"Where do you see yourself in five years?"
This "$10,000 question," designed to reveal a candidate's
ambitions and goals, has become standard in most job interviews.
And yet, once the hiring process is completed, how many companies
follow up with a formal program of employee career development? This
is the million-dollar question, because candidates gravitate to
In today's tight labor market, companies that help employees plan
for and achieve professional advancement will have greater success
with recruitment and retention.
In a recent survey conducted by Robert Half International, 82
percent of workers polled believe people who develop a career plan
are more successful than those who don't. But surprisingly, less
than 25 percent of those surveyed actually write down their career
Obviously, there's an opportunity here for employers to help
staff turn their good intentions into action plans. As a manager,
you can take the lead by adopting these techniques.
* Encourage planning from the beginning.
At the orientation session, discuss the importance of developing
a career plan. Reinforce your company's commitment to advancement
from within -- through training programs and other ways your firm
helps employees achieve their goals. Recommend that staff record
career goals and create a timeline for achieving them.
By working with employees to plan their careers, you develop
future leaders. They will be well-prepared and more likely to stay
with your company if they know there are established paths for
growth and resources to help them achieve their objectives.
* Hold a workshop.
If your firm has the resources, an in-house workshop on career
planning is an excellent resource for both new employees and those
who have been at the company for years. Attendees can learn about
professional development, draft their own objectives and then
brainstorm about the best ways to achieve goals.
Be sure to follow up on the most feasible suggestions that are
discussed. For example, if numerous employees say they want to
upgrade their technical skills, and someone mentions an outstanding
training program she attended, explore the possibility of bringing
the trainer on site for a series of seminars.
* Provide examples.
Publish articles on career planning, goal setting and
prioritizing in the employee newsletter. …