We’ve all heard it before – career development and growth opportunities are vital for employee engagement and retention. However, despite employees reporting an increased desire for growth and development, many employers across the globe still aren’t offering enough in the way of learning opportunities.
HR leaders must address the gap between the supply and demand of career development opportunities to prevent and reduce unnecessary attrition. As organizations prepare to transform their talent development strategies to resolve this, there is often debate on who is ultimately responsible for employee development – is it the employee, the manager, or the organization?
The Challenge of Ownership
The ownership around career development is a varying spectrum. At one end of the spectrum, managers and leaders are the controllers of an employee’s career, and at the other end, organizations give full responsibility to the employee. However, this often comes with a caveat. Some organizations say they enable employees to control their own careers, but in reality, they don’t provide enough support or encouragement for growth and mobility within the organization.
If you want employees to own their careers, you must give them access and visibility to personalized recommendations and opportunities that will enable them to grow and advance their skills.
Career Development Should be a Three-Way Partnership
The truth is, ownership and responsibility for talent cultivation and development do not sit with one stakeholder. It must be a three-way partnership between employees, leaders, and the organization. The want and desire to develop needs to come from the employee; they must want to learn and grow. However, managers also have a responsibility to facilitate and enable their growth. Without the encouragement and support of their manager, employees can feel disengaged and unmotivated, putting them at risk of leaving.
Furthermore, for employee development to occur, organizations must provide the proper training, resources, and programs to enable employees to learn new skills, try different roles, and offer opportunities to progress their careers. Seeing development as a three-way partnership between the employee, manager, and organization has proven to be a powerful and effective strategy.
Nick Holmes, VP of Employee Experience at Fishawack Health, helped the organization get a fast start to impacting business goals by building impactful learning and development initiatives, which focused on that three-way partnership as a critical element for success. He saw the opportunity to transform the talent development strategy by implementing a talent marketplace that smart-matches people to potential roles and other career development opportunities within the organization.
This platform put employees back in control of their careers and helped equip managers, HR, and business leaders with the tools to support employee growth and development. As a result, Fishawack Health has seen increased employee engagement and retention rates and a healthy increase in internal mobility.
When employee development becomes a shared responsibility between all three parties – employees, leaders, and the organization, it’s a win-win for everyone. Employees are empowered to grow and expand their skill sets, leaders can cultivate high-performing teams, and the organization succeeds.