Career development is one of the top engagement and retention drivers for all generations.
The careers team of a major financial institution looked for a way to help its people take ownership of their own careers. They wanted to help them develop more fulfilling career paths – and equally important, to increase the organisation’s engagement of its employees.
The careers team felt that they needed to build self-awareness amongst employees and then help them use this insight to develop their career plans. Each year, the careers team used to organise a three day off-site to engage the rising stars in the organisation, presenting to them personal development classes and potential business areas to consider. The problem was that this event was expensive and it did not provide individuals with the insight and awareness they needed.
Structure Talent developed a programme designed to help employees develop deep insights into their own strengths and workstyle preferences. The primary objective of the programme was to help people to take direct responsibility for thinking through and acting upon how to best manage their own careers, and to make the most of the opportunities available to them.
Individuals completed a questionnaire to capture their own Team Management Profile and then spent time in an interactive “What Makes Me Tick” workshop to discover and explore their preferred workstyles, and those of their colleagues.
Based on their self-assessment, Structure Talent asked delegates to identify criteria that their careers had to meet in order for them to feel successful in the future. Each delegate received a one-on-one coaching session to help them think about what they wanted from life generally, and the kind of career that would deliver that success. They then built individual career maps that expressed a range of different options based on their strengths and workstyle.
Structure Talent facilitated a briefing meeting with the relevant line managers to help them prepare for the career conversation that they would have with their direct report. It was made clear that this was a different sort of conversation to the usual annual performance review. Their ‘new’ role as a career coach meant asking questions to learn about the employee’s strengths and workstyle; their career development plans, and how they, as managers, could facilitate these plans to come to fruition. It was also important that these career conversations addressed the development of specific goals and a plan for employee development; one that was mutually beneficial to the employee and the organisation.
Following the career conversations with their line manager, Structure Talent facilitated a follow-up session with the “What Makes Me Tick” workshop delegates. This “Pit-stop Action Check” session helped to make sure that all career conversations had taken place and that delegates had agreed action plans. In addition, it provided the institution with feedback on the support that some delegates might need to develop further. A subsequent feedback session with the line managers created a deadline that ensured all employee career conversations actually took place. This also created a learning opportunity for the careers team to hear what worked well, and to identify how it could help line managers to better direct their future career conversations with employees.