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Career Guidance
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PracUp Team

For any organisation, big or small, initially it is of utmost importance to analyse its goals.  And then, review its growth, tap on career counselling, and plan accordingly. In this whole process, the most valuable asset of the business: the employees remain unchecked. And the staff are a vital part of the organization. In simple terms, if the employees are satisfied, the organization will prosper. That is where developing a career guidance framework comes in.

Moving further ahead, the million-dollar question remains - how to retain and increase employee engagement? 

Well, you can find countless answers on the internet, in books, articles, and even in research papers. There is no right or wrong solution to it. Among the sea of tools and techniques, there is one thing that will surely help your organization.  And that tool in particular is, crafting career counselling sessions for your employees. Businesses craft plans and frameworks are used to grow and achieve their targets. Likewise, a functional organizational structure needs to have a career guidance plan in place for their employees.

 

What is Career Counselling?

Career counselling is basically related to an employee's journey at their workplace. It takes into account all the steps an employee considers important to enhance their career.  From the employee’s perspective, it is a way of moving forward, be it in terms of title, skills or salary. However, it is usually a mix of a few factors, relevant to individual employees. 

That is, it aids the long-term goals of the employees. And subsequently, there are careers that have crystal-clear progressions. 

 

Why is Career Counselling Important?

If you want to win your game as an organization, you need to think about your employees first. This entails aligning the organization goals with the goals of your employees. No employee wants to work in a stagnant designation with no skill development or growth. Especially, to survive in this competitive world, it is important for both the organization and its employees to keep growing. Therefore, having  career counselling which will help your employees look into what scope lies in the future is important.

Additionally, we can observe that organizations which have strived and succeeded always always value their employees. This can be understood by what successors of such organizations say about the staff.

“Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.” - Anne M. Mulcahy, former CEO of Xerox

 

When is the right time to build a career guidance plan for your organization?

It's never early or too late for any organization to start working on career counselling plans for its employees. Moreover, it is the best investment an organization can do for its employee development. Building a supportive career path initially may require a lot of investment in terms of resources and time. But, this investment will never go in vain. The reason being, when an organization invests in the betterment of its employees the employees feel valued. Particularly, employees see investment in their career opportunities as a value addition. So, if you are reading this, surely you might have some thoughts on this framework. It's the right time for your organization to work towards a career counselling plan for your employees.

 

Benefits of Career Counselling:

A career counselling plan benefits the employees and simultaneously benefits the organisational framework. Some of the benefits are,

  • It helps employees look into their needs and goals. With a career pathway plan in place, an employee can analyse this without leaving the organisation. Employees will be able to picturize their future at the company.
  • Employees feel valued when they see their organization trying to contribute to their career development. This can be achieved effectively by trying to align the organizational framework and goals as well as the employee’s goals.
  • An element of trust is created as employees can envision what opportunities their job withholds. This promotes employee value and leads them in being proactive and contributing more effectively.
  • Organizations should inculcate career guidance plans for employees. As this directly affects productivity in a positive way. Also, this in return facilitates improved communication of ideas. The relationship between employees and the organization which plays an integral part grows substantially. 
  • An organization with a career guidance framework in place experiences an increased retention rate. Various studies and research have shown that employees tend to stay where they see a commitment from organizations.

 

How to Craft a Career Counselling Framework

Creating a career counselling plan might sound like a very intimidating task. Especially, if you are building it from scratch although it isn’t that difficult.  Establish a plan that is agreed upon by your organizations C-Suite and managers. 

When establishing a career development plan for an organization, it requires an in-depth analysis of various aspects. 

Such as,

  • Hierarchies in a functional organizational structure
  • Career growth opportunities
  • Organization goals
  • Employee goals 

These are different ways to foster growth and development which are common to any organization. There is no rigid list which exists for creating a career counselling plan. We know, no organization or business is the same, as each comes with its own vision, mission and objectives. For this very reason, the vectors for establishing a career progression framework  differ.

 

How to Build a Progressive Career Framework

  • Overview of the Hierarchies

The first and foremost task is to have an overview of the hierarchies in your organization. This involves having a clear understanding of what all jobs are there and how many positions each job entails. This overview also clarifies the scope of creating new jobs.

 

  1. Understanding the Employees

The next step is to have a check on the number of employees and what goals they have. Arrange meetings with various departments to identify employees that are ready for career counselling. These are the employees who are looking for career guidance. Encourage employees to think about their career development plans. Every employee regardless of their designation has to take up this initiative. This step holds importance for everyone. Some might just need plans to improve their performance for their existing roles. While some might not be ready for career opportunities.

 

Few questions that you can ask your employees regarding their career growth goals could be about

  • Career development goals they have in mind

  • Long term goals- in the span of three years or five years

  • Short term goals- if they have set any for themselves

  • Their dream role and description of what that job might look like

 

  1. Progress to Transform

Once you have all the information, the major step comes into picture. Which is, defining the progression of each role. This analysis states what responsibilities lay ahead. What roles can be available in future and most importantly what needs to be done to achieve all this. Consider the type of career counselling your employees are seeking. While some employees might want to have horizontal career opportunities, alternatively, some move towards a vertical career path. Personalization at this step adds an extra value.

 

  1. Pathways to Upskill

Some career opportunities that you can bring out for your employees are,

  • Opportunities on new projects that they can work on

  • Skills that your employees can learn  

  • Seminars that can benefit them

  • Certifications that will help them in future

 

Be open to changes. However, it’s not necessary that an employee will follow the same path that you have planned. Because, there are high chances that the career options of your employee might change over the course of their work. An employee might want to change the department they are working in or the role they are currently performing. Likewise, the plan of the career counselling process might also have to change.

 

At this moment, you as an organization should not panic. This does not mean that the framework is wrong. You can always work around their changing goals and understand their direction. After analysing the changes and requirements, you can give your unbiased inputs during career guidance. You can also recommend some opportunities and materials they can refer to. The key is to be flexible.

 

  1. Finally, the Execution

Yes, execution matters. You may have a great plan but, if your organization cannot execute it, it is of no value. It has to be executed in the way that yields the desired results. Especially, for building a plan for career guidance. Just planning and having it in place is not enough. 

 

The investment you make for your employees should have an impact in some way. The point is to never guarantee what you cannot give to your employees. Maintain integrity. 

 

The whole execution of a career progress plan is not just the responsibility of one personnel or department. It works well only when it flows smoothly throughout all levels of the organization.

 

  1. The end goal

Finally, the goal is not to just have a career path, but to ensure its efficient implementation at all levels. Thus, for this reason it is necessary to entwine the framework in your whole process from the start. Focus on the aim.

 

Consequently, create a  holistic career counselling plan in a way that it  guides the employees. 

 

The whole essence is to keep reviewing the progressive plan that you have built. An organization has to keep the plan up to date and analyse it periodically. 

The key to a career counselling plan is to review, analyse and revise.

 

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PracUp Team

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Group of talented individuals, passionate to make a difference.

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