Posts in Career Planning
How can self-directed learning apply to roles with limited upward mobility?

There were actually 2 related questions posted by webinar participants: 

  • How can self-directed learning apply to roles with limited upward mobility? 
  • How can you help employees understand that career growth does not always equal advancement/promotion?

With people staying in their jobs longer, there may be fewer upward career options at your organization.  Or perhaps it is simply the nature of the job and/or the company that there are fewer career moves available. 

You can still use competency models to enable people to own their development by helping them become the organization’s experts in their current role.  This gets measured as they assess themselves against the competency model.  Then, they can be task-based mentors for others, or be selected to work on the most challenging projects.

Maybe they can assess their skills and prepare for lateral moves, which is quite common, and keeps people challenged. 

Ultimately, so long as you can help people show movement in their skills, and help them grow, you have the best chance at keeping them. 

How can you help employees understand that career growth does not always equal advancement/promotion? 

Ultimately, you can acknowledge the new social contract, “you may not always want to stay here, but I’m trying to help you develop for the future… whether that is here at our company or elsewhere.”  You want to get employees engaged?  THAT gets them engaged.


News / Events / Blog Posts | SkillDirector
ATD Webinar: Why Employees Taking Charge of Their Learning is Good For You

Register now!  This is a free ATD webinar on Thursday, July 14, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

There is a new social contract between employers and employees. Employees expect:

  • Rapid career growth
  • An engaging workplace
  • Self-directed learning

Millennials have grown up with self-directed learning. They realize that learning leads to higher earnings, and they want to take charge. What does this mean for you? You’d better have systems that give Millennials more of a voice and a choice in their learning journeys through self-direction and empowerment. If you don’t, they’ll go elsewhere.

If your organization is like the 92 percent of respondents in Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2016 study, your leaders are trying to redesign the organization to increase employee engagement and create a stronger learning culture. This webcast will help you meet those goals. You’ll learn how to:

  • Provide employees with tools that promote rapid career growth.
  • Empower and engage employees with self-directed learning. 

Register now.  It's free!  Even if you can't attend, you'll be provided with a link to view it later.

News / Events / Blog Posts | SkillDirector
Why Career Planning Without Competency Models Is Just Scary!

The story is often the same.  An employee is told that if they are interested in other job opportunities, they should look at the company’s career maps, a pre-defined path for typical progression that usually shows what it looks like if you want to move up within a particular function.  But is that realistic today? With many choosing to retire later, and the scarcity of available positions, moving up may not be an option.  And with an increased awareness and desire for work/life balance, people are often more interested in expanding their breadth than in moving up to management. 

The other alternatives including “talking to HR”, which could be difficult due to the scale of the organization or comfort level of the individual, or “talking with your manager”, which could be difficult if the manager isn’t good at conducting career discussions, doesn’t understand the skill requirements of roles outside their function, or doesn’t want to lose a good employee.

According to Career Systems International, career growth and learning and development are among the top engagement and retention factors for employees today.[i] Organizations want to be able to help people achieve their potential, and use that as a value proposition for recruiting, but supporting the promise may fall short.

An easy solution is competency models.  Because competency models identify the role-specific skill requirements and behavioral examples of those skills, they have the ability to empower each employee to own their own career planning.  This eliminates the HR or manager tollgates.

Once you have the competency models developed, enable people to self-assess against the skill requirements for the role or roles they might want next, so they can evaluate whether or not they want that role, and if so, what skill development they should pursue to prepare themselves.  In this way, they can explore in a safe environment, and then be able to take skill development requests to their manager, once they know what they want to pursue. 

Ask yourself, “Do we want to be able to attract and retain our people?”  And if the answer is yes, put the scary loss of retention behind you.  Explore how competency models and a competency assessment tool used for career planning can provide employees with a reason to stay, your managers with the ability and confidence to support data-driven career conversations, and HR with the ability to manage career planning at scale.  


[i] Tan, Wendy and Crowell, Beverly.  Organizations and Managers Must Reassess How They View Career Development.  TD Magazine:  9/8/2015.

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