A recent survey from Hewitt Associates produced some eye-opening results on the importance of career development in recruiting and retaining employees.
The survey, conducted in March and April 2010, includes data from HR professionals at 193 large employers. In a result that will be surprising to most, 30 percent of survey participants said that career development is more important to their employees than pay as a reward strategy with an additional 55 percent saying it was of equal importance.
Mysteriously, this awareness of the importance of career development has not led to companies strengthening their employee growth initiatives. Of those surveyed, 72 percent said they do not have a defined workforce planning process that addresses critically needed capabilities. And only 10 percent said they were satisfied with the current career development programs at their company.
In regards to career development philosophy, 62 percent said their employees are in charge of their own development with some guidance from their manager. Further, 85 percent described employees’ perception of career development opportunities as “some” or “limited.”
The absence of career development programs offers your company an opportunity to differentiate itself as an employer. Make career development a key part of your recruiting and retention strategy. Start with the basics. Here are five things you can do to promote career development in your organization:
1. Openly and frequently communicate that your organization believes in career development
2. Highlight the different ways you are helping employees learn new skills or develop in their craft
3. Encourage employees to seek out and find career development opportunities
4. Be sure employees are trained in the basic skills that are necessary to be successful in their position
5. Require managers to discuss career development with their employees and to create a plan for each employee
Career development is especially important to Generation X and Millennial employees. A good way to encourage their career development is to set up a formal mentoring program in your organization to match a younger employee up with a more experienced employee.
Clearly the data from the survey shows that career development needs to be an integral part of your talent management strategy. If you have questions about recruiting and retaining employees or career development plans, please contact a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.