May 292010

How many times have you read a survey indicating that career development is very important to employees? More importantly, how many times have you, as an employee, felt that having a career path is as important to your workplace well being as work hours, job description or benefits?

It is illogical then that so little time and effort is given to such an important aspect of the employee-employer relationship. There could be a myriad of reasons why, but having this type of conversation officially and regularly is also beneficial to the employer. Retention of good employees is key. Improving employee performance is important. Understanding what employees can bring and add to the table is smart.

At the very least, having the time to review the matter is motivating and informational to both parties.


1- Make your career happen. Do not let it happen to you because if you do… you might get exactly that. Ask for formal reviews and planning of your careers.

2- Come with statistics, proof and examples you can cite. Be specific with your goals, but flexible. If you do not have enough collateral to bring to a meeting ask yourself why and how you could change the situation.

3- Remember that your goals must coincide with your company/employer’s before anything moves forward. Draw this information out. Be persistent, but respectful. Be honest with yourself if you find your employer to be evasive.

4- This is a process; not a one-shot event. Develop the situation and be consistent. A bi-annual or quarterly discussion is appropriate.


1- Create a schedule to assess and plan your employees’ career. This is respectful, responsible and engages the workers with the company and organization. Do not limit the conversation to these occasions however. Why deny yourself the opportunity to be informed and up-to-date?

2- There is always something else to do. There is not a thing that is as important as your human assets. The chair and the walls would mean nothing without smart and dedicated employees.

3- Open your mind to your team and whether there are opportunities for cross-alignment internally or if one employee can assist with the development of another.

Both employee and employer need to discuss short and long-term expectations and set a measurement and feedback mechanism.

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