Dear Workforce How Do I Develop Career Paths

By Staff Report

Sep. 17, 2004

Dear Confused:

Having a well-thought-out and detailed retention strategy is vitally important to the success of both your organization and its employees.Retaining your best people has a quantifiable, bottom-line result. Since you already have a retention practice, you should be somewhat ahead of the game. But the specific initiatives you’ll need in order to be an efficient organization can be complicated. Here are some important steps to help you design an effective retention plan, both during times of workforce change and also when the organization is stable:

  • Any useful plan needs focus and definition. Be sure to precisely identify the career- path process for both the organization and individuals. Do not be shy: if necessary, gather any information from others that will be helpful in defining the process.
  • Be sure to take into account the strengths and weaknesses of your current retention system. Don’t reinvent all the processes if your employees find certain aspects of the current system to be effective. Learn from your mistakes and successes to help build a more effective retention practice over the long run.
  • Once you have formulated your new retention plan, gather feedback about the proposed framework from key stakeholders within your organization. Be flexible and willing to amend the framework as needed.
  • Before implementing your new plan, explicitly define the roles played by the different parts of your organization. Stress how important it is for individuals to ultimately be responsible for their own professional development, while letting managers know they play a key role in mentoring/coaching.
  • Include a self-assessment component in your plan. This allows individuals to truly understand where they will be most effective and fulfilled in the organization.
  • Provide infrastructure for education. Train both individuals and managers about their responsibilities, the resources available and the ultimate intended results.
  • Benchmark your results. Constantly monitor the effectiveness of your new retention plan in relation to the goals that have been set. If necessary, be willing to modify the plan in ways that will best benefit individuals and the organization.

SOURCE:Ron Elsdon, adviser forDBM’s Center for Executive Options, author of Affiliation in the Workplace, San Francisco, Oct. 2, 2003.

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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