What are your organization’s key occupations and industries? In these core occupations, can employees contribute to the development of knowledge and skills? Which professions and competencies are most important for your organization’s growth? What are the priorities of the job?
During interview, candidates are often being asked “Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?” “What are you going to do to achieve your target?”. The answers are more or less the same.
Instead of asking potential candidates. Employers may need to ask current employees where they see themselves and how the employer can help them achieve their goals. Afterall, continuous improvement is inevitable in this business world.
What is Career mapping?
Career mapping outlines where the employee is today, where they want to be, and what steps will be needed to get from here to there shows employees how they can advance in any given organization. In fact, very often many employees simply don’t know what they want in their career path or even what they want to achieve. Therefore, this offers clear criteria for advancement, which can increase their job satisfaction and ultimately their productivity. Apart from helping to develop employees, it is also a way for companies to develop internally the skills needed to achieve future business goals and, along the way, it benefits the company in other ways as well.
In this ever-changing business world and talent war on the line. Fostering a culture of support for professional development will be a key difference. Nowadays both value and expectations are changing for employees. They are looking for organizations that are willing to invest in their growth.
Who needs a career map?
Employees who grow within the company are more likely to stay with the company. If they don’t see the investment outcome with you in the future, they are very likely to seek for another company. As mentioned talent war is on the line, it can be devastating if attrition appears.
Great leader will have to step in, the challenge for the leader is to identify what team members want and help them to find a way in the organization to get to the position that they want. Some employees may even have their own career map affirmation. Therefore leader will always have to keep track on the employees (especially those top performers that the company can’t lose), and make sure career plan should be in line with the strategy to prevent them to switch to another company.
Communication is always the key
Communication is always 2-way. Instead of asking employees to do different tasks, employers also need to listen to what employees want to achieve in their career path, understand their path to progression and where they are going to see themselves with the company in three to five years. If the vast majority of the responses are not positive, then the career path and clear promotion opportunities are likely to be more clearly communicated.
The three main points that career maps need to find out are:
- The current situation of the employees.
- The employees’ goals at their own timeline e.g. 6 months, 1 year, 3 years etc.
- The skills, experience and training for them to get there.
In order to identify what training, coaching or mentoring the employee will need to make it to the next level. There are two major things that needed to be mapped out. First, employee profile, it shows the skills, education, experience and talent they currently possess. Second, job profile, it determines what skills, education, experience which are needed to achieve their goal.
How to put employees on career map?
Companies can develop career maps for different categories of staff, not limited to individuals. For instance, companies can put entry-level staff and management team into two separate pools. Different pools should have access to tailor-made training and development chances so as to reach their goals. It is confident that personalized maps can boost the loyalty and devotion of employees.
Who helps make career map?
Management team can be responsible for identifying talents that employees have and skills they need to acquire to progress. It is imperative to provide not only career training and tools, but also have career conversations with their crew regularly. Training department should assist by providing learning resources and planning support.
Making a plan is hard. Tracking the progress is even harder. Therefore, companies should quantify when and what steps need to be taken. Postponements will appear sometime down the road for employees such as personal and professional issues. Therefore, management team should follow up regularly to ensure their teams are back on track as soon as possible. Survey tools can be utilized regularly to get employees’ feedback and continuously keep track of employees’ physical and mental health.
Final thoughts for employers
Career maps nurture individuals’ dedication, as well as cater companies’ desires. In many cases, cross-training helps broadening the choices of employees to contemplate in different departments and roles.
Helping employees to recognize their career ambitions and develop with organizations are the fundamental to retain them and keep them involved. However, companies should accept that career maps may ultimately lead an employee to jump ship. Does it mean that making career maps has no value? No need to worry that if companies will lose their top achievers. If employers invest in them and their future, they will be more likely to contribute more.
Successful career mapping is hard to achieve. However, the payoff is cheerier, more controllable and easier-to-retain staff. This will be a win-win situation for both employers and employees.