What Is Career Development?

The aspirations of an employee have a considerable impact on the careers they decide to pursue within your organization, but there are several factors that can have an influence on their motivations, including their education, financial circumstances, and satisfaction with their current position and your company overall. By providing career development opportunities to employees, you could help them demystify the process of determining what roles a person might excel at if they were able to apply their experience, skills and interest towards them. Career development services are vital for workers of all industries and experience levels.

women presenting to coworkers

What does career development mean?

Career development is the accumulation of actions a person can take to change their occupational status, whether they are interested in a promotion, a desirable lateral move or taking on new responsibility in their current role. Seeking out specialized education for a position, taking assessment tests, and looking into the requirements for obtaining a particular job are examples of how employees work towards evolving their careers.

As an employer, you can provide career development services to your staff in a variety of situations. Career development can help you to develop young leaders and keep your employees both engaged and motivated. In addition, struggling employees can both boost their skill set in relation to their role and also regain their enthusiasm for it. It makes for a more ethical and financially efficient process than regularly turning over staff, and helps businesses bring the best out of the people they take on board.

There are several types of career development programs companies can offer to their team members, including coaching, training, workshops, and skills assessments. Career development programs aim to grow employees as individuals using a variety of learning formats and activities.

Businesses may also offer in-house forms of career development for their team, like providing knowledgeable mentors to inexperienced staff members, or creating leadership training programs for employees who have strong managerial traits.

Why is career development important?

Investing in services that will promote the well-being of an organization’s employees is not only an ethical decision but also one with long-term benefits for the employer. The company’s brand appeal can be poorly impacted by a lack of career development programs, and allowing employees to realize their true potential can open up a world of opportunity for your organization. By identifying employees’ “blind spots” – those strengths that neither the employee nor the employer realized they had – you can benefit from a happy, focused and constantly developing workforce.

Alternatively, organizations with a more robust career development program can gain a favorable reputation in the industry for their employee-focused efforts. Being well-liked as an employer can attract talented candidates to the brand and may raise consumer loyalty to the business. Workers who have the support of their managers and organization in their professional growth may also feel higher satisfaction, which can result in better productivity and increased enthusiasm in the workplace.

Black female manager supports her Asian male employee with career development

Why Is Career Development Important To Employees?

All workers should have access to resources that can guide them towards a more fulfilling career. Those who utilize career development services can define their ideal job and the steps required to reach that position. Employees who feel confident in the plans they create will also be motivated while on the job, and therefore less likely to leave their current work in favor of an opportunity with another organization. Meeting with a career counselor can alleviate the stress associated with securing the ideal position.

Some career development resources will teach employees how to improve their resilience, personal presence, and other soft skills that can help them advance within your organization. As employees increase their engagement through new opportunities and coaching, they begin to consider how else they might contribute to the organization. This can be just as important when looking to better perform an existing role as it is when seeking a new one.

Career development is the framework of career growth, where workers identify where they want to be, when they want to be there, and how they are going to get there. This process, which should be recorded in writing and regularly reviewed, helps transform an employee’s ambitions from a vague idea to a documented action plan. When companies take an active role in career growth, their employees benefit from a gentle push in the right direction should they be drifting from their plan. Career goals are fluid, and so when drifting occurs, goals and action items can be reviewed to reassess or keep them on track.

When businesses take an active interest in the occupational success of their staff, more opportunities will open for employees. Career development programs that train workers for advanced positions in the organization can give your workers a chance to take on new responsibilities and be promoted for their efforts. Career coaching sessions may even reveal potential career paths within your company that the worker did not know were viable options.

Businesses that offer programs for career development to staff members can make a significant impact on their professional lives while helping the organization maintain a favorable image. There are several services employers can provide for their team to set them up for long-term success and help them start gravitating towards a better future.

Learn how INTOO’s Career Development solutions can help you drive employee engagement.