The assistance from managers and HR department is equally important in achieving individual career goals and meeting organizational needs. A variety of tools and activities are employed for this purpose.
Self assessment tools:
Here the employees go through a process in which they think their life, roles, interests, skills and work attitudes and preferences. They identify career goals, develop suitable action plans and point out obstacles that come in the way. What self assessment tools are quite commonly used in organizations? The first one is called the acre planning workshop. After individuals complete their self assessments they share their findings with others in career workshops. Other workshops throw light on how to prepare and follow through individual career strategies. The second tool called a career workbook, consists of a form of career guide in the question answer format outlining steps for realizing career goals. Individuals use this company specific tailor made guide to learn about their career chances. This guide generally throws light on organization’s structure career paths, qualification for job and career ladders.
Employees counseling is a process whereby employees are guided in overcoming performance problems. It is usually done through face to face meetings between the employees and the counselor or coach. Here discussions of employees’ interests, goals, current job activities and performance and career objectives take place. Counseling is generally offered by the HR department. Sometimes outside experts are also called in. If supervisors act as coaches they should be given clearly defined roles and training. This is, however a costly and time consuming process.
Information services: Employment opportunities at various levels are made known to employees through information services of various kinds. Records of employees’ skills, knowledge, experience and performance indicate the possible candidates for filling up such vacancies. For compiling and communicating career related information to employees, organizations basically use four methods:
Job posting systems: Job posting systems are used by companies to inform employees about vacancies in the organizations through notice boards, newsletters and other company publications.
Skills inventory: Skills inventories (containing employees’ work histories qualification, accomplishments, career objectives, geographical preferences, possible retirement dates etc.) are created to help organizations learn the characteristics of their work forces so that they can use the skills of their employees, whenever required. Skills inventories also reveal shortage of critical skills among employees, which is helpful in tracing training needs.
Career ladders and career paths: Career paths and ladders throw light on career progression and future job opportunities in the organization. They indicate a career plan complete with the goals, intermediate steps and time tables for realizing the goals usually career paths for fast track employees are laid down in most organizations outlining a series of career moves that these employees need to initiate in order to reach higher level positions.
Career resources: The career center is a sort of a library in the organization established to distribute career development materials such as reference books, career manuals, brochures, newsletters and learning guides and self study tapes.
Employees assessment programs: Initially a new recruit is informed about career policies and procedures of the company. Socialization efforts help the recruit learn about these things quickly. An experienced employee, acting as a coach may also help the new recruit to form a realistic view of the skills needed at various levels and develop appropriate career goals and action plans. Formal orientation programs are used to educate employees on career programs career oaths and opportunities for advancement within the company.
Several assessment programs are also used to evaluate the employees’ potential for growth and development in the organization. They include assessment center, psychological testing, promotability forecasts and successions planning.