Tips For Effective Career Development Plans Within Companies
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Career Development

Career development describes many training experiences, work assignments and mentoring relationships that help employees improve in their jobs. Companies need to dedicate resources to career development in order to retain its valuable people and fill job vacancies caused by retirements, defections or growth. As it can create a strong “bench” of people who may lead the company in future, it also attracts potential recruits. Career development can be also seen as “internal hiring”.

Some tips for career development are:

  • Provide a career ladder for every person you wish to retain.
  • Identify gaps between the skills & experiences that are needed and employees now have.
  • Don’t let people get stuck on career plateaus.
  • Make sure that everyone, who needs, has a suitable mentor.

Career Ladders

Career ladders describe logical series of progression of a dedicated employee to a more challenging position with more responsibilities and higher payment.

Some firms analyze their employees’ current skills & experiences, compare them with the skills & experiences needed at the next step of the ladder so that the gap can be filled with a combination of formal training, enriching assignments and correct mentoring. Surely, the employee should be challenged by practicable responsibilities, feel that she or he is learning, but there should be no feeling of career stuck, which may end up in defection.

You need to ask yourself some questions to recognize the career ladders that are open to your employees, to find out if your employees are aware of them and taking advantage of them, to identify the skills & experiences that are needed to climb the ladder, to find a solution for those who are feeling career stuck if there is any.

It is one of your duties to make sure that people you value are on progression on career ladders. This progression is good for the people you value and it is also good for you as keeping qualified workers will help you to climb your career ladder.


Most successful people point to someone, a relative or a boss, who helped them to make most of the life lessons and guided their professional development.

Effective mentors possess three important characteristics that are setting high standards, making themselves available to their charges and organizing developmental experiences. Mentors with these characteristics play an essential role in career development and in retention.

Other positive impact of good mentors is to create a strong bond with the employee and the firm, where the strength comes from the effectiveness of the mentor and the intensity of the mentoring relationship. In addition to the three characteristics above, you should seek mentor candidates who:

  • Can empathize with an employee facing special challenges (a female mentor for a female employee in a largely male organization),
  • Have a nurturing attitude,
  • Exemplify the best of the company’s culture,
  • Have very strong links to the organization.

Consider developing a mentoring program if your company does not effectively use mentors in developing employee careers. To do this, you should start identifying the people who would benefit most from mentoring program and by working with your HR, decide who would be an effective mentor.

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