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Employee Career Development Leads to Long Term Organizational Success

February 6, 2021

By Heather Nezich, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

Obstacles caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have necessitated many companies to restructure their talent management strategies.  Employee development is more critical than ever before.  Regardless, research results indicate that only about half (54%) of HR professionals say their organization has a career development process.

The research report, The State of Internal Mobility, Succession, and Career Development 2020, was conducted by the HR Research Institute to better understand the state of three crucial talent-focused components of talent mobility and development:

  • Internal workforce mobility
  • Succession planning
  • Employee career development

Nearly three-quarters of HR professionals agree that employees in their organizations are seeking more career development opportunities, supporting the argument for offering a career development program. Even among those companies that have career development programs, only about half provide them to all employees.

Additional gaps in optimizing talent mobility are highlighted in the fact that most organizations are dangerously ineffective at succession management.  Only 40% of HR professionals agree that their organizations have an effective process for managing succession.

One barrier to success may be that organizations do not attach enough importance to internal mobility. Only 40% view it as an important or very important issue in their business.  Another barrier is that managers often impede mobility as 57% say managers are not encouraging of employee movement. Just 21% of respondents say their managers have the skills required to help employees develop careers.

“Clearly, it’s up to management to support programs that help employees in their development, identify candidates for key roles, and groom future leaders,” stated Debbie McGrath, Chief Instigator and CEO of “There’s much room for improvement in preparing our workforces and leveraging programs that fuel a culture of internal mobility.”

Other survey highlights include:

  • Organizations are most likely to provide career development to a high or very high degree to executives (56%) and managers (46%). Just 30% of entry-level employees and just 18% of new hires are provided with the same opportunities.
  • Just over half (54%) of responding organizations have a learning management system (LMS) and only 33% have a learning experience platform (LXP). Nearly three quarters (73%) of large organizations have an LMS compared with just 19% of small and 39% of mid-sized organizations.
  • Nearly half (46%) of HR professionals say their organizations use self assessments, though the quality of such assessments tends to vary. Almost two-fifths (39%) say their organizations have competency frameworks. Competency frameworks are crucial for successful mobility, succession and career development as they can match open positions or development opportunities with potential internal candidates.
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