Leveraging Career Development to Retain Critical, Long-Tenured Employees
Leader Development: Career Development
This large chemical manufacturer was challenged in how to retain and develop their long-tenured employees. In addition to improving engagement, they also needed to find a way to help their Long Term employees manage their careers within the business so that they could retain their institutional knowledge, technical expertise, and depth of specialization. Historically, the organization’s approach to development and engagement was fractured – managed by individual business units – which led to an inconsistent employment experience and a limited career development path.
Right Management took several steps to help create a focus on career development in the organization. A key element of the solution included equipping managers with the framework, tools and resources to guide employees through effective career development conversations. This helped managers understand the skills, strengths and areas for development required by their teams in enhance cross business unit mobility. The program was designed to be:
Sustainable – Creating an internal focus on career development meant changes for both managers and employees. Managers were coached on how to separate performance management from career management which helped them overcome their fears that career development activities would lead to employees leaving or looking for other opportunities. Employees were given tools to better map and navigate their careers so they could grow in role and in function, and be better prepared when opportunities for internal mobility arose.
Action oriented and measurable – Employees were assessed to determine work style and interests, to create more effective workgroups, and helped to see the alignment between their work and organizational strategy, culture and values. Employees were also given tools to help them prepare to have focused career conversations with leaders to navigate next steps in their careers.
At the completion of the program, Managers now understand the importance of having career development conversations with their people and have the skills and tools to be successful.
Over 50% of all employees have participated in the program.
Managers are now incented to engage in career conversations – 25% of a manager’s bonus incentive is tied to employee career development.
Career planning for associates has increased and the company has common metrics to facilitate sharing talent across business lines.