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Career management programs miss the mark

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employee trainingCareer management programs are supposed to help employees understand advancement opportunities and chart career paths with their organizations. However, research from Towers Watson reveals that employees don’t believe their employers deliver on that promise.

The finding comes at a time when many employees believe their careers are stuck in neutral and say they would need to leave their employer to advance their careers.

According to the Towers Watson Global Workforce Study, 46% of all employees and only 59% of high-potential employees say that their organization provides useful career planning tools. An even smaller group, just 42%, believe their employer provides advancement opportunities.

Roughly 40% believe they would have to join another company in order to advance their careers.

“Many companies are failing to see the big picture when it comes to career management programs and are in danger of losing some of their best talent,” said Renée Smith, a talent and rewards director at Towers Watson. “At a time when hiring and turnover are increasing, and employers are experiencing problems attracting and retaining talent, employers need to understand the importance of providing career advancement opportunities.”

Among the career management challenges identified in the Towers Watson survey:

  • Career paths are poorly defined. Less than half of employers (48%) report their organizations have formalized career paths in place.
  • Managers are ill equipped to deliver. Only one-third of employers (33%) say managers are effective at conducting career development discussions as part of the performance management process.
  • Most organizations don’t know if their programs are working. Only one in four respondents (27%) monitors the effectiveness of their career management programs.

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