Career Development

What is the value of training and development to potential employees?  On a recent survey conducted by Right Management, 40 percent of respondents said that career development ranked as number one.  To these people career development was more important than items such as work/life balance and competitive compensation.  Of this list only 8 percent felt that good rapport with one's manager was important.

Although I was not a part of this survey, I agree.  As someone who works in Training, I value career development as it's often the objective of the training I design, however as an employee I also crave my own career development as well.  Recently I was asked during an interview for an Instructional Design position what was important to me in an employer and I reflected on another recent interview experience where I learned that career development wasn't a focus of this potential employer.  The thought of working for this employer suddenly seemed less appealing regardless of what compensation was offered.  As I talked about the developmental experiences I had with my previous employer the interviewer kept commenting that they didn't offer these services or that development was something you did on your own time.

A friend of mine was recently talking about trying to get ahead within her organization.  She found it demoralizing that the only development her employer was offering for a position she was interested in pursuing was to job shadow during her off hours.  While job shadowing may be an effective means of supplementing training, it can lack the skills development and knowledge needed to perform the actual job.  In addition you run the risk of transferring improper procedures or just plain bad habits to the person doing the shadowing.  A more formal method of training is recommended.

Considering the results of the Right Management survey, I think more organizations should consider what can make new positions appealing to employees.  Considering the cost of hiring externally, employers could reduce the turn around and offer career development as an incentive to stay within an organization.  This approach may be less expensive than offering higher wages to untried new hires, who may eventually prove unworthy in the end.