For Career Development

Your support for career development is important because:

  • Current information about the organization and future trends helps employees create more realistic career development goals
  • Focus on skill development contributes to learning opportunities
  • Opportunities for promotion and/or lateral moves contribute to the employee's career satisfaction
  • A greater sense of responsibility for managing one's own career contributes to self-confidence
  • Career planning and development clarifies the match between organizational and individual employee goals
  • It's cost-effective to use your own staff talent to provide career development opportunities within your department
  • Career development increases employee motivation and productivity
  • Attention to career development helps you attract top staff and retain valued employees
  • Supporting career development and growth of employees is mandated by the Philosophy of Human Resources Management

How to Support Career Development

  • Annually, conduct an individual development plan and career discussion with employees and require other supervisors in your department to do the same.
  • Hold supervisors in your department accountable for supporting employee development efforts.
  • Create programs and activities to provide skill development, such as job rotation, cross-training, mentoring, internships, coaching, and career strategy groups.
  • Recognize that your role includes providing support and/or release time for staff members' development beyond their current jobs.
  • Support requests for flexible work arrangements from staff members.
  • Serve as a role model by participating in career and professional development opportunities yourself.
  • See staff members' applications for other positions as a healthy sign of a dynamic workplace.
  • Support lateral moves within your organization.
  • Create job vacancy listings that allow for the most diverse applicant pool while honoring transferable skills.

Roles You Can Play

COACH: Helps employees identify strengths, weaknesses, interests, and values by maintaining open, effective communication and ongoing encouragement. You can improve your coaching by:

  • Encouraging two-way dialogue
  • Showing employees how to identify their skills, interests, and values
  • Scheduling uninterrupted career development discussions

ADVISOR: Provides organizational information, realities, and resources to employees. You can improve your advising by:

  • Helping employees develop realistic career goals based on your department's needs and their individual development plans
  • Helping employees understand the current opportunities and limitations on the campus
  • Advising employees on the feasibility of various career options

APPRAISER: Evaluates employees' performance in an open, candid way and relates this to potential opportunities. You can improve your appraisal skills by:

  • Providing frequent feedback in a way that fosters development
  • Conducting performance appraisals that define strengths, weaknesses, and career development needs
  • Relating current performance to future potential in realistic ways
  • Using an individual development plan as a tool for continual feedback and development

REFERRAL AGENT: Helps employees meet their goals through contacts with people and resources. You can improve your referral agent skills by:

  • Helping employees formulate development plans and consulting on strategies
  • Providing opportunities for experience, exposure, and visibility, such as committees and task forces)
  • Using personal resources who you know and what you know to create opportunities
  • Assisting in seeking employees' placement lateral or vertical