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Why Career Development Conversations Should be Part of Every Leaders Management Toolkit

Career Development Conversations

What is a career development conversation?

A Career Development Conversation is an honest, open discussion between employee and manager that supports the employee in developing their career goals and plans for achieving what is mutually beneficial to the individual and the organisation.

It isn’t a single, one off conversation. It is a series of conversations designed to help answer the questions employees most care about: Am I valued? What opportunities are there for me here? How can I progress? How do I get there? These two-way conversations are about supporting an individual to reflect and consider the skills and experience they have, the potential to grow within their current role, and any future aspirations they may have.

The role of managers and leaders in supporting career development conversations

Managers and leaders should adopt a career coaching approach when having career development conversations with their teams. Supporting an individual to identify and utilise their potential is essential as it can result in them being:

• More energised and engaged

• Greater self-insights

• Set & achieve more realistic goals

• Perform better at work – and feel valued

As managers and leaders, we are accountable for carrying out all the steps in the performance cycle; starting by setting goals that weave in the Golden Thread so everyone understands how they contribute to the wider organisational objectives and purpose. Managers should encourage their team members by setting stretch goals and objectives as well as giving feedback to help them understand their progress and being honest with them when performance isn’t at the level it should be.

Role of employees in career development conversations

The Career Development Conversations should ideally be employee-driven. They should take ownership of their career development and seek support manager or organisation support, in helping them to fulfill their potential and seek opportunities. In fact, 89% of respondents in a recent Right Management survey said “they are or need to be responsible for the development of their career.”

How Career Development Conversation benefit organisations

As employees take greater control, research shows that they consistently report that they expect to move to other companies for growth and advancement opportunities to increase their value to future employers.

In this new environment of individually owned career management, an employer can participate in, influence and gain value from an employee’s career journey but they cannot control it.

So, how does an organization engage such an employee while meeting its own business objectives and goals? And, how does an organization manage employees who do not recognize their responsibility to maintain relevant skills, still believing they can keep doing what they have always done regardless of changing expectations, technologies and roles. The answer lies in reinventing the “Career Development Conversation.” This highlighted exploration are reasons for fostering the need for every leader to have the career development conservation as a core tool in his/her management tool kits

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