Are you aware of your employees’ career development needs?

As a manager, it should be one of your main priorities to fully understand your team members’ needs, aspirations, development requirements and any concerns.  You are the vital link between understanding all of this about your employees and making sure it is fulfilled or any issues are resolved.  However, new research reveals that despite the importance of understanding and appreciating development desires, a third of workers are frustrated with the lack of career management support and resources provided by their employer.

As discussed in a recent article by HR Grapevine, Kelly Global Worldwide Index conducted a study involving surveying 230,000 people worldwide to understand their career development plans and the support they receive from their employer. Worryingly, two-thirds stated they had not had a career development discussion with their employer in the last year and 42% did not even have their own clear career path.  The negative impact of this lack of support and guidance for their development will surely have a knock-on impact of their motivation for progression!  It may be eye-opening for you to understand just how important and desirable respondents classed skill development… 68% of respondents said they would choose acquiring new skills over advancing to a higher role within their organisation and 59% would prefer new skills over a higher pay.

The great emphasis employees in today’s workplace are putting on skill development is not only positive news for the learning and development industry, but also encouraging overall to hear that employees want to develop, progress and be highly engaged.  However, this research demonstrates that it is simply not being fulfilled or given enough attention; as 34% believe they do not have the opportunities available to develop or advance their career and 31% have actually considered or gone ahead with paying for their own training.

Helen Palmer, EMEA Regional Learning & Development Manager – APAC & EMEA Kelly Services, commented on the imperativeness of companies ‘engaging their employees, offering the skills, training and support they need in order to progress their careers.’  This is where the importance of what you should be doing as a manager comes in; you need to be the link in understanding your team members’ specific areas of interest and desire for development, and how this can be best fulfilled. Assign time to speak to employees and understand where they are and where they want to be in their development.  Discuss the best route for them to reach this.  Focus on keeping communication channels open and demonstrate interest and desire in supporting individual requirements.  Additionally, this is not just something which can be looked at once; make sure to revisit career development plans.  Promotion of positivity and successes will keep momentum and demonstrate genuine interest in employees’ development.

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