Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Organizational Transparency for Career Development

Organizational Transparency for Career Development

Ideally, career development is based in solid communication between employee and organization. While all career development activities should seek to connect the dots between development and performance, I want to talk a little about how very necessary communication and organizational transparency are to that end.

Providing organizational transparency around what roles are available within the organization, as well as what’s required for those specific positions, really lays the groundwork for employee-organization and employee-employee communication. By and large, people won’t understand what jobs are available or what it takes developmentally to perform a certain role in their organization. If you want to hold on to those employees and help them advance, let them study your organization.

I’ve helped some of our own clients create what we call the Career Matrix, which provides a way for organizations to share what may have previously been very tightly held information about career requirements and what it takes to be successful in a particular job or area of business. This then lets employees educate themselves about those requirements, and express interest for a role they might never before have considered, either because there wasn’t enough information available or they didn’t consider it within their reach – or some mixture of both.

At the same time, you have to let people know the scale of what’s available. If seventeen people want the job of someone who’s been with the organization for 30 years, and which may soon become obsolete, that’s not good for either the organization or those seventeen people.

Let People Talk to Each Other

The next step to organizational transparency is networking. You have to a) teach people how to network, and b) provide a space conducive to networking. This is where your intranet or social media needs to come into play. Not too long ago, traditional networking took a lot of time. Today, you can chat via an intranet, or even Skype or LinkedIn – if you can find the people you want to connect with, and if you can access them. This ties back into the necessity of transparency. If employees are to be able to chart their own career paths, they need to be able to see not only organizational structures and positions, but also each other.

You can even take going organizationally transparent one step further and use career development software that integrates with social media to manage your career development initiative, allowing employees to stream and track their activities and create opportunities within the organization in one place.

Allowing for networking and employee-employee communication is actually a big part of the Career Matrix and organizational transparency. It’s one thing to provide a Career Matrix that lays out the skill sets and competencies necessary for a person to qualify for a specific job, but it’s entirely another to provide them with the resources to access people who know about that job and can possibly help them reach it.

So what do you do after you've gone transparent? Read more in our article "3 Career Path Questions to Help Your Employees Answer."


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