Many organizations say that their people are their priority – but whether they walk the walk is another question entirely. So, does career path planning really matter? The answer is a resounding “yes!” If you’ve ever worked anywhere that you felt truly valued, you know how much mentoring and recognition have to do with our internal drive and commitment to succeed — and, also, to create a culture of growth that provides a safe space for employees to learn and advance their skills. Career path planning matters a lot – possibly more than hours or compensation. Here’s why career path planning should be a focus for your organization — and an investment in your most precious resource: your people.
Creating a culture of growth and excitement at your organization means taking the time to understand the individual goals of the people that comprise it. Here are just a few of the top reasons why career path planning can help you find and keep the people who will make you successful.
We’re all about nurturing great leaders from within, and advocate for this commitment to be part of your corporate strategy. Interestingly, while salary and benefits matter to potential employees, many, including millennials, rank the potential for personal growth, meaning and work-life balance in their roles as more important than compensation. They’re also willing to walk if they don’t get the leadership training and development that they need; 71% of millennials who are considering leaving their organization within two years cite their dissatisfaction with how their leadership skills are being developed as a reason. This is a motivated audience – with the majority of millennials aspiring to leadership positions within the next five years and desiring training to get there. As the largest percentage of the workforce, this should get our attention! However it’s not just millennials who note the need for deepening our leadership benches – 89% of executives rate the need to strengthen and improve organizational leadership as a priority.
There’s nothing more short-sighted than letting a great future-leader leave your organization over a short-term challenge. Just months ago, many workplaces were resistant to allowing flex working, job-sharing and even off-site or virtual working. All it took was the unprecedented challenge of a global pandemic to show that being resourceful and creative can allow us to retain the people that make our organization great, even in less-than-ideal circumstances.
Career path planning allows you to learn more about what drives and motivates your teams, where they excel, and where they have opportunities to continue to learn and grow. This knowledge is invaluable as you can provide targeted training and solutions like virtual learning opportunities that are available for them to use at their own pace, and to complete in their time at home or during set times as part of their roles. The average employee has only 1% of their work week to devote to professional development, so by incorporating it into your career path planning, you’re eliminating the need for the talented people you’ve invested in to leave your organization in order to gain the skills and knowledge they want to advance their careers.
Employing eLearning as part of your career path planning means you are putting the learner themselves in the driver’s seat, handing them the keys to their career and letting their intrinsic motivation take over. Instead of sitting in one-size-fits-all training or waiting for a management class to open up that fits their workday schedule, they can spend their downtime or time off working toward personal goals and skills that you’ve identified during your career path planning conversations.
It’s great to be able to learn on the job, but training is a critical piece of your organization’s performance optimization strategy. By focusing on career planning and growth versus on specific roles, you’re helping encourage your employees to advance their skills and master more complex knowledge and material that they can use as they grow within your organization. This isn’t just optimizing their performance at their current level, but ensuring you’re filling your leadership pipeline with purposeful leaders who see a future at your organization.
By including simulation and virtual training as part of your career path planning, you can ensure our teams have access to pertinent simulation and virtual training that can improve health and safety at work, lower risk and incidences, and provide directly applicable re-training and support in the event of an incident.
With performance evaluation tools like 360-degree evaluations, you can harness the power of a comprehensive platform, giving you access anywhere and anytime, increasing efficiency, yielding actionable insights and reports, and providing seamless implementation. By creating automated systems and processes, you can spend time getting to know your people on a human level, and maybe work on your own career path planning, too.