3 Steps to Career Development

Posted by Marilyn Hoare on August 17, 2015

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step by step

When it comes to career development, many organizations and managers struggle with how to begin to help their employees. We all know it’s beneficial to the employee and to the company to have career development programs; but where do we start?

  1. Gap Analysis
    Performing a gap analysis requires some upfront legwork. There first needs to be something to compare. The most common criteria upon which to make a comparison is skills and competencies. This means that skills and competencies must be defined for both the job and the employee. If you are confident you have this well under control, you may want to go a step further and begin to include other criteria such as specific experiences, education, or work history. Then, you can compare how the employee measures up to the job requirements and identify where the gaps exist.

  2. Key Roles
    Identifying the skills and competencies for the jobs in your organization may seem like a daunting task. Therefore, the suggestion is to begin with your key roles. Key roles are not necessarily just those at the executive level, but rather any role that has a major impact on your day to day business operations. Ask yourself what would happen if this job were to become vacant? What would happen to our day to day operations? If the answer is serious, begin with these jobs.

  3. Career Development
  4. So now that you have a means of identifying gaps and you know which jobs are critical for your business, you can begin to create career development plans for your employees. To get the program off the ground, consider performing competency fit evaluations to determine which employees are most suitable for those key jobs. Then help those employees work to close the gaps you have identified. You now have a plan in place to ensure the employees who will be crucial to filling your critical roles are engaged and know you are invested in them and you also now have greater security in knowing that the jobs key to your ongoing business will not be vacant.

As you work to put career development plans in place, don’t forget to include both new hires and existing employees in your consideration. Perform the gap analysis for those just coming on board as well as for those who are more tenured. Analyze them for both their current position as well as for jobs further along their career path. This helps you better understand how well they are fulfilling their current duties and whether they are ready to take on new responsibilities.