Employers Should Chart a Career Path
We are a society that thrives on action and goal setting. Growing up, children regularly field the question of what they want to be when they become adults. To supplement this question, students receive a stream of curriculum and educational training over the years designed to unearth strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes.
Stating the Path
This method of goal setting and decision-making behavior becomes even more important as students enter middle school and high school where they must declare a concentration of study. In theory, this early emphasis guides students toward a career path far earlier than the college years of prior generations. The difference being, once these Millennials and Gen Y students graduate, they carry with them years of conditioning, necessitating a growth pattern of progressions toward a larger goal.
Perceiving the Perceptions
The desire to enter the job market with an eye toward future advancement has earned Millennials a negative mark with many employers. Such a desire often manifests itself as a generational disconnect between Millennials who actively seek employers and careers with job progression and older generations who question why Millennials don’t have to “earn” their progression in the same manner of earlier generations.
Cost of Engagement
Fulfilling this need-to-know path is a critical element of engagement for many Millennial job seekers. As the issue of retention continues to grow, it becomes more important to understand how job satisfaction determines longevity in a position. Currently, this level of development is not yet a priority in many workplaces, but it remains an element constantly identified as critical in engagement. Therefore, figuring out what engagement means for your company is more important than ever.
Developing a Plan
As Millennials and Gen Y join the workforce in larger numbers, it’s time to answer the question of what a career development plan looks like in your organization. Beyond being the tools to grow a professional career, a development path offers a supplemental toolkit for personal growth. Today’s candidate-driven market also requires creating an element of balance so an employer doesn’t place themselves in a position of overpromising or creating a contract that’s impossible to uphold.
Career Development Coordination
- Ask the employee to identify personal options for growth and development within the company with an eye toward career advancement
- Identify necessary professional and career goals over the next 1-3 years and a path for accomplishing these goals
- Hold regularly scheduled meetings with an employee and manager to highlight and discuss connections between current role and future goals
- Share options with the employee such as mentoring, job shadowing and coaching
- Regularly review progress and document successes and opportunities for redirection
To avoid overburdening both the employee and the manager, establish regular check-ins to manage expectations concerning workload and capacity. Whenever possible, clearly delineate the responsibilities of the employee, the manager and the organization at large while allowing for the natural discovery of a personal growth and expansion plan.