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A RESEARCH AND CASE STUDY ANALYSIS TO JUSTIFY CAREER MANAGEMENT PLANNING FOR EMPLOYEES

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CONTENTS PAGE Executive Summary. iii Introduction.. 1 Identifying the Problems Afflicting Careers 2 Career Management Plans as Remedial Measures. 2 Background and Key Findings of Case Studies/Research Work Considered 3 Right Management Inc Report.. 3 Case Study on Nigeria Bank Employees.. 5 Case Study on Information Technology Industry.. 6 Recommendations Derived and Conclusions......... 7 References. 8

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS FIGURES PAGES

1. Employees who Know the Way to Progress are More Engaged in Company Work than those who have no Idea of Career Ascent Scope.. 4 2. More than Half of the Workforce is Motivated to Stay in a Positively Ascending Career Environment. 4 3. Correlated Model of Career Development shows Better than Satisfactory Ratings in Variables Affecting Employee Mood 5 4. The Generic And Basic Model Suggested In Applebaum Et Al. Article (2001). 6

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The paper identifies a recurrent workforce management issue in organizations and suggests (based on paraphrased research findings) how Career Management plans cater and are justified in the current, modern organization structure. Career Stagnation and Skill Erosion Careers last for over 30 years, and most lose their sheen by the first third of this tenure, owing to lack of direction, apparent misunderstanding of career goals, lacuna of self-assessment, disrespect for transitional effects of new skills being developed, etc. Skill erosion is a common side effect and a scathing issue (it affects the overall progress of the organizations), maimed by the cumulative sinker effect rendered by mass career stagnation in workforce. Thereafter mergers, acquisitions, dissolution, etc. are almost a daily affair and the change of organizational objectives may often affect the clarity of employees. Career Management Plans are the Remedial Measures to Inculcate Desired Growth The competitive edge a strong workforce offers is paramount in todays changing scenario of organization. Career Management plans enable them to foresee their new roles, in the light of such changes and help them adapt quickly. This, notwithstanding, the consistent ascent in career, up the ladder, gaining more experience, change of profiles, managerial opportunities, promotion and remuneration: such salient points in the career are effective motivators for employees and their effort transcends when put under such a roadmap which promises value and appreciation in return for performance, thereby also lending an incentive of growth for the organization, overall. Research and Case Studies Reveal Positive Impacts Eminent management theoreticians, human resource practitioners have continually voiced, opined, and postulated certain models of career development schemes and policies (whose empirical nature made them dicey and not compliant to generic implementation), and the recent trend of practical feedback-oriented research has rendered effective and actionable results. Firms like Right Management Inc and Batrus Hollweg International, have shown through individual case studies, reports and surveys etc. the positive impact career management plans have rendered upon organizations. Some of the key recommendations derived: Enriching the employees through learning and explorative assignments, Maintaining a succession plan roadmap, for every generic position thereby offering motivation to employees, Self assessment tools and personalized Career Mapping Most of the said reports undertake extensive statistical research, yielding standardized and normalized results helping us discover consistently, how the empirical theories of the past have been holding true, though on case to case basis.
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A RESEARCH AND CASE STUDY ANALYSIS TO JUSTIFY CAREER MANAGEMENT PLANNING FOR EMPLOYEES

INTRODUCTION It has come to the fore that time and again, major companies have suffered from the stagnation in the transgression and growth of its workforces ability to adapt and improve to the growth, challenges and various opportunities encumbered. This notwithstanding, a critical piece of fault has emerged within the approach undertaken by most HR practitioners and policy executioners, mostly in the mid and subprime levels of hierarchy. Over the years, consistent research and experimentation by many eminent management theoreticians and practitioners has yielded the important perspectives towards guidance methodologies for the employees, which pertains to their career trajectory and enables them realize their full potential. This paper delves deep into some recent case studies, research works, findings, recommendations, etc. by eminent practitioners and management educationists, to extract some logical and objective points that would saliently justify the importance of career management plans, career development schemes, etc. for the overall enrichment of employees. Notably, we find that such initiatives are true investments on the companys part which yield astonishing results. During the course of this we also encounter how some of the metrics that point towards the importance of strong career plan appraisals, are often ignored or remain unobserved, thanks to the idiosyncrasies of most mid and top level managers. The paper considers some case studies and some research reports, apart from articles and essay reviews by some notable authors. Overtly, the paper is encouraged by the findings of Right Management, a talent management firm; a case study on Nigerian Bank employees; and another case study on the information technology industry. Additionally we also use critical references from: a case study on Manheim, a vehicle remarketing firm, conducted by Batrus Hollweg International; and some paraphrases from Leadership: Classical, contemporary and critical approaches by Keith Grint. A key idea underlined by all these findings is how there exists a sizeable gap between the apparent need for optimizing human resource skill-set, their due appraisal using proper metrics; and the employed methods/measures by companies, HR managers, talent acquisition teams, etc.

IDENTIFYING THE PROBLEMS AFFLICTING CAREERS That the career path undertaken by an individual, is almost never idealistic has been a widely conferred statement across all industries and domains alike. Career in organizations, are distinctly marred by the lack of direction, and sometimes also by the stagnation of skills. Employees, who spend too long a time in an organizational structure or position, find is incessantly difficult to cope to change in the structure which is commonplace when mergers, acquisition happen or when a promotion comes ahead. It is therein observed that they either let go of the opportunity to excel and rise i.e. take up the promotion, or whine under the nuances pitted up with in the new structure. Sometimes, employees also improvise upon such situations, by delegating work and workplace methodologies within themselves secretly so as to resist the controlling factors of the organizational structure. This is their attempt at feeling empowered within a hierarchy where they operate as mere resources (Vallas, Finlay and Wharton). It is however true that an objective approach to leading an organization must encompass its workforce as a human resource, and deem the expenses accosted towards them as critical factors of the organizations capital investment. An organization cannot succumb to the innocent idiosyncratic reactions of a workforce, affected deeply by a mundane and stagnated work profile in its bid to be socially fair. At the same time, such stagnation does result in skill erosion. Herein, often employees find it difficult to cope to advancement in techniques and skill sets. They resist such needs of the organization by being non-compliant to these expected improvements, and thus slow the entire progressiveness of the organization at large. It is an immaculate web of sociological misgivings between humanity and capitalism. When observed through the most objective and latitudinal point of view upon this aspect, we see the tussle between human resource enrichment, their satisfaction and the global objectives of organization both of which are equally important to the long term functionality of the firm. The simplest inference that may be drawn is that when organizations invest such capital in human resource management, to avoid coups and regulate work ethics how difficult would it be to tweak the same perspective into a human resource enrichment and empowerment idea.

CAREER MANAGEMENT PLANS AS REMEDIAL MEASURES The perspectives: of leadership being contextually measureable, as noted by R. M. Stogdill; of the importance and relevance of conditions, actions, and the emotions of followers being relevant to leadership, as suggested by Chester Barnard; and the situational approach of contingent action in leadership to control and assess group behavior, a theory by Fred E. Fiedler (Grint, 1997) draws us to think that leadership is often misconstrued as action from the top

brass. We must invest valuable insight into the fact that there are factors in the lower brasses of the organization that compel and buffer the progress of an organization. Giving special attention to the enrichment of employees is a mark of good leadership, which gains their trust and therein lays the primary objective organizational intent behind crafting and designing a career management plan or career development scheme for the employees because results show that career development had a stronger linkage with job satisfaction than career commitment (Adekola, 2011). We must acknowledge that performance is the precursor for career management and development, hence for any employee development is dependent on performance and that career management is a moderating variable in this entire process (Appelbaum, Ayre, & Shapiro, 2001). It directly impacts employee involvement. For delegation of people with right skills for the right jobs, so as to meet the current and future demands of organization, as well as the gross objectives it is required that the available resources (human and material, both) be aligned in coordination with the organizations objectives. This is how we may identify with the problem, from an organizations vested point of reference i.e. valuing investment in human capital by appending its Return Of Investment in the form of employee commitment and skill. Changing environments, continuous and predictable nature of organizations being involved in mergers and acquisitions: the dynamic work environment needs the employees to be adaptable, which is rendered when they have clear ideas of their career growth and career ascent scope (Management, 2009).

BACKGROUND AND KEY FINDINGS OF CASE STUDIES/RESEARCH WORK CONSIDERED While each of the case studies and research work has deep rooted theory and tabulations to support and logically state the findings, some of the most endearing and stark facts are the only ones we concentrate on to bring ahead the objective justifications for the career management plans. Right Management Inc Report In a global survey conducted independently by Right Management, which had almost 28,000 respondents, across 10 countries and 15 major industries, it was found that most leaders and managers lack the skill and effective technical knowledge to guide their employees and subordinates through an enriching career ascent plan. The survey, which had employees from organizations whose revenue ranged between US$1 million and US$1 billion, also observed the lack of self assessment tools in most offices for the employees. Also, it observes that many of these do not take into account the relevance of Return Of Investment (ROI) metrics on the human capital investments.

The report also shows stark correlation between the employee engagement and their perception of progression towards career goals, and how detrimental are those employees to the work environment who have no roadmap or motivation towards career growth.

Figure 1 Employees who Know the Way to Progress are More Engaged in Company Work than Those who have no Idea of Career Ascent Scope

Source: Report Career Development- Increase the strength of your workforce, Right Management Inc (2009)

A roadmap, a foresight or even a general idea of the expected progress that a company can offer an employee is instrumental in their retention. We encounter that the statistics that show how motivating a favorable career climate can prove to be in shaping the intent of an employee towards continuing in the given company.

Figure 2 More than Half of the Workforce is Motivated to Stay in a Positively Ascending Career Environment

Source: Report Career Development- Increase the strength of your workforce, Right Management Inc (2009)

It is identified that managers often have little or no ability to discuss career development issues with their employees and Career development sits within a cluster of essential systems such as: Reward and recognition, Learning and development, Performance management, Recruitment and induction (Right Management, 2009). The report brings to fore the importance of career management plans in the current scenario, where a balance between employee satisfaction and organizational objectives is deemed critical.

Case Study on Nigeria Bank Employees This study on a sample space of 505 employees from The First Bank of Nigeria, yielded how Career planning, career management, job satisfaction and career commitment directly impact the career development of the sample employee base. The author has indulged in a flurry of references, paraphrases and citations of major management gurus and scholars throughout the century therein drawing attention to the fact that importance of career management planning and the relevant policy making has been undermined for a long time, in spite of continuous dictums by stalwarts of human resource planning. The study was laid upon a foundational hypothesized model of career development within the report, which is stated (in correlation with the picture shown) verbatim as:
H1: Career planning will have positive effect on achievement of career development. H2: Career management will have positive effect on achievement of career development. H3: Job satisfaction will have positive relationship with career development. H4: Career commitment will increase the level of satisfaction with career development

Figure 3 Correlated Model of Career Development shows Better than Satisfactory Ratings in Variables Affecting Employee Mood

Source: Journal Article - Bola Adekola PhD., Australian Journal of Business and Management Research, 2011

The conclusive observation that career development had a stronger linkage with job satisfaction than career commitment is derived from the analysis of the statistical findings which states The mean scores for career planning, career development, job satisfaction and career commitment were greater than five indicating a high degree of agreement from the respondents (the variables were measured on a 7 point Likert scale where 7 denoted strongly agree) (Adekola, 2011).

Case Study on Information Technology Industry This case study selects the Information Technology domain for its analysis, owing to the strong predictability of constant change associable and affecting this domain. As stated within, this industry also retains the financial strength, retentive employment attractiveness, and the overawing dependence of other industries which allow it to indulge in some long term investments like Career Management Planning for its human capital. The case study defines the career planning models theorized by Douglas T. Hall and associates in the book Career Development in Organizations (1986) and Noe in his article Is career management related to employee management and performance in Journal of Organizational Behavior (1996), thereby comparing their theories to the practical needs of 2001s market requirements as far as human resource was concerned. Based on these (and additional) hypotheses and multiple researches on certain organizations, the article makes highly objective assertions: i. . . . the conclusion of this research is that performance is the precursor for career management and development. ii. The implications of this model are that development is dependent on performance and that career management is a moderating variable.
(citations direct from Applebaum et al. article in Career Development International)

It ventures to ascertain that a valid and basic model is available for the generic framework to build upon, when any organization or its HR management considers inculcating the true and credible values of an effective Career Management plan or system in place. He suggests that For more mature organizations, the task is more complicated by the size and the variety of needs of each employee. Typically these organizations need to evaluate the `softer issues such as development moves, and career paths (Applebaum et al., 2001).
Figure 4 The generic and basic model suggested in Applebaum et al. article (2001)

RECOMMENDATIONS DERIVED AND CONCLUSIONS We identify from the aforementioned lucid paraphrasing of findings that there are key elements in an organizational environment that address to the overall progressiveness of the employees, and conversely they catalyze the performance of the organization. Career development, as a whole, resides primarily in: Rewarding and recognizing effort with promotions & delegation of responsibilities Enriching the employees through learning and explorative assignments Maintaining a succession plan roadmap, for every generic position thereby offering motivation to employees Self assessment tools and personalized Career Mapping Ensuring equal opportunities (gender based), and enabling empathetic discourse of reforms, therein ensuring retention of human capital Shaping career plans in adherence to the long term organizational objectives We must acknowledge that the career management planning, policy making and scheming must concurrently inculcate the interests of the employees and the gross objective attention towards retention of human capital to the organization, apart from the inherent attention to shaping a pool of talent which peaks at the most important times, and is motivated towards the progress and success of the organization. Steps 2, 3, and 4 (read: International, 2009), employed in creating an empowering system of employees in Manheim, a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises Inc. (a worldwide leader in vehicle remarketing services), are currently very practical and conceivable for todays organizational scenario. On a conclusive note, we do observe the perks of maintaining a career management program for the workforce. It is evident how such a scheme develops a trust between the employee and employer relation, accounts for a growth in the performance metrics, relents the scope for job dissatisfaction, ensures a firm grip on the measurability of individual performance, by extrapolating the overall company output With every organization already invested and divested in multiple domains, the scenarios of changing environments in workplace is commonplace. A career management plan ensures that employees adapt to such changes more readily, thanks to the plan they foresee, and find new roles suited for their skill set and rearrange their positions, job profiles without any major setback or delay in the transitional procedures.

REFERENCES Adekola, B. (2011). Career Planning And Career Management As Correlates For Career Development And Job Satisfaction A Case Study Of Nigerian Bank Employees. Australian Journal of Business and Management Research , 100-112. Appelbaum, S. H., Ayre, H., & Shapiro, B. T. (2001). Career Management In Information Technology: A Case Study. Career Development International , 142-158. Grint, K. (1997). Leadership: Classical, contemporary and critical approaches. Oxford Management Readers. Oxford University Press. ISBN-10: 0198781814 ISBN13: 9780198781813 International, B. H. (2009). Implementing A Career Management System And The Power Of Engagement. Retrieved September 15, 2012, from Research Institute BatrusHollweg: http://www.bhiresearchinstitute.org/ri-case-studies/Implementing-A-CareerManagement-System-And-The-Power-Of-Engagement.html Vallas, Steven P, William Finlay and Andrew S Wharton. "Blue-Collar Workers and The Hidden World of Work." Vallas, Steven P, William Finlay and Andrew S Wharton. The Sociology of Work: Structures and Inequalities. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. 103-119. Career Development - Increase the Strength of your Workforce. (2009). Melbourne: Right Management Inc.