The Business Case for Career Road Mapping / Skills Development

One of the three core expertise areas I offer in my consulting practice is career road mapping using an innovative process where one page summary career maps of successful employees are mined for themes and then packaged for presenting to all employees in an area. In prior engagements, this methodology has been enthusiastically received by employees and has increased their engagement in career planning.

An example of a one page career map – my own (Stan C. Kimer)

But it does always come down to the bottom line. Can I show with actual dollars how investing in career road mapping can add to a company’s bottom line? Absolutely yes! I agree this is important and can be done.

Many recent articles in the HR press document that employee engagement is at an all-time low. Some 2011 articles in SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) states that more than half of US employees are dissatisfied with their jobs and 33% plan to look for a new job when the economy improves. With this kind of mindset, these employees are far from peak productivity.

One of the key areas that increases employee engagement is a robust program of career and skills development. Employees are more likely to be engaged when they believe their company truly cares about their development.

Estimated return on implementing a robust career planning program can be calculated in two areas: increased employee productivity and savings in employee attrition.

PRODUCTIVITY CALCULATION: number of employees x average salary x percent productivity gain = productivity gain in $. For example, with 500 employees averaging $50,000 per year, a modest 2% productivity gain nets 500 x $50,000 x .02 or $500,000.

ATTRITION SAVINGS: number of employees x average salary x time for fully onboarding new employees x decrease in attrition percentage = saving in attrition $. For example, again using 500 employees at $50,000, if it takes 2/3rds of a year for onboarding and you can avoid 2% of the population from departing, the savings is 500 x $50,000 x 2/3 x .02 or $333,333.

In addition you would get the “soft” benefits of overall higher employee morale and being able to attract the best talent as word spreads and your enterprise is viewed as an “employer of choice.”

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