Career management relates to satisfaction of the promotion process in a company. The promotion process falls under the firm’s future strategic planning. To a great extent, career management involves understanding and aligning the employee’s strengths in order to help them achieve their goals and objectives. Organizations need to adopt and implement the best strategy for developing and retaining employees in their organizations through career development. To achieve this, the management engages in building the skills of employees through experience since employees do expect more than just a job, when employed as they also want a room to grow career-wise. The career management practices ensure that the ever evolving employee’s competencies and interests are matched with the opportunities, available in the organization (Ernst & Young 2010). Employees feel more contented on the job if their abilities find the right fit.
Career management has been embraced in most organizations in facilitating talent planning in an organization level. Stuart & Dawson (2009, p. 1) point out that organizations can effectively execute strategies as well meet its succession needs by identifying the number of employees in the organization with the right skills and helping them to nurture them. The employees’development should be aligned effectively with the ever popping requirements. In so doing, the best talent will be retained in the organization, when new generation of leadership candidates are created. Additionally, career management enables employees within the organization to map out their own careers. Operationally, career management is a three way partnership existing between the organization, management and employees. The employees are called upon to take responsibility of their professional development, after which it is the work of management to facilitate the process of development (Arnold 1997).
The work of the organization is to provide the necessary support required to accomplish the career development process. In facilitating the development process, the management explores the interests, skills and aspirations of employees in order to determine their values, strength, goals, objectives and passion. Later, the organization grants employees access to the organization’s position profiles, where they will be able to see the right match for their interests and skills. In case they do not have the necessary skills required for a certain position, they will work out to gain the required skills and this will increase their level of engagement in the organization, hence, being retained for a considerable longer period of time in the organization, thus, facilitating success of the firm (Allen 2005). The other practice that is crucial in promoting retaining of employees in the organization is the existence of a two-way dialogue for employees. This is entirely different from the traditional top-down conversation that existed under the performance management system.
The two-way dialogue enables employees’ strengths to be explored and aligned with the needs of the organization. The creation of the option of feedback from managers to employees and employees to managers facilitates the alignment of individual and management goals. In essence, the practices, involved in the career management program, lead to the values of the next generation employees. The employees are responsible for the creation of satisfying work environment, defining the challenges they seek to face, and for developing of the required skills. In undertaking these, the available opportunities that will be exploited are created. For the practice to be authentic to employees, the organization should embrace the three-way partnership, since failure to do so will damage the levels of employee’s engagement in the firm, especially the young generation who have greater prospects for their careers. Such an act may destroy employee’s level of commitment due to decline in their morale and commitment towards the firm. The decline in employee level of engagement and morale often results to drop in productivity and the reputation of the organization, thus, making it hard for the organization to attract and retain the talent that is necessary to run the company (Stuart & Dawson 2009, p. 1).
The competition in the market is ever increasing and firms are looking for means of fostering a competitive advantage. To achieve this, companies are in the business of retaining their valuable employees in the organization. Implementation of effective policies and practices in career management of employees helps in retaining the best workforce in the firm. This will help in cutting down the cost, time and efforts used to recruit new employees in the organization. Career management practices should aim at winning the trust and loyalty of employees, so that they may have less intents of leaving the firm in the future (Greenaus, Callahan, Godshalk 2000). A company may incur losses in case it attracts and train employees for a certain period of time and later the trained employees leave the firm in search of better job. For a considerable time, compensation used to be viewed as the only motivation to employees that will win their loyalty to the firm. But presently, career development is more important.
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The ever increasingly competitiveness in the labor market helps to define the kind of employees the organization ought to attract. Career management determines the steps organizations and their management should take in developing and retaining attracted employees for the future success and sustainability of the firm. In a nut shell, organizations that implement career management practices in supporting their employees to pursue the career goals stand a better chance of attracting, engaging and retaining productive employees. This guarantees success and sustenance of the organization in the current competitive environment. Employees in the organization need to be engaged in order to ensure that they are passionate of what they do, while committed in achieving the organizations strategic goals (Allan 2002). Once employees are committed, they will tend to be more customers focused and resist any temptation of leaving the firm and this would result in overall improved performance of the organization.
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The presence of talent in organizations is rapidly fading out and there is a dire need of retaining employees so as to meet the increasing demand in the market in future. The new entrants have a high level of skepticism and little loyalty to their employers, as they perceive work merely as a personal fulfillment means that will enable one to achieve great growth in career. For companies to cope up with the current available workforce, employers have resorted in helping employees to meet their professional development in order to avoid high level of employee turnover and also do away with mediocre performances of employees (Guthrie, Coate & Schwoerer 1998). This requires new approaches to the practices of people management that will guarantee competitive recruiting, development and retaining of employees through effective career management practices, where employees are prioritized and the organization needs are secondary.
The organizational career management practices should be tied in the overall process of human resource management and development. This serve the role of facilitating communication of employees and management given that as employees learn on how to take charge of their careers, management learns on how to support them, especially with honest career discussions and feedback (Chew & Girardi 2007). Employees are engaged in exploring and planning for the future needs of the organization, as they learn on how to take charge of their careers in preparation for future opportunities in the firm. The establishment of employee career centers offers employees with vital information on competency assessment, internal opportunities, continuous training on career management and confidential counseling, thus; fostering employee loyalty. Employees are offered with strategies and plans that impacts skills that may be required in the future through open business briefings (Huselid 1995) and due to this, employees feel appreciated and trusted by the management. The maintenance of internal jobs and talent banks in the their long range workforce planning process helps employees to make plans for closing the gap of the desired qualities for higher posts.
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The presence of a mentoring program helps to develop leaders, enhance performance as well as increase the level of employee retention in the organization. The creation of individual learning accounts enables employees to develop career wise through internships, classes and other opportunities of learning, making employees to grow. In this contemporary working environment, employees are more proactive and they anticipate both problems and opportunities as they plan for their careers (Sullivan 1999). Given that career management is an integral part of human resource planning, the career management practices ought to align the interests and skills of employees with the organization needs. This, in the long run, ensures that the workforce with skills matching the strategic objective of the business are developed, hence, enabling the organization to possess the best, competitive and knowledgeable workforce. Career management practices have been more focused on due to increased concern by employees on the quality of their life.
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The increase in employee aspirations and educational level, shortages of skilled workforce globally, the move from vertical to lateral careers choice by employees and the rise in obligation to employees by organizations have also led to the practice of career management. The employers are interested in supplying their workforce with security of a saleable skill that will make them employable with ease (Stuart & Dawson 2009). For the practice to be successful, employees and the HR department must play some roles. Employees should maximize their future employability potential and increase the chances of achieving their career goals by taking up charge of their careers. Individually, an employee needs to examine his/her personal and vocational interests, present skills, capability and hi/her personal and career goals. On the other hand, it is the role of the HR managers to ensure that the needs of an individual and that of the organization are met during career management.
Proper understanding of the career chances, training and development opportunities and the future organization’s HR needs will facilitate in the promotion of career planning among employees in the organization. Career management practices take into consideration performance, qualification, exposure, reputation, mentoring, networking, development, skills, experience, interests and goals set of an employee in respect to the needs of the firm. Money is no longer the point of attention, but rather a job should offer learning opportunities of skills that will develop one’s career (Sullivan 1999). Employees develop a new perspective of the job and the whole organization, since loyalty of employees is majorly derived, when the job fulfills the personal goals and intrinsic needs of employees.Organization plans of arriving at the congruence of interests and aspirations of highly performing employees with the current and future goals of the business require application of the best career management practices.
Career management is the responsibility of the employee and employer. An individual is called upon to occupy a sequence of positions during a course of time within one’s profession line, while undertaking some change of jobs. Talented workforce needs to be recruited and retained in the organization but due to the increasing competition in the market; it is a big challenge to retain the best talented staff. This calls for strategies that will ensure that employees are retained through effective career management practices despite the existence of outsourcing, down-sizing and off-shoring of the market. In a nut shell, practices like mentoring, enriching of jobs through redesign of work requirements, job rotation in line with employees profession lead to development of their careers. Further, Orpen (1994) points out that the provision of learning opportunities; designing of a career path for employees capable for future leadership and the development of well-designed programs that will improve employee employability, while engaging them with challenging assignments, is vital in career management.