5 Critical Success Factors of Best-Practice Career Development Initiatives

June 10, 2011
What are the critical success factors of corporate career development initiatives? Phillip Roark, CEO at Insala and career development industry expert, recommends the following 5 key success factors that will maximize the effectiveness of your career development program.

  1. Process: Creating a specific and comprehensive career development strategy for all stakeholders should be the first step in building your initiative. Employees should be given information regarding the appropriate career development activities for them to move and develop within the company both from a policy standpoint as well as from a corporate culture standpoint. Managers should be informed of the employee career development process, as well as what their specific role is within the process. Managerial responsibilities within the initiative might consist of supporting employees through coaching conversations, advising on career development plans and goals, and communicating the overall vision for a career development culture set by HR.
  2. Transparency: Offer employees the ability to study the organization and to learn about the different types of career and role options available. Make information about each role available in a single central online location, which employees can access on their own time or during the working day.
  3. Resources and Tools: Provide a comprehensive set of self-service online career tools to empower employees to direct their own development. Enable employees to examine their personality, values, skills, interests and preferences independently or with a career advisor, and learn how their lives fit into career paths they make. Offer resources for employees to build their internal brand, as well as access to internal career advisors. Employees can then leverage these resources to learn more about themselves and their career preferences, and independently discuss career path preferences and options with advisors. Online career tools provide information regarding how to successfully navigate a fulfilling career within the company.
  4. Feedback, Evaluation, and Measurement of ROI: Constructive career exploration discussions can be focused on various topics such as team dynamics, the need for career development / job enrichment, or the need for accommodation and flexibility. Outcomes can be measured and tracked from these discussions to validate the effectiveness of the career development program process. At the organizational level, measure initiative success directly against retention statistics, and conduct real-time tracking and reporting at regular stages after implementation.
  5. Varied and Targeted Strategies: Last, but not least leverage various career development strategies and activities under the umbrella of your overall career development package for employees. For example, career workshops, access to training materials for various job roles and functions, and formal mentoring programs can be used as a critical strategic initiative to complement self-directed career development activities and initiative results.

Learn more about best practice career development programs.

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