In January of this year, I blogged about the importance of organizations protecting their largest investment (link), which is in people! Many executives do not realize that their largest corporate expenditure is not in facilities, inventory or property, but in human resource expenses. Therefore long term development of talent and of a strong leadership pipeline should be of utmost strategic priority.
Following that January blog, an in depth online article was published on ZipRecruiter titled “How to Attract & Retain Top Talent With Career Mapping,” which highlighted one possible tool and process, Total Engagement Career Mapping. Now I want to introduce various dimensions in which career development programs can be developed and delivered:
• Corporate or geographic-wide. Of course the broadest dimension is to simply roll out a program for all employees within the corporation or a geographic unit.
• A low morale or high attrition functional area. For example, is there a functional area (like Finance, or IT) where the employees may be questioning future career potential? Are the employees questioning the viability of a growth path within that function or potential exciting job movement outside the function? Or is the turnover rate in that function unusually high? In this case you could provide a career mapping module for that function including showcasing successful employees who have come through that function enroute to growing a successful career elsewhere in the company, as well as others who have grown within the function.
• Minority constituencies. When having discussions about career mapping with clients and potential clients, they often express concern about the high attrition rate of talented minorities within their companies. Too frequently in corporate America, diverse bright talent sees an upper echelon comprised primarily of white males. These bright minority employees may then question the viability of their own potential and start to look outside the company instead of being a part of an internal talent pipeline. In these cases, a company may want to invest in showcasing the career maps for of successful minorities currently in mid and senior level positions and present to younger talent to start developing an enthusiastic and engaged diverse pipeline.
• Merger and acquisition situations. Today, mergers and acquisitions seem to be the trend in business. When companies merge or are acquired, this offers a fantastic opportunity for merging of diverse talent that could have great complimentary skills and experiences. But instead, often one part of the merger feels threatened or marginalized. A career mapping module could be developed that showcases the successful leaders of both sides of the merger to demonstrate that all the diverse talent will be valued within the new larger enterprise.
And when a successful career mapping process is executed within any of these above spheres, enthusiasm can grow for replicating the process more broadly across the enterprise.