Our engagement survey demonstrated that employees did not understand how to grow their careers and our data supported that women and minorities were having a harder time navigating their career options.
We introduced a career education series for all managers and employees. The initial two-to-three hour program provided general advice and opened conversation on the responsibilities of the company, managers and employees to grow careers. The next program was designed to provide an in-depth understanding of the typical career stages employees’ experience, ways to identify and share career interests and strengths, tips for building robust development plans, and a framework for holding more frequent and structured career development conversations. In parallel, we used a program that assessed personalities (called Insights), and a program on cultural differences to educate both managers and employees on how people with different backgrounds and perspectives may demonstrate interest in new opportunities, and verbalize their capabilities and accomplishments.
Opening up the dialogue to link how people with different styles and cultural backgrounds may demonstrate their interest in new opportunities has put participants on a more equal footing. And, setting the expectation that employees have the highest responsibility to manage their career has increased their willingness to apply for opportunities.