• Riley Steinbach

Career Development Strategies

Developing new skills is top-of-mind for many employees, particularly the younger generations who are eager and ambitious to take the next step in their careers. 87% of Millennials claim that professional development and career growth are very important. A survey by ClearCompany had a similar finding with 76% of employees stating they are looking for career growth opportunities. Moreover, 41% of employees said they would need to leave their current employer to advance their careers. In this current war for talent, opportunities for career development are paramount for hiring and retaining the high performing employees.

In this article, we outline a few tips to support career development efforts.

career development

1) Networking

There are many benefits of networking. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics found that 85% of positions are filled through networking. Networking can be as simple as connecting with new people from the office. If employees are in a remote setting, there are many plug-ins that can help people get acquainted (if you have Slack, the Donut app is a great example). Alumni programs are also great source for networking.


2) Mentorship and coaching

Mentees receive many benefits from mentorship programs. For example, they can expand their networks to that of their mentor, receive effective feedback on their work, and have the benefits of learning from others outside of their organization. 70% of fortune 500 companies have mentorship programs implemented and one main reason employees request these mentorship programs is because of the opportunities and support they receive. The mentor and coach does not have to be the direct manager of an individual. Organizations can consider pairing employees with other managers, more senior staff, or even look to third party sources to help develop their employees.


3) Upskilling and reskilling

In this current world of work, workplaces have become more dynamic as hierarchal work structures begin to be de-constructed, and new tech is constantly being introduced. Upskilling or reskilling have become buzzwords over the last several years and for good reason: up to 70% of employees believe they lack the skills needed to do their job. Upskilling refers to learning new skills or enhancing current ones to adapt to changes within a current role, while reskilling refers to learning new skills for a new occupation. Currently, there is now a global shortage of skills connected to new technology-based jobs, and according to one study, more than 85 million jobs could go unfilled by 2030 because there aren’t enough skilled people to take them. Competition for top talent has always been high and if organizations want to stay competitive, they need to (i) hire the people with the right skills and (ii) train their employees to have the right skills.


Organizations should understand what skills are currently needed in their organizations and what skills will be become increasingly important in the future. Continuously training employees (through training courses, mentorship, coaching, and continuous feedback) will be increasingly important to stay competitive but also retain top talent. 93% of employees would stay at their job longer if the organization invested in their careers.


Conclusion

There are many strategies that employees can take to advance their careers. It will not only be important in keeping the best talent but also important in hiring talent as well. Investing in employees' career is worth the investment.