The Importance of Career Paths

There’s a new workforce dynamic today, in which the power differential has swung over to employees.

That’s according to Anne Fulton, author of The Career Engagement Game and founder of Fuel 50, who co-presented a Wednesday session at the HR Tech Conference titled “The Next Frontier of Uberization at Work: Career Pathing for a More Engaged Workforce.”

Thanks to that power shift between workers and organizationsdue to the current talent shortageemployers need to redesign a career experience to fit the transformed world in order to combat rising quit rates and falling engagement scores, Fulton said. Indeed, according to Randstad, 86 percent of employees leave their jobs due to a lack of career development.

And the problem only seems to get worse with younger workers, Fulton said. While two-thirds of millennials are expecting a better career-development experience than previous generations received, 70 percent of them will be working in jobs that will be “radically affected” by automation, she said, adding that McKinsey research shows 375 million workers globally could be displaced in their jobs by 2030 due to automation.

Companies therefore are looking for new ways to “future-proof” their workforces in order to retain sufficient talent to be able to meet their strategic objectives.

But workers are seeing a “significant” disconnect between what HR is offering and what they need, Fulton said.

“While 60 percent of HR leaders think they’re doing a good job giving employees a clear career path, only 36 percent of employees agree,” she said.

“So what we need to do is increasingly personalize the career proposition to meet the individual’s needs,” she said.

“We need to design careers around experiences, not positions, to increase satisfaction.”

To that end, Fulton’s firm compiled its top six best-in-class practices for organizations to deliver those experiences:

  • Invest in internal talent mobility;
  • Help employees understand why career agility is important;
  • Enable career growth on all levels of the organization, not just high-potentials;
  • Help leaders do a better job of career coaching;
  • Help leaders understand the importance of being “talent agents” for their people; and
  • Increase visibility of career paths as well as the internal talent supply for leaders.

“If you can do those six things,” she said, “you’re going to get the business outcomes you are looking for.”

Shreya Nidadavolu, a career and team growth Specialist at Indeed, then shared details of her company’s MADE Inside Indeed career-development program and its four different learning tracks.

The first is called “Manifest Your Vision,” in which employees seek to understand what’s important to them and where they envision their careers going.

Next is “Achieve Your Goals,” where workers learn the “tools, tricks and tips to really take a skills-based development approach to create dynamic action plans for themselves,”  Nidadavolu said.

The third track is called “Dare to Ask for Help,” which provides employees with networking, mentoring and coaching opportunities.

The final piece of the program is called “Evolve as You Grow,” in which “Indeedians” can seek out further experiences to continuously grow.

“It all goes back to that HR philosophy: We care about what you care about,” she said. “We want to make sure what we do has an impact. And to me, there’s nothing better than a career success story.”

Michael J. O'Brienhttp://
Michael J. O’Brien is former web editor with Human Resource Executive®.