) publication, without a policy and process on employee career development, businesses face a set of problems:
The best meetings present opportunities for the personal growth of employees and managers. They create a role for the employee that they hope will engage and retain that talent. And, they specify the employee’s future and how it affects business performance overall. It’s a necessary practice simplified with a quality HCM support program.