People are the most important resources any organization can have. Thus, it is vital for organizations to take care of their employees and give them unlimited opportunities for growth, particularly to career-conscious and performance-oriented employees. In the 21st Century, a career encompasses undergoing continuous improvement triggered by continuous learning and identity changes. It should be noted that organizations are obliged to address carer ambitions of their employees by creating numerous job opportunities and positions where their growing ambitions can be accommodated (Merchant Jr, 2010). Employees who have access to opportunities of career progression are highly likely to commit themselves to an organization. One of the challenges faced by organizations today is the lack of opportunities for career progression. The concept of career progression is important as it creates higher levels of morale, motivation, and productivity which are of benefit to organizations in the long run.
The lack of opportunities or programs to facilitate career progression is a major issue in my organization. Our firm is the Human Resources Specialist Classification for a big government organization. Currently, we are about 120 HR specialists divided into three branches, with each branch having two teams translating to a total of 6 teams. We have a director, three chief branch managers, and six team supervisors. As HR specialists, our job is very demanding, especially while attending to important HR-related problems. Despite the tight schedules and demands associated with the work, we should have the option to grow as professionals and from a personal perspective. However, we do not have any programs in place to assist in career progression and development as seen in several organizations.
As an organization, we do not have a professional development program in place. This has adversely impacted career progression in the organization. Employees showcase low levels of morale, motivation, and productivity which threaten the organization’s competitiveness. Organizations that fail to keep up with the ever-increasing levels of competition in today’s business world face the risk of closure. Career progression is not a one-time process but a continuous process whereby both employees and employers put in efforts with the aim of creating a conducive environment to achieve personal objectives, as well as those of the organization. Individuals ought to develop better and new skills towards gaining promotions and attaining higher levels in their organizations. On the other hand, organizations must be actively involved in the implementation and designing of career opportunities and development plans for their employees. Consequently, organizations can address employee turnover challenges that are commonplace in the workplace today. Most people argue that employees have the responsibility of planning their careers and working their way up in organizations. However, given the turbulence and terrific ambiguity in today’s world, employers must be responsible for providing employees with career opportunities that can help them to achieve their ambitions (Merchant Jr, 2010). This entails the creation of environments and cultures for continuous progression, support, and learning, which, in turn, serves as a way of rewarding and motivating employees.
To address the challenges faced when it comes to career progression, our organization must incorporate both the career development plan and the mentor piece program. The career development plan is a personalized action plan developed by the organization for its employees to enable them to map their careers. An effective plan must consist of a starting point that tracks an individual’s progress, a destination indicating where the individual wants to go, and a route detailing the steps to be followed to attain the set goals. The plan must also make individual employees aware of who or what resources they can use to get to their desired destinations. Such a plan would help individuals to determine where they are currently through the inclusion of questions revolving around where an employee is currently regarding their career, their view of current situation, their experiences to-date, what they enjoy most, what skills come to them naturally, what they think their strengths or assets are, their values, as well as how they feel when they think about their ideal job. Regarding where an individual wants to go, such a plan would entail questions about what their ideal job looks like, what their long and short-term goals are, what energizes them, where they want to be in the coming years, what specific challenges they want to face, and what often gets in the way of achieving their goals.
Under the mentor piece program, the organization can select a mentor per team translating to six mentors in total. It can also decide to select two mentors per team to have twelve mentors who will work directly with team supervisors to make the mentoring process mandatory for employees. The mentors could be senior HR specialists who will be allowed to mentor and mould employees from a career perspective as part of their job. The organization will have to train the mentors who will work in conjunction with the department of civilian development HQ. The civilian development HQ will play the role of emailing employees about the possible mentorship classes they have for the calendar year. Upon receiving the emails, employees will be required to request for authorization and meet the requirements for the mentorship program.
In the past, employees have been receiving emails about mentorship programs from the civilian development HQ. However, they have been deleting them because of lack of interest thereof. With a mentor piece program and mentors to work with, the situation in the organization would be different. The goals of the employees, as well as those of the organizations, would easily be realized. The realization of individual goals would set the stage for career progression. In turn, career progression would benefit the organization both internally and externally.
It is expected that various factors may constrain the implementation of the career development and mentor piece programs in the organization. One of the factors that could constrain the implementation is employee occupational preferences. An employee may not be interested in progressing in a career with which he or she is uncomfortable or unhappy. Other factors that could constrain the implementation are past learning experiences, stress, the lack of reinforcement, and the absence of self-efficacy at the individual level (Ma, Carol, Walters, & Norma, 1990).
Career progression or development is a critical issue in organizations. It is important as it creates higher levels of morale, motivation, and productivity. We believe that, as an organization, a professional or career development plan is needed to support continuous improvement and career progression. Also, the creation of a mentor system could set the stage for career progression that currently remains a challenge.
MA, S., Carol, J., Walters, R. N., & Norma, J. (1990). Factors Influencing Career Development. Journal of Health Occupations Education, 5(1), 4. Retrieved from http://stars.library.ucf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1083&context=jhoe
Merchant Jr, R. C. (2010). The role of career development in improving organizational effectiveness and employee development. Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Retrieved from http://sks.karabuk.edu.tr/kariyer/belgeler/the_role_of_career_development.pdf
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