9 out of 10 employees prioritise organisations with strong skills development programs and career advancement when seeking a new job.

An overwhelming majority—90%—of employees prioritise organisations that provide robust skills development programmes, career advancement opportunities, and pathways to new job roles or career trajectories when seeking new employment.

A well-defined career development plan is crucial for attracting top candidates. If your membership organisation can offer such a plan, you will also significantly enhance employee retention. 

What is Career Development?

Career development encompasses the ongoing management and progression of employees' careers. This involves recognising their strengths, weaknesses, and aspirations, followed by crafting tailored development plans aimed at career growth.

The intention behind this process is to nurture professional advancement within the workforce. By investing in the career development of their employees, companies can build a highly skilled and motivated team. This not only benefits the employees but also enhances the organisation overall.

Why is this crucial?

Membership organisations must prioritise employee career development due to the numerous advantages that arise from offering development opportunities and plans.

Effective Candidate Attraction

A recent Workplace survey found that 90% of employees prioritise potential employers who provide robust skills development programs, opportunities for career advancement, and pathways to transition into different roles or career trajectories. Offering a well-defined career development plan is crucial to job seekers and can significantly enhance your organisation's appeal. This can also be seamlessly integrated into your EVP as a value-add.

Reduce Your Talent-Related Costs

In essence, investing in reskilling and training existing employees is often more cost-effective than navigating the hiring process to recruit individuals with pre-existing skills. This approach is crucial because it allows companies to enhance their workforce's capabilities, ultimately leading to long-term benefits and significant cost savings.

Boost Your Talent Retention

Employee turnover is a pressing concern for numerous membership organisations, research indicates that the primary motivator for job hunting is the absence of career growth opportunities in existing roles. An overwhelming 94% of employees stated they would remain with their current employer longer if substantial investments were made in their career development.

Maintaining a strong employee retention rate is crucial. High turnover not only deters potential candidates but also proves to be both time-consuming and costly for companies.

Increasing Your Employee Engagement

When employees possess a personal development plan and frequently discuss their career growth with their manager, they are more likely to be engaged in both their daily tasks and their long-term professional development.

Supporting Career Development in Your Team and Organisation

Fortunately, as a business leader or hiring manager, you have the power to enhance your employees' career growth and elevate your organisation by implementing a variety of strategies within your company, such as these key approaches:

1. Create and Build a Learning Culture

Enhancing your employees' career development is best achieved by cultivating a learning-centric environment within your membership organisation. To accomplish this, embed learning and growth into your core values, ensuring these principles are reflected in your strategic decisions and actions.

Initiate conversations about career development and growth from the moment an employee joins your team. Maintain this dialogue throughout:

  • The onboarding process, in meetings, during one-on-one sessions, and during performance evaluations.
Promote open discussions among team members about their learnings and potential growth opportunities within their careers. By fostering a learning culture, you empower your employees to excel in their current roles and continue their professional advancement within your company.

2. Promote Training & Development

It might seem obvious that career development hinges on providing training, yet some workplaces fail to appreciate the importance of setting aside time from daily tasks for educational growth. When employees participate in training sessions that broaden their skills and knowledge, they are equipped with the tools to advance in their careers. These programmes offer the essential education needed to transform them into valuable and proficient members of your team, as they learn the specific skills and responsibilities their roles demand.

Promoting and offering training and development opportunities yields substantial benefits for both your organisation and its employees. Workers acquire new competencies that enhance their career trajectories, fostering gratitude and loyalty, which in turn reduces staff turnover. Moreover, in unforeseen circumstances such as redundancies, an employer will find it easier to reassign duties among employees who have diversified their skill sets.

3. Creating Effective Career Development Plans

Collaborating with your employees to devise a comprehensive career development plan significantly enhances their professional growth. This approach allows them to envision their future within your organisation and understand the steps required to achieve their career aspirations.

Take the time to understand each employee's career objectives and work together to formulate a tailored development plan that aligns with their goals within your department and organisation. This plan should outline the necessary skills, education, experience, and other qualifications needed to advance through various levels in your organisation.

By doing so, employees can clearly see the path and the learning they must undertake to reach their career milestones.

4. Implement Ongoing Performance Evaluation

In addition to formulating career development plans for employees, it is crucial for managers to engage in ongoing discussions with them about their performance and career advancement. These conversations should occur regularly during one-on-one meetings, where managers review performance, assess progress, and outline the subsequent steps in the career development plan. This ensures that team members clearly understand what actions they should maintain or modify to stay on their career trajectory.

Regularly revisiting and reassessing career development goals and pathways is also beneficial to ensure they remain aligned with the employee's aspirations and are achievable. Adjustments may be necessary from time to time to keep their development on course.

5. Provide Recognition, Incentives, and Accolades

Career development is a journey that often requires patience to witness significant transformations. It's crucial to inspire and support team members in their career growth by acknowledging and rewarding their diligent efforts.

Managers can express this appreciation through various avenues: regular one-on-one meetings, team gatherings, progress update emails, and other communication channels.

By spotlighting the achievements team members make toward their goals, you can motivate them to continue their professional development with renewed enthusiasm.

How Your Employees Can Help, Too

Your employees hold the key to advancing their career development and achieving their professional aspirations. To facilitate this journey, they can focus on several pivotal areas:
  1. Firstly, honing their communication, teamwork, and leadership abilities is vital. Mastery in these domains is crucial for workplace success.
  2. Secondly, prioritising networking is immensely beneficial. Building connections within the organisation and the broader industry significantly aids career progression. This not only reinforces their integration into the team but also provides valuable learning opportunities from colleagues.
  3. Lastly, creating a personal development plan alongside their professional roadmap is vital. Identifying aspects of their personal life that can bolster their professional growth is a strategic move towards achieving their career objectives.

We engage with exceptional education and training professionals regularly, some with expertise in the membership sector and others bringing invaluable experience from diverse industries. Click here to discover more about these insightful individuals.