Other options are more comprehensive. Some employers create Web-based or offline libraries of?career development?materials, and offer?career?workshops and perhaps individual?career?coaches for?careerguidance. First USA Bank has its ?Opportunity Knocks? program. In addition to?career developmenttraining and follow-up support, the program includes?career development?centers at work sites that employees use on company time. The latter contain materials such as?career?assessment and planning tools.61?WorkforceVision from Criterion, Inc., supplies online systems that help the employer analyze an employee?s training needs. Clicking on the employee?s name launches his or her work history, competencies,?career?path, and other information. For each competency (such as leadership), a bar chart graphically shows a ?gap analysis? highlighting the person?s strengths and weaknesses. The firm can then organize developmental activities around the person?s needs.62
Career?Planning Workshops and?Career?Coaches
A?career?planning workshop is ?a planned learning event in which participants are expected to be actively involved, completing?career?planning exercises and inventories and participating in?career?skills practice sessions.?63?A typical workshop includes self-assessment exercises (skills, interests, values, and so on), an assessment of important occupational trends, and goal-setting and action-planning segments.
Career?coaches?generally help employees create 1- to 5-year plans showing where their careers with the firm may lead. Then, the employer and employee base the latter?s?development?plans on what he or she will need to move up.64?The coaches help individual employees identify their?development?needs and obtain the training, professional?development, and networking opportunities that they require to satisfy those needs.65
The Manager?s Role
It?s hard to overstate the impact that a supervisor can have on his or her employee?s?career development. With little or no additional effort than realistic performance reviews and candid?careeradvice, a competent supervisor can help the employee get on and stay on the right?career?track. At the other extreme, an uncaring or unsupportive supervisor may look back on years of having inhibited his or her employees??career development.
Source:??Employee?Career Development?Plan? Copyright ? 2012 by BLR-Business & Legal Resources ([no longer online]?www.HR.BLR.com). Reprinted with permission.
The manager can do several things to support his or her subordinates??career development?needs. When the subordinate first starts, make sure he or she develops the skills required to get off to a good start. Schedule regular performance appraisals; at these reviews, cover the extent to which the employee?s current skills and performance are consistent with the person?s?career?aspirations. Provide the employee with an informal?development?plan like that in?Figure?10-4. Keep subordinates informed about how they can utilize the firm?s current?career-related benefits, and encourage them to do so.66
Mentoring?means having experienced senior people advising, counseling, and guiding employees? longer-term?career development. An employee who agonizes over which?career?to pursue or how to navigate office politics may need mentoring.
Advising, counseling, and guiding.
Mentoring may be formal or informal. Informally, mid- and senior-level managers may voluntarily help less-experienced employees?for instance, by giving them?career?advice and?helping them to navigate office politics. Many employers also have formal mentoring programs. For instance, the employer may pair prot?g?s with potential mentors, and provide training to help mentor and prot?g? better understand their respective responsibilities. Either formal or informal, studies show that having a mentor give?career-related guidance and act as a sounding board can significantly enhance one?s?career?satisfaction and success.67
FIGURE?10-4?Sample Performance Review?Development?Plan
Source:??Sample Performance Review?Development?Plan? Copyright ? 2012 by BLR-Business & Legal Resources ([no longer online]?www.HR.BLR.com). Reprinted with permission.
For the supervisor, mentoring is both valuable and dangerous. It is valuable insofar as you can influence, in a positive way, the careers and lives of your less experienced subordinates and colleagues. The danger is it can backfire.?Coaching?focuses on daily tasks that you can easily re-learn, so coaching?s downside is usually limited.?Mentoring?focuses on relatively hard-to-reverse longer-term issues, and often touches on the person?s psychology (motives, and how one gets along with others, for instance). Because the supervisor is usually not a psychologist or trained?career?advisor, he or she must be extra cautious in the mentoring advice he or she gives.
Educating, instructing, and training subordinates.
The Effective Mentor
Research on what supervisors can do to be better mentors reveals few surprises. Effective mentors?set high standards, are willing to?invest the time?and effort the mentoring relationship requires, and actively?steer prot?g?s?into important projects, teams, and jobs.68?Effective mentoring requires?trust, and the level of trust reflects the mentor?s?professional competence,?consistency,?ability to communicate, and readiness to?share control.69
4 ?List and briefly explain the main decisions employers should address in reaching promotion and other employee life-cycle?career?decisions?.
However, studies suggest that traditional mentoring is less effective for women than it is for men. For example, in one survey of employees who had ?active mentoring relationships? in one recent year, 72% of the men received one or more promotions in the ensuing 2 years, compared with 65% of the women. A CEO or other senior executive mentored 78% of the men, compared with 69% of the women.70
Figures like these are prompting employers to assign women to ?mentor/sponsors? who have more organizational clout. For example, when Deutsche Bank discovered that several female managing directors had left the firm for better jobs at competitors, it began pairing them with mentor/sponsors from the bank?s executive committee. The latter were in a position to advocate the women for promotion.