There is a lot of frustration and sometimes limitation around career advancement, professional development, succession planning etc. The questions employees struggle with are: "How can I advance in the organization?" "What are the opportunities available to me that will help me advance or gain the experience I need?" "How do I access those opportunities?" etc.
There is a lot of frustration and sometimes limitation around career advancement, professional development, succession planning etc. The questions employees struggle with are: "How can I advance in the organization?" "What are the opportunities available to me that will help me advance or gain the experience I need?" "How do I access those opportunities?" etc. Sometimes employees feel that their careers are at the mercy of their managers who don't spend enough time or make the effort it may require to find the answers to these questions let alone take action with an employee to move the ball forward. Opportunities seem to be more happenstance than not.
Conversely, managers can wait for months and years to fill open positions due to the sometimes overly laborious process of hiring. The problem of being understaffed presents all kinds of challenges for meeting expected business results and limits any ability to really innovate when you're feeling overburdened and undersupported.
Create an "career dashboard" that allows an employee to see their path/standing in the organization in addition to organizational opportunities and needs. It's like a living personnel file that allows the employee to see their past and current state along with any and all opporutnities for both jobs within the organization as well as interim staffing needs on projects. "For example, when we drive a car, we have our automobile dashboard that tells us things: how fast we’re going, how much gas we have, how many miles we’ve driven. It also offers proactive gauges so our car doesn’t overheat. In essence, our car dashboard helps us drive and get where we want to go...:
The dashboard would have data such as your start date, days in position, some kind of calendaring feature that counts down to performance review (which may help to keep the eye on the ball when it comes to development plan activities/commitments and timeframe as those seem to get forgotten). Yes, it would link to your development plan and keep it updated. Currently there are providers who have solutions that:
- Create a personal learning plan with their manager
- Sign up for training programs that align with the learning plan
- Maintain a list of training programs taken
- Collaborate with other employees (asking questions, giving answers)
- Read pertinent information about the company and their profession
- Join groups related to expertise and interests
This dashboard needs to go way further.....
The dashboard is also linked to the company intranet containing all the open jobs and the employee can set preferences for what types or job titles appear in their feed. These are pushed to the dashboard. Complete with links to who is hiring, who to contact with questions and the expected timeframe for hiring.
The dashboard should have current feed to specific interim project staffing needs or opportunities to serve in other capcities like volunteering for a company event. Bascially, a means for a manager or employee to reach out to the larger employee community and ask for help and a way for employees to step up and do it. Instead of basing the post on primarily on the job description, required education, certifications etc - it should be put in terms of "here's what I need help with, if you're interested in learning....." Remove the self-disqualifying barriers. These should be positioned as opportunities to learn, grow and challenge - that are monitored and recognized.
Allow the managers or co-workers to crowdsource a performance review for the project work or interim work the individual is completing either in addition to their current role - or as a full time interim (as managers would be able approve the time for this if necessary) Add to this a way to factor in reward/remunration - so that an employee can be recognized for the self-selected opportunities they successfully took on over a performance period. I would even aks the employee how would you like to be recognized for this work/challenge/opportunity should it be successful for you? (We can get into what's viewable to who if this idea get legs). Managers should coach and provide feedback around the types of activities opportunities they are taking on - is there an alignment toward specific area of growth - is it just scattershot, are they thinking critically about how they engage and are they learning and growing.
Overtime you might get an "Angie's List" of recommended individuals for certain types of work - so as a manager in need I could reach out to those individuals and create more opportunity for them based on their demonstrated interests. I wouldn't try to structure this along the same lines of career pathing as it may prove to be a more organic means of self-development with broader swim lanes than a traditional career path.
The intent is to create a more self-driven career and professional growth path that serve the invidiual and the organization with more speed, effectiveness and transparency. It keeps the idea that your own your own career at the top of mind as an employee. As a manager it drives both faster resourcing but it also supports your efforts as a manager to develop your people as you can see how actively engaged in their own career they seem to be.
Primarily you impact three things: transparency, speed, and accountability.
You gain a higher degree of transparency in terms of a visible career path and opportunities for development. There is less alchemy and political prowess necesary to glean an understand of how to advance. You gain speed in terms of locating internal resources/candidates who may be interested and available for special projects or positions. And you gain a much higher degree of accountability in terms of personal ownership for development. You can't hide behind poor performance - as poor performers would have a much harder time moving from one department to another (as so often happens). This puts the control more in the hands of the individual employee – if they can see the opportunties they can choose what skills they'll need to develop in order to take advantage of it. There is more personal ownership for performance and engagement. It's no longer a dress rehearsal. It's your career and it's always showtime.
The politics of access - who can see what on the dashboard. Bad decisions here could kill the openness to such an extent as to render it pointless.
I think the only way to really get an idea around feasability would be to run a pilot for a duration with a full debrief and disclosure to the workplace community. Maybe start in the most willing segment of a larger business.