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(出處:Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH) - Build Your People and They’ll Build Your Organization)




Build Your People and They’ll Build Your Organization

Annamarie Lang

A business organization is a lot like a human body—in order to perform at a high level, it has to have muscle.

Muscle to drive the business plan. Muscle to compete. Muscle to create and innovate. Muscle to face adversity and succeed.

Where do we find that muscle? It’s pretty obvious that in the anatomy of most organizations, people are the muscle of the operation. And to keep them strong, each employee needs a robust career development plan to build their capabilities.

In so many ways, career development is to organizations what strength training is to the human body. It is one of the key ways to keep people engaged. It drives people to go above and beyond, to find solutions and improve productivity. It is a key element of an employer’s brand, communicating to the broader marketplace that this is an organization worthy of top talent.

Even though the advantages of an effective career development strategy are so clearly evident, the unfortunate truth is that very few organizations do it well. One of the principle consequences of being bad at career development is that it will, over time, prompt some of your best people to leave. In fact, lack of career opportunities is the No. 1 reason employees say they leave an organization.(1)

Career-focused social media and websites that promote career opportunities are everywhere. Your employees are likely getting pinged several times a day from sites such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor, along with numerous online job boards, all trumpeting new and exciting career opportunities. In fact, a recent survey by Indeed revealed that 50% of workers are now almost constantly looking for new jobs.(2)  They are more mobile than ever before, with the average American likely to hold more than 10 different jobs at different organizations in their working lifetime.

The combination of these factors—the siren call of outside career opportunities and a more fearlessly mobile workforce—can wreak havoc on workforce planning.

Career development is a proven solution for these potentially destructive trends. Unfortunately, most career development offerings do not come close to meeting the needs and expectations of the average employee.

The vast majority of existing initiatives are little more than lip service, augmented by a few job postings on a bulletin board and perfunctory training seminars. These organizations are only going through the motions of career development, without clearly settings the goals and expectations of both the organization and the individual—they haven’t articulated a definitive career development viewpoint.

Let’s do a quick self-check on whether your organization has a handle on goals and expectations. Ask yourself these key questions:

  • What is it that your organization hopes to achieve going forward?It may be difficult to fathom, but many organizations operate without having a clear idea of where their business is going in the future. If you aren’t looking ahead, it’s impossible to plan ahead.
  • What do you need your people to be able to do well in the future?This is heavily predicated on the first question, of course. But with changing goals comes the need for everchanging skillsets and competencies.
  • How do your people feel about their careers? And do they see themselves ‘fitting in’ to the organization’s future plans? If you cannot answer these two questions, then you’re likely going to see top talent flee your organization.

If you’re like the vast majority of organizations, your answers to these questions will have revealed shortcomings in career development planning. But where to start designing a solution? It will be helpful to focus on finding agreement with three distinct constituencies.

The Organization
It is impossible to move forward with a coherent organizational career development point of view if you do not know your people, who is doing what in your organization, what skills are needed and what gaps must be filled. Who is enrolled in the high-potential programs, how are individuals selected, what other streams of career development exist, and how is that information shared within the organization?

The organization needs to map its talent to identify individual needs, expectations and aspirations. This is a process that will allow the organization to identify the talent needed to take the organization to the next level.

The Leaders
To build a truly effective career development program, leaders must be engaged in a constant process of
discovery. They must have a clear sense of who is doing what within their authority, and whether or not they have the people to achieve their organization’s business goals. And when there is a talent deficiency—either in skills or in career development opportunities—they must be able to respond quickly to fill those gaps.

Leaders will be the first point of attack for collecting and analyzing information about your workforce, and the principal lever for deploying and managing career development solutions. Most importantly, leaders will be chiefly responsible for listening to their employees and then helping them achieve their career development goals.

The Individual
The individual has important obligations in the career development equation. Individuals cannot simply sit back and wait for the organization to plot a career path for them; they must take control of their careers and show the initiative to ask for those opportunities for advancement or enrichment, even if they don’t currently exist.

There may be some critics that dispute the value of career development. There are organizations, even successful ones, that eschew any kind of progressive career development point of view. These organizations endure high turnover and low engagement scores and somehow find a way to succeed.

Over the long-term, however, these organizations will eventually lose out in the war for talent to those that bring in good people and give them the opportunities they need to develop, progress and pursue a rewarding career.

Business success typically accrues to the organizations that have developed the muscle to compete, adapt and overcome unforeseen challenges. Your people are the muscle of your organization. You need to do everything you can to keep those muscles strong.

(1). Elejadle-Ruiz, Alexia, “Career development is top priority for employers seeking to retain talent.” Chicago Tribune. Tribune Publishing, 29 Mar. 2016. Web. 25 May 2016.

(2). “Over 50% of US Workers Are Thinking About a New Job for the New Year.” Web blog post. Indeed Blog. Indeed, 14 Jan. 2016. Web. 25 May 2016.

About Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH)
Lee Hecht Harrison helps companies simplify the complexity associated with transforming their leadership and workforce so they can accelerate results, with less risk. We do this by helping their employees navigate change, become better leaders, develop better careers, and transition into new jobs. As the world’s leading integrated Talent Development and Transition company, we have the local expertise, global infrastructure, and industry leading technology required to simplify the complexity associated with executing critical talent and workforce initiatives, reducing brand and operational risk. Teams in more than 60 countries around the world leverage our proven programs and global experience to deliver tailored solutions to clients that align talent with the needs of their business.

About the author
As Senior Vice President, Employee Engagement Practice Leader for Lee Hecht Harrison, Annamarie Lang works with clients to understand and take action on building and sustaining employee engagement to help organizations achieve business results. Prior to LHH, Annamarie spent about 10 years at Development Dimensions International working in assessment and leadership development.
























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