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Neither career discussion nor career opportunities, however, should be regarded as magic bullets. As our research shows, career discussion is one of several factors contributing to an employee’s sense that his or her organization provides career opportunities, just as career opportunities, in turn, represent one of several factors driving engagement. Engaging employees is a complex challenge requiring a multi-pronged approach.

MAking A speciAl contribution

Yet career discussion, we should recognize, can play a special role in driving both career opportunities and engagement directly. In the list of learning and development factors identified by our study as driving career opportunities, career discussion ranks seventh, but is clearly implicated in the first and third highest drivers:

Top Learning and Development Factors:

  • 1.

    I am encouraged to take ownership of my own development

  • 2.

    I receive the development I need to do my job well

  • 3.

    I know how to progress in my organization

  • 4.

    My organization invests in its people’s learning and development

  • 5.

    There is sufficient incentive to perform well at my organization

  • 6.

    My organization ensures that there are people ready to move into jobs when positives become available

  • 7.

    My immediate manager facilitates effective discussions about my career development

Empowering employees, making them partners in their own development, is essential to providing them with career opportunities. It is precisely through career discussion that employees can be empowered—that they can be encouraged to take ownership of their own development and be shown how to progress in their organization.

2

How often do you engAge in cAreer discussions witH your MAnAger?

15%

37%

17%

30%

Answers

Percentage

  • Every three months....................15%

  • Twice a year.....................................17%

  • Once a year .....................................30%

  • Never .................................................... 37%

Source: Right Management online poll of 683 individuals conducted in January 2010.

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