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Read the articles How HR Can Support Better IDPs (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. and Developing Employee Career Paths (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Complete and attach the following individual development plan(IDP) based on your own career goals. After you complete your IDP, discuss the training involved and how you can assess the effectiveness of the trainings. Explain HR’s role in impacting the career development of employees. How have virtual training methods and technology impacted HR’s role in employee development?Your post must be a minimum of 300 words and include your IDP attached. Cite at least one scholarly source to support your response.
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Posted by Management Concepts on Jul 7, 2015
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How HR Can Support Better IDPs
Although Individual Development Plans (IDPs) are used throughout the Federal
government, their usefulness varies greatly based not only on how they are used in the
agency but also on the quality of the IDP itself. HR can help managers to change IDPs
from an administrative process to an opportunity to improve both individual performance
and engagement.
HR plays a critical role to evangelizing the IDP process itself and making sure
managers see the value. According to the Journal of Personnel Psychology, employees
“who develop and implement strategies to pursue career-specific goals achieve greater
career success as measured by salary, promotions, and level of responsibility.” This
individual success results from higher levels of job performance, which drives team and
organization success – and always reflects well on the individual’s manager.
When counseling managers on assisting their direct reports with IDPs, HR should
encourage managers to view the IDP as a call to action rather than just a plan. This is a
call to action for both the employee and the manager. The employee is creating a
roadmap for success in her current role and for whatever she would like to accomplish
next. The manager is committing to supporting the employee in accomplishing the tasks
in the plan from the commencement of the plan through success on the job. For
example, if training is part of an employee’s IDP, the manager must ensure the
employee has both the time to attend the training and an opportunity to practice and
demonstrate what he learned back on the job. Finally, the manager should commit to
working with the employee throughout the year to track progress and make certain that
goals are met.
Before starting the IDP process, HR can empower managers by making sure that the
competency model and proficiency levels are both clear and clearly understood. As
managers assess employees on competencies to inform plans, HR has a role to play in
keeping everyone on the IDP and not drifting into the realm of performance
assessment. The IDP is far more effective when viewed as empowering for the
employee rather than as an opportunity for the manager to address performance issues
that would be better suited as part of the performance management process. HR should
be on the look out for IDP that are set up as Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs)
and also for IDPs with unrealistic goals.
IDPs are part of the organization’s strategic plan, albeit indirectly, and contribute to
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addressing organizational needs. HR should be able to trace strategic goals to human
capital goals, of course, but HR can also support achievement of the strategic plan by
monitoring the alignment of individuals’ goals to those in the strategic and human
capital plans. For example, if achievement of a strategic goal requires data-driven
decisions and HR is aware that this will require up-skilling within the organization, HR
can identify the roles most likely to benefit from development in that area and help
managers encourage their employees to include the appropriate developmental tasks
on their plans. HR can also provide counsel on the types of development activity must
likely to be effective, such as mentoring, coaching, stretch assignments, crossfunctional team assignments, job shadowing, job rotations, and training.
Of course, the organization’s needs aren’t the only needs to be addressed by an IDP.
The IDP should also support each individual’s self-development goals. These goals
should be mapped to competencies and also measurable. IDPs present an opportunity
to identify areas for improvement as well as to develop new skills relevant in a new role.
HR can help managers to think through whether a low performing employee would
excel in a different role and how to use an IDP to prepare that employee for a more
successful role, while still addressing performance needs in his current role. In doing
so, HR can also ensure that the IDP isn’t used in place of a PIP.
HR’s role in the IDP process is both as the champion and as quality control. Their most
important role is aligning individual development with organization’s needs while
balancing the employee’s interests and abilities. Finally, HR should make sure that
members of their teams have IDPs, too.
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Developing Employee Career Paths and
Ladders
Scope—This
article discusses the types of career paths and career ladders that an employer
can use to assist employees in their career progression within the organization. Traditional
career paths and ladders are discussed, as well as nontraditional methods of career
progression developed in response to changes within society, organizations and the
workforce. This article does not address other aspects and methods of developing
employees, managers and leaders.
Overview
Career paths and career ladders are two traditional methods by which an employee can develop and progress within an organization.
Career ladders are the progression of jobs in an organization’s specific occupational fields ranked from highest to lowest based on
level of responsibility and pay. Career paths encompass varied forms of career progression, including the traditional vertical career
ladders, dual career ladders, horizontal career lattices, career progression outside the organization and encore careers.
Employees usually feel more engaged when they believe that their employer is concerned about their growth and provides avenues to
reach individual career goals while fulfilling the company’s mission. A career development path provides employees with an ongoing
mechanism to enhance their skills and knowledge that can lead to mastery of their current jobs, promotions and transfers to new or
different positions. Implementing career paths may also have a direct impact on the entire organization by improving morale, career
satisfaction, motivation, productivity, and responsiveness in meeting departmental and organizational objectives.
This article addresses the following topics related to employee career paths and ladders:
The historical development of career paths.
The business case for creating career paths and ladders.
HR’s role in the development and implementation of career paths.
Developing traditional career paths and ladders.
Common challenges with traditional career paths and ladders.
Nontraditional methods of career progression.
Career paths outside the organization.
Communications, legal concerns, metrics and global issues related to career paths and ladders.
Other methods of employee development are highlighted in this article but only as they relate to the topic of career paths and ladders.
This article does not address the related, but distinct, topics of developing an organization’s leaders and managers.
See:
Introduction to the Human Resources Discipline of Organizational and Employee Development
(www.shrm.org/ResourcesAndTools/tools-and-samples/toolkits/pages/introorganizationalandemployeedevelopment.aspx)
Developing Organizational Leaders (www.shrm.org/ResourcesAndTools/tools-andsamples/toolkits/pages/developingorganizationalleaders.aspx)
Developing Management (www.shrm.org/ResourcesAndTools/tools-and-samples/toolkits/Pages/developingmanagement.aspx)
Background
In the early part of the 20th century, career choice and career progression were dictated by tradition, socio-economic status, family and
gender. For most men, career choice—and status within those careers—was determined by what their fathers and other male family
members had done before them. For women, the career choice options were even more limited by convention and social mores.
Career progression and career ladders were almost nonexistent.
In the immediate post-WWII world, the corporate organization became the driving force in U.S. business. Both employers and
employees operated under an implied contract: Employees would be loyal, and in turn, employers would provide employment until
retirement.
In the latter part of the 20th century, however, this traditional trajectory of a person’s career at one employer became a thing of the
past. From the late 1970s onward, the U.S. economy experienced several boom-and-bust cycles, causing many organizations to
undergo massive layoffs and restructuring, and to be reticent to re-staff at pre-bust levels even when times were good. Also during this
period, the shift away from a manufacturing to a knowledge economy caused a decline in union membership, further diminishing the
once-implied contract of employee loyalty for lifetime employment. The organizational structure became much flatter, reducing or
eliminating middle management layers. To get ahead or to make more money, employees often had to look elsewhere.
Thus, a new paradigm emerged in which individuals are in charge of their ladder, where they place it, how long they leave it in place
and how high they want to go on it. Traditional career ladders still exist in the 21st century, but they operate in an environment where:
The labor force sees continuous, dramatic changes.
The way work is organized and performed continuously evolves and changes.
Traditional career paths will continue to wane.
Jobs are broken down into elements, which are then outsourced.
Employees are working alongside a nonemployee workforce that does not have career paths or logical career progressions
and may be harder to motivate.
Workers value job enrichment, flexibility and career development more than job security and stability.
Work is redesigned to accommodate increased demands for flexibility, such as telecommuting hubs, online technologies for
connecting with global colleagues and virtual worlds.
See At Work in 2020 (https://blog.shrm.org/trends/at-work-in-2020) and Career Goals for Many Executives Appear to Be Shifting.
(www.shrm.org/ResourcesAndTools/hr-topics/behavioral-competencies/leadership-and-navigation/Pages/Career-Goals-for-ManyExecutives-Appear-to-Be-Shifting.aspx)
Business Case
Many factors influence the need for an organization to embrace formal career paths and career ladders, including:
Inability to find, recruit and place the right people in the right jobs.
Employee disengagement.
Employee demands for greater workplace flexibility.
Lack of diversity at the top.
A multigenerational workforce.
Limited opportunity for advancement in flatter or smaller organizations.
Organizational culture change.
Perhaps the biggest selling point to executives for creating formal career paths and ladders is the talent crunch. According to the 2015
SHRM/Boston Consulting Group Creating People Advantage (www.shrm.org/hr-today/trends-and-forecasting/research-andsurveys/pages/creating-people-advantage.aspx) global survey report, respondents identified leadership, talent management and
strategic workforce planning as three of the top six topics most urgently in need of action by their organizations. Proactively creating
career paths and ladders to retain and develop talent can help confront these challenges.
Making employee development a priority
Although most CEOs understand the importance of employee development, most admit that they do not devote the necessary time
and resources to this activity. In a study by global staffing firm Randstad, 73 percent of employers said fostering employee
development is important, but only 49 percent of employees said leadership is adhering to this practice.
Similarly, another study revealed that 85 percent of CEOs said that talent management is as important as or more important than other
business priorities. But only two in 10 leaders surveyed said they often spend time managing talent, and only one in 10 often review
talent management with the company’s board of directors.
Most organizations could benefit by increasing efforts to establish clear strategies for how talent will be grown from within. Career
paths and ladders can be effective strategic tools for achieving positive organizational outcomes. They can be a means to ensure an
organization’s continuing growth and productivity.
Benefits to the organization
Aligning the employee’s career goals with the strategic goals of the organization not only helps the organization achieve its goals but
also helps the organization in the following ways:
Differentiate itself from labor market competitors. Research by WorldatWork shows that organizations that do not invest in training
and development of their human capital lose valuable employees to their competition. Employers can easily differentiate themselves
from competitors by investing in their employees’ career development. Even a relatively small employer investment has a positive
impact on loyalty. See Rewards Professionals Link Loyalty (Their Own) to Career Development (www.shrm.org/ResourcesAndTools/hrtopics/benefits/Pages/Rewards-Professionals-Careers.aspx) and How to Create a Learning Culture. (www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hrmagazine/Pages/0515-learning-culture.aspx)
Retain key workers. Managing employee perceptions of career development opportunities is a key to enhancing engagement and
loyalty among employees. Organizations should identify workers who are central to the execution of business strategy and then
develop or update retention plans to meet the needs and expectations of these employees. Critical workers include those who drive a
disproportionate share of key business outcomes, significantly influence an organization’s value chain or are in short supply in the labor
market. Providing identifiable career paths is an important aspect of retention plans, along with coaching and mentoring employees
with high potential and moving proven performers into new roles that fit skills developed over time. See As Economy Recovers, Career
Paths Aid Retention. (www.shrm.org/ResourcesAndTools/hr-topics/compensation/Pages/Tailor-Rewards-for-Retention.aspx)
Keep younger workers. Employees’ views of work and growth opportunities vary by generation. For example, Generation Y workers
(those born between 1980 and 1987) are the least likely to be interested in pay increases and most likely to be interested in learning
new skills. They are also more likely to value a career path than any other generation. Randstad also found that high percentages of
Generations Y and X (those born between 1965 and 1979) want pathways to personal growth. See Capturing the Wisdom of Four
Generations (www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-magazine/Pages/1114-intergenerational-knowledge-transfer.aspx)
Decrease turnover after an economic downturn. Employers in the United States are facing a “talent paradox.” Despite relatively high
national unemployment since 2008, many organizations confront shortages in areas where they most need to attract and retain
experienced workers. As the economy recovers from a downturn, employers should be concerned about losing critical and highpotential talent. A spike in voluntary turnover typically occurs after a recession. The cost of voluntary turnover can be significant, and it
includes loss of productivity, lost institutional knowledge and relationships, and added burdens on employees who must pick up the
slack.
A 2012 Deloitte survey, Talent 2020, found that when employees were asked to indicate the top factors that would cause them to look
for new employment over the next 12 months, lack of career progress topped the list, whereas lack of challenge in the job came in at
No. 5, suggesting the need for career development plans. According to these survey results, pay is significant; however, the
importance of promotion and job advancement, especially among Generation Y and Generation X workers, is underestimated by
executives. Experts say that employees who believe their employers make effective use of their talents and abilities are
overwhelmingly more committed to staying on the job.
HR’s Role
HR professionals have new and varied roles to play in developing and implementing career paths.
HR professionals no longer have a captive base of employees with control over their climb up the ladder. Additionally, HR is no longer
able to promise a position on the ladder, or a climb to the top. Recognizing that there is a new paradigm for career progression in the
21st century, HR should encourage employees to take control of their own ladders. Though an organization can provide resources and
tools to assist employees in developing their skills and abilities, the organization is no longer the sole option that employees have.
The challenge to HR is not only to continue to provide career opportunities to employees but also to provide job enhancement and job
enlargement opportunities. Training and development should be focused on preparing the employee for a lifetime of employability
versus a lifetime of company employment. See Be a Steppingstone. (www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-magazine/Pages/1108tools.aspx)
The ambition and drive to follow that path belongs to each individual, but the guidance and support needed to navigate the way comes
from managers. Managers are responsible for incorporating the organization’s definition of success into employee feedback,
evaluations and development plans. Helping managers develop career paths for their employees is another area in which HR
professionals can take the lead. HR professionals should help managers view employees not as their exclusive resources but as
organizational resources. When managers think this way, they are more apt to encourage employees to develop themselves in areas
outside their existing departments to the benefit of the entire organization. When employees move up internal career ladders through
internal promotions, HR can contribute to the process of moving an employee up the career ladder by:
Establishing fair, workable and consistently administered promotion policies and procedures. This includes establishing
policies for posting—or not posting—available positions and the content and timing of promotion announcements.
Facilitating promotions within their organizations by providing employees with career coaching, helping managers develop
clear selection criteria and cushioning the blow for those not selected for promotion.
Helping newly promoted employees make a smooth transition.
Helping nonselected candidates continue to strengthen their skills in expectation of future opportunities within the
organization. See Helping Employees Step Up. (www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-magazine/Pages/0807tyler.aspx)
Although HR professionals have many responsibilities related to designing and implementing career paths and methods for employees
to grow and advance, they must also receive guidance themselves in navigating and advancing their own careers. See Paths to the Top
(www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-magazine/pages/1111fox.aspx)
Developing Traditional Career Paths and Ladders
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