Career Planning- An imperative aspect of HR

Career planning is now one of the most important elements of human resource management. Paradoxically, it is also among the most neglected and least developed in many companies.
The initial idea sounds convincing. Outline a path that tracks the progress of all the organization’s professionals, enabling them to be fully aware of current opportunities and future growth possibilities that can be attained within the organization.
This strategy has proved successful in retaining high potential individuals whose future appears to lie within the organization. Once employees have a clear idea of the rules of the game, they will be prepared to invest in the development that best suits their purposes with a view to moving up the career ladder.
Career planning also creates a climate of transparency and impartiality for all. A well-structured plan should strive to maintain a philosophy of fairness and equality of opportunity.

These are the elements of effective Career Planning in an Organisation:

Competency designing and Mapping:

Designing well drafted competencies for every position is important for companies. Competency matrix and mapping of all the competencies against the existing competencies gives a clear picture of all kind of behavioural and technical skills lacking in each person against the benchmarked competencies. Then rectifying all the gaps with proper training, coaching, job specifications etc is also important part of it.

Evaluating Performance:

Performance evaluation is very critical in correctly assessing the employee impartially on all the parameters .Evaluation makes it simpler on judging what set of people requires what kind of career planning. If there are weaknesses than the system allows filling all those gaps with right kind of trainings and education. Correct Feedback also provides right rewards systems and helps in apprising the employees in an appropriate manner.

Job rotations and Cross functional Movement:

Job rotation is a phrase used to refer to the planned movement of people between jobs over a period of time and for one or more of a number of different purposes. Basically there are two forms of job rotation. One is within-function rotation and the other is cross-functional rotation. Within-function rotation means rotation between jobs with the same or similar levels of responsibility and within the same operational or functional area. Cross-functional rotation means movement between jobs in different parts of the organization over a period of time. The jobs identified for cross-functional rotation are likely to be arranged in a sequence representing increasing levels of responsibility.

Employee Growth

For effective career planning an employee should be shown a path of growth within the organization. Providing training for the job and tasks that one needs to perform as well as the development process for the employee so that he/she can also fulfill their personal goals as well as organizational.
The right training is essential for the growth of the personnel in various areas and makes the way up the hierarchy to take up new roles, challenges and responsibilities. Development is a continuous process of creating a learning environment in the organization.

Mentoring and coaching

Having a mentor and/or a coach can be very helpful to your career development in your company.
The roles of mentor and coach differ in several ways. The mentor acts as your counselor, providing advice on career paths, development opportunities, and an overview of what it takes to become a leader in the company. Typically, the mentor is a senior manager, at least two levels above you in the organization. The mentor must have broader experience in the company and the ability to place you into assignments that will help with your development. A critical element in the mentoring relationship is a mutual respect between you and your mentor.
The coach is more of a tutor, observing your work and actions, providing comments on execution, and teaching skills which may be lacking. Coaches can come from many sources. A coach can be a colleague, a manager, or an employee, and doesn’t have to come from the same function or division in which you work

So, these are the areas which contributes to the effective career planning of an employee in the organization, but one needs to be very careful as one thing which works for an employee A may not work for an employee B, hence it is sometimes a very challenging task for HR Managers to design a proper career path for their employees.

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