Innovative Corporate Career Development initiatives

Employers’’ corporate career development initiative may also include innovative programs like those listed below:

Provide each employee with an individual budget: He or she can use this budget for learning about career options and personal development.

Offer on-site or online career centers. These include a Web based or off line library of career development materials, career workshops, workshops on related topics (such as tome management), and individual career coaches for career guidance. The employer may organize an online career center using tools like those in the chapter appendix. First USA Bank has what it calls the Opportunity knocks program. Its purpose is to help employees crystalline their career goals and achieve them within the company. In addition to career development training and follow up support, First USA bank outfitted special development facilities at its work sites that employees can use on company time. These contain materials such as career assessment and planning tools.

Encourage role reversal: Have employees temporarily work in different positions in order to develop a better appreciation of their occupational strengths and weaknesses.

Establish a corporate campus: Make career and development courses and programs available, perhaps through partnerships with local colleges or consultants.

Help organize career success teams: These are small groups of employees from the same or different departments who meet periodically to network and support one another in achieving their career goals.

Provide career coaches: For example, Allmerica Financial Corp., hired 20 career development coaches to assist its 850 person information technology staff. This coaching program was part of a broader organizational change program, to centralize information technology and create small information technology teams. The coaches help individual employees identify their development needs, and obtain the training; professional development and networking opportunities that they need to satisfy those needs.

Career coaches usually work one-on-one with individual employees to help them use career assessment tools and identify their training and development options. However, a new breed of coach is emerging. Used mostly for companies highest level managers these executive coaches provide assessment and advice that often digs quite deeply into the executive’s personality and into the person’s personal life may be influence his or her career.

Career coaches should help employees create clear one to five year plans showing where their careers with the firm may lead. Then, base developmental plans on the skills employees will need to move up.

Provide career planning workshops: A career planning workshop is a planned learning event in which participants are expected to be actively involved, completing career planning exercises and inventories and participating in career skills practice sessions. A typical workshop includes a self assessment an environment assessment, and goal setting and action planning segment.

Make computerized on and off line programs available for improving the organizational career planning process: For example, Workforce Vision from Criterion., Inc., supplies online systems that help the company analyze an employee’s training needs. Clicking on the employee’s name launches his or her work history, competencies career path, and other information. For each competency (such as leadership ad customer focus) a bar chart graphically sows gap analysis highlighting the person’s strengths and weaknesses. The firm can then organize development activities around the person’s needs. For both the employer and employee, it often makes more sense to merge the firm’s career development and training and appraisal systems together as an integrated online package, as follows.

Catch them young: Many Indian firms have made investments toward building a talent pool to suit their requirements. Spencer’s the retail chain owned by the RPG group was facing a problem similar to one faced by CVS but for different reasons. The retail sector in India was poised for growth and to be a part of the growth the firm had to recruit in large numbers. A large section of the people who could be recruited to the posts of customer service assistants and customers service supervisors came from a social background where they were not familiar with the products or the clientele that would patronize the retail stores. The challenge was to prepare them to deal with customers who were different in terms of income levels and preferences. The firm established a dedicated center Pragati to train entry level employees for retail business. As on June 2008, 13 such centers have been established across India and they provide a steady stream of floor level employees. Some of these employees have been promoted to first line managerial positions like store managers, thus the centers are creating a career path for them.

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