Everything you need to know about career development in HRM. Career development is essential for implementation of career plan.
While career plan sets career path for an employee, career development ensures that the employee is well developed before he moves up the next higher ladder in the hierarchy.
Career development refers to a set of programmes designed to match an individual’s needs, abilities, and career goals with current and future opportunities in the organization. Since career development focuses on future opportunities, it has essentially a long-term orientation.
The main objective of career development is to ensure that people with appropriate qualifications and experiences are available when needed.
Career development is an integral aspect of career management with major emphasis being on the enhancement of employees’ career which commensurate with the requirements of the organisation.
In this article we will discuss about career development in HRM. Learn about:- 1. Meaning of Career Development 2. Need for Career Development 3. Objective and Importance 4. Role of HRM 5. Stages 6. Initiatives 7. Methods 8. Programmes 9. Suggestions.
Career Development in HRM: Meaning, Need, Objective, Role, Stages, Initiatives, Methods, Programmes and Suggestions
- Meaning of Career Development
- Need for Career Development
- Objective and Importance of Career Development
- Role of HRM in Career Development
- Stages of Development for Career Guidance
- Career Development Initiatives
- Methods of Career Development
- Career Development Programmes
- Suggestions for Effective Career Development
Career Development – Meaning
Career development is essential for implementation of career plan. While career plan sets career path for an employee, career development ensures that the employee is well developed before he moves up the next higher ladder in the hierarchy.
Career development refers to a set of programmes designed to match an individual’s needs, abilities, and career goals with current and future opportunities in the organization. Since career development focuses on future opportunities, it has essentially a long-term orientation.
Career development differs from employee development through training and development in terms of time perspective. While career development has long-term orientation covering the entire work-life of an individual, employee development has immediate and intermediate-term orientation.
Therefore, some of the programmes may be common for those but their orientation may be different in terms of time perspective. For successful and effective career development, employee training and development should be compatible with an individual’s career development in the organization.
Career Development – Need
When students complete their college education; they advance further into their maturity, and explore all possibilities to put themselves into a good position. They have to ready themselves by preparing a good resume, plan and attend job interviews, prove themselves that they are worthy to be hired.
When they are placed on the job, they enjoy their responsibilities, position at work and in life, make plans to move on. During this process they have their own intrinsic and extrinsic enjoyments. Then the time comes for retirement for which they have to plan also. Although the explanation looks simple and easy to accomplish, in real life, it is not so simple and easy to achieve or attain all those things mentioned earlier. Examine yourself and see what obstacles are there in going through this cycle of life and even plan to overcome the obstacles. Thus, ready yourself.
Generally organizations assess the annual performance of their employees for a number of reasons. These include, reward them for good performance or reprimand them for failing to meet their set standards. In addition to exercising these judgments, the employees are also taken through the promotional, de-motional, re-arrangement and replacement exercises. Some creative organizations engage in other kinds of exercises such as working out career plans, strategies, and development plans for their employees who indicate potential in order to keep their motivation sustained.
When it comes to whether retaining people or letting them go, organizations must engage in cost-benefit analysis. A section of human resource specialists may argue that it doesn’t worth keeping the dead wood and it is better to let them go elsewhere. Instead, they can find better people in the market place.
On the other hand, there are some human resource executives who strongly feel that it is worth spending time, money, and effort to set up plans for developing their current employees who are already cultured into their organizations. The approach may very well depend on the labor market situation and the availability of needed human resources.
When we look at the cost and benefit of these two choices, companies are more inclined towards retaining and developing their existing employees whose background is known and they are already cultured into the organization.
But the challenge remains as to how companies grow them to develop their potential or overcome their weaknesses. This is where career plans and development come handy. Companies may have to spend time and effort to design and develop such plans. These efforts are important ingredients in the human resource activities of World-class organizations.
Their performance and accomplishments have proven that such attitude helps them to produce the best results. Whether it is Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, IBM, Tata, Siemens or General Electric, one may find the importance given to the career development of their personnel. A special kind of culture exists in these companies which nurtures the growth and development of personnel.
The Japanese companies have a different kind of culture and the breed of people which make the career development a way of life. When employees join an organization after their education, it is for life. When they make a choice to join an organization they take time. Once they join an organization, they have to stay with that organization for life. If they keep changing organizations, they will be looked down by their neighbours and society.
The Japanese culture and the corporate culture provide a background for fostering life-long career for the employee with the company. The employer and the employee understand this relationship and the rewards, promotions and retirement plans are all based on this understanding. Whether it is Western or Japanese companies, retaining, grooming, and sustaining the motivation of their employees occupy an important part of these organizations.
The main objective of career development is to ensure that people with appropriate qualifications and experiences are available when needed. Career development is an integral aspect of career management with major emphasis being on the enhancement of employees’ career which commensurate with the requirements of the organisation.
The focus of career development is on the following:
(i) Obtaining relevant information about individual employees’ interests and preferences;
(ii) Matching individuals’ career interests and aptitudes to job requirements;
(iii) Providing career path information to employees to enable them to make their career plans;
(iv) Providing financial inducements and facilities to employees for acquisition of new skills and capabilities;
(v) Developing a suitable T&D programme both within the organisation and outside to help employees improve their career.
Importance of Career Development:
Both external and internal factors influence the need for career development.
Among these factors, Slavenski and Buckner (1988) list the following:
1. The need to identify and forecast human resource needs
2. Social and demographic trends
3. The changing nature of work
4. Changing types of jobs
5. Multicultural work force
6. Worker productivity
7. Technological changes and decreasing advancement opportunities
8. Organizational philosophies and practices
Employers are motivated to establish career development programs because such programs are seen as an effective response to various HR problems, because top managers prefer to promote existing employees and to ensure a good fit between the work and the worker, and because employees have expressed interest in career development as a benefit.
Career Development – Role of HRM: As Elaborated by Snell and Bohlander
The role of HRM in career development and management is elaborated by Snell and Bohlander (2007).
Employees are more responsible for initiating and managing their own career planning than their organization.
1. Employees must identify their knowledge, skills, abilities, interests and values.
2. They must seek out information about career options to set career goals and develop career plans.
If career development is to succeed, the senior level managers and HR managers must work together to design and implement a career development system.
1. Managers should encourage employees to take responsibility of their own career.
2. They must offer assistance in the form of feedback on individual, performance.
3. They must make available information about the organization, the job and career opportunities in the organization.
4. The organization is responsible for supplying information about its mission, policies and plans for providing support for employee self- assessment, training and development.
5. One of the important supports comes in the form of mentoring. Receiving advice and counsel from someone who has gone through similar experiences will be invaluable to employees.
According to Biiehler, the five definite stages of development from the career guidance point of view are:
i. Stage of Growth until 13 Years:
This stage is regarded as the stage of fantasy. The individual has rapid physical and mental development and participates in all types of activi-ties irrespective of whether it suits his abilities, temperament or not. He fantasies himself in future roles without considering whether he can actually accomplish them. He has still not developed his value system and a definite plan of action to forge ahead.
The need for guidance at this stage is most important in the area of development and adjustment. If for any reason, he feels thwarted or strangulated, it would permanently damage his personal-ity, e.g., if parental attitudes are dominant or overprotective; or there is tremendous sibling jealousy, or there is unhealthy antagonistic environment at school. Guidance is also needed in the area of educational and professional development.
ii. Stage of Exploration:
This is the second stage of development from ages 13 to 25 and is called the tentative stage. By 13, the individual begins to show specialization as special abilities or aptitudes come into prominence. From the world of fantasy, he begins to settle down to a certain plan of action or shows consistency in his participation of activities, not randomly selected or visualizes an educational course which will lead him to his vocational choice and so on.
He begins to explore all opportunities coming his way and makes a choice, not out of sheer pleasure or fancy but out of careful considerations of what is possible for him or good for him.
Guidance is needed most in the adjustment area, as the individual enters adolescence and finds himself lost with the world around him. Most of the work of a guidance counselor is concentrated at this stage of development. If the indi-vidual is properly guided at this stage, his further development will be facilitated.
iii. Stage of Establishment:
This is the third stage in the development progress between the age group of 25 and 40 years, and it is called the realistic stage. By now, the individual is in a career and has completed formal training and education. He has to gain vocational development, adjustment and maturity.
Guidance may be required if the individual finds that his inter-personal relationship is not in order and is not able to get along with his colleagues or his boss. If he has developed sensitiveness to the miseries of the people around him and desires to do some civic or community service to the disturbed or the handicapped, he may ask guidance in the area and plan his time and energy to gain maxi-mum satisfaction.
iv. Stage of Maintenance:
The fourth stage is referred to as a stage of stability, between ages 40 and 65. He has by now accomplished all what he needs to and has almost come to the stage of retirement. The guidance that he needs, at this stage is with regard to eco-nomic matters and leisure time. If he is dependent on his children, at this stage, he normally intends passing his time in religious activities and projects connected with religious institu-tions.
v. Stage of Decline:
This is the fifth stage, around the age of 65 to 75, when the adjustments become the most. Unless the individual has had a full, contented life, this period becomes one of trials and tribulations. The greatest need is to help the individual to feel that he is wanted, that he is still useful and that his family members care for him.
Also gradually, he needs to be prepared to face death and whatever his ailments be he has to learn to bear them with courage and cheerfulness till the very end.
Thus, we see that at each stage of development, guidance is required and is necessarily sought and if given systematically and scientifically it will help to make the individual fully satisfied and life worth living.
Career Development – Initiatives taken up by Organizations: Workbooks, Workshops and Counselling
Now a day, many organizations take initiatives to help the employees in managing their careers.
1. Career Planning Workbooks:
Workbooks are prepared by organizations to guide their employees individually through systematic self-assessment of values, interests, abilities, goals and personal development plans.
2. Career Planning Workshops:
a. Career workshops offer experiences similar to those provided by workbooks.
b. Workshops have the added advantage of providing a chance to compare and discuss attitudes, concerns and plans with others.
c. While some workshops focus on current job performance and development plans, others deal with life career plans and value.
d. Career workshops help people assume responsibility for their own career.
e. The workshops help the employees learn how to make career decisions, set career goals, and create career options.
f. Career workshops build confidence and self-esteem in employees.
3. Career Counseling:
It is the process of discussing with employees their current job activities/performance, their personal and career interest and goals, their personal skills and appropriate career development activities. Career counseling is usually voluntary. Career counseling may be provided by HR managers, line managers, specialized staff counselors or consultants outside the organization.
Every employee should consider managing his/her career like an entrepreneur managing a small business. Employees must think of themselves as self-employed even if they work in a large organization. A successful career requires maintaining flexibility and keeping skills and knowledge up-to-date.
i. Knowing Oneself:
Every employee must analyse his/her strengths and weaknesses. They must list out what talents they can bring to an organization. Personal career planning begins by being honest with oneself.
ii. Managing One’s Reputation:
Without over-doing one must let others, within organization and outside the organization, know about one’s achievements. Accomplishments must be made visible.
iii. Building and Maintaining Network:
Contacts- Joining national and local professional associations, attending conferences and networking at social gatherings improve contacts.
iv. Keeping Current:
One must develop specific skills and abilities which are in high demand.
v. Balancing Special Competencies and General Competencies:
That is, being a specialist and also a generalist to have versatility to manage on ever-changing work environment.
vi. Documenting Achievements:
All achievements must be recorded with proof.
vii. Keeping One’s Options Open:
One must also have contingency plans. Employees who are particular about career development must understand the cliché “Hope for the best but be prepared for the worst”.
Career Development – 2 Main Methods: Individual and Organisational Career Development
Career development consists of the personal actions one undertakes to achieve a career plan. The actions for career development maybe initiated by the individual himself or by the organisation.
These are discussed below:
1. Individual Career Development:
Career progress and development is largely the outcome of actions on the part of an individual.
Some of the important steps that could help an individual cross the hurdles on the way ‘up’ may include:
Career progress rests largely on performance. If the per-formance is sub-standard, even modest career goals can’t be achieved.
Career development comes through exposure, which implies becoming known by those who decide promotions, transfers and other career opportunities. You must undertake actions that would attract the attention of those who matter most in an organisation.
Networking implies professional and personal contacts that would help in striking good deals outside (e.g., lucrative job offers, business deals, etc.). For years men have used private clubs, professional associations, old-boy networks, etc., to gain exposure and achieve their career ambitions.
Resigning to further one’s career with another employer is known as leveraging. When the opportunity is irresistible, the only option left is to resign from the current position and take up the new job (opportunity in terms of better pay, new title, a new learning experience, etc.). However, jumping too jobs frequently (job-hopping) may not be a good career strategy in the long run.
e. Loyalty to Career:
Professionals and recent college graduates generally jump jobs frequently when they start their career. They do not think that career-long dedication to the same organisation may not help them fur-ther their career ambitions.
To overcome this problem, companies such as Infosys, NIIT, WIPRO (all information technology companies where the turnover ratios are generally high) have come out with lucrative, innovative compensation packages in addition to employee stock option plans for those who remain with the company for a specified period.
f. Mentors and Sponsors:
A mentor is, generally speaking, an older person in a managerial role offering informal career advice to a junior employee. Mentors take junior employees as their protégés and offer advice and guidance on how to survive and get ahead in the organisation. They act as role models. A sponsor, on the other hand, is someone in the organ-isation who can create career development opportunities.
g. Key Subordinates:
Qualified and knowledgeable subordinates, often extend invaluable help that enables their bosses to come up in life. When the bosses cross the bridge, they take the key subordinates also along with them. In his own self-interest, the subordinate must try to find that winning horse on which he can bet.
h. Expand Ability:
Employees who are career conscious must prepare themselves for future opportunities that may come their way internally or externally by taking a series of proactive steps (e.g., attending a training programme, acquiring a degree, updating skills in an area, etc.).
2. Organisational Career Development:
The assistance from managers and HR department is equally important in achieving individual career goals and meeting organisational needs.
A variety of tools and activities are employed for this purpose:
a. Self-Assessment Tools:
Here the employees go through a process in which they think through their life roles, interests, skills and work attitudes and preferences. They identify career goals, develop suitable action plans and point out obstacles that come in the way. Two self-as-sessment tools are quite commonly used in organisations.
The first one is called the career-planning workshop. After individuals complete their self-assessments, they share their findings with others in career workshops. These workshops throw light on how to prepare and follow through individual career strategies.
The second tool, called a career workbook, consists of a form of career guide in the question-answer format outlining steps for realising career goals. Individuals use this company specific, tailor-made guide to learn about their career chances. This guide, generally throws light on organisation’s structure, career paths, qualifications for jobs and career ladders.
b. Individual Counseling:
Employee counseling is a process whereby employees are guided in overcoming performance problems. It is usu-ally done through face-to-face meetings between the employee and the counselor or coach. Here, discussions of employees’ interests, goals, current job activities and performance and career objectives take place.
Counseling is generally offered by the HR department. Sometimes outside experts are also be called in. If supervisors act as coaches they should be given clearly defined roles and training. This is, however, a costly and time consuming process.
c. Information Services:
Employment opportunities at various levels are made known to employees through information services of various kinds. Records of employees’ skills, knowledge, experience and performance indicate the possible candidates for filling up such vacancies.
For com-piling and communicating career-related information to employees, organisations basically use four methods:
I. Job Posting System:
Job posting systems are used by companies to inform employees about vacancies in the organisation through notice boards, newsletters and other company publications.
II. Skills Inventory:
Skills inventories (containing employees’ work histories, qualifications, accomplishments, career objectives, geo-graphical preferences, possible retirement dates, etc.) are created to help organisations learn the characteristics of their workforces so that they can use the skills of their employees, whenever required.
Skills inventories also reveal shortage of critical skills among em-ployees, which is helpful in tracing training needs.
III. Career Ladders and Career Paths:
Career paths and ladders throw light on career progression and future job opportunities in the organisation. They indicate a career plan complete with the goal, intermediate steps and time-tables for realising the goal.
Usually career paths for fast-track employees are laid down in most organ-isations outlining a series of career moves that these employees need to initiate in order to reach higher level positions.
IV. Career Resource Centre:
The career centre is a sort of library in the organisation established to distribute career development materials such as reference books, career manuals, brochures, newsletters and learning guides and self-study tapes.
V. Employee Assessment Programmes:
Employee assistance programmes help new recruits to adjust to the new work environment and colleagues. Such programmes include assessment centre, psychological testing, promotability forecasts and succession planning.
1. Assessment Centres:
A number of performance simulation tests and exercises (tests, interviews, in-baskets, business games) are used to rate a candidate’s potential in assessment centre method. The performance on these exercises is evaluated by a panel of raters and the candidates are given feedback on their strengths and weaknesses. This feedback helps participants to assess where they stand and what is to be done to scale the corporate ladder in future.
2. Psychological Tests:
Diagnostic tests are used to help candidates determine their vocational interests, personality types, work at-titudes and other personal characteristics that may uncover their career needs and preferences.
3. Promotability Forecasts:
This is a process of identifying employees with high career potential and giving them necessary training and thereby groom them for higher positions.
4. Succession Planning:
This is a report card showing which individuals are ready to move into higher positions in the company. The HR department keeps records of all potential candidates who could move into senior positions, whenever required.
VI. Employee Developmental Programmes:
These consist of skill assess-ment (explained above) and training efforts that organisations use to groom their employees for future vacancies. Seminars, workshops, job rotations and mentoring programmes are used to develop a broad base of skills as a part of such developmental activities.
VII. Career Programmes for Special Groups:
To take care of the needs of special groups such as dual career couples especially in knowledge based industries (a situation where both husband and wife have distinct careers outside the home) companies are coming out with schemes such as part-time work, long parental leave, child care centres, flexible working hours and promotions and transfers in tune with the demands of dual career conflicts.
Out placement assistance is extended to employees who are laid off for various reasons. In addition to holding workshops, outside experts are called in to show individuals how to focus on their talents, develop resumes and interview with prospective employers.
Special programmes are also organised for minorities, employees with disabilities, women and late-career employees so that they can have clear career goals and action plans in line with organisational requirements.
Career Development – Programmes
Career development programme consists of all those activities through which an individual’s career is developed. Since both organization and individual make efforts for an individual’s development, there are two perspectives- organizational and individual. Organizational perspective includes all those programmes which are organized and managed by the organization.
Individual perspective includes all those programmes which are managed by the individual himself. This is also known as self-development.
Following organizational programmes are relevant for career development:
1. Initial challenging tasks that enable employees to use their maximum possible competence.
2. Information dissemination to make employees aware about the working of the organization as a system.
3. Mentoring and coaching for continuous improvement of employees.
4. Training and development linked to career development.
5. Job rotation across the functional areas to appreciate functional linkages in the organization.
6. Allowing sabbatical and funding it to gain knowledge by the employees from outside the organization.
A. Career Counseling in Career Development Programme:
Counseling is interpersonal discussion with an individual who has a problem with emotional content in order to help him cope it better. Counseling has very wide application within and without organizational context. The basic objective of counseling in organizational context is to bring an employee back to his normal position from a position in which he is experiencing a problem or to enhance the self-image of the employee.
Career counseling is one of the several types of counseling that organizations adopt for betterment of their employees. Career counseling involves advising and guiding employees in their possible career paths and the direction in which they ought to be heading.
The need for career counseling arises when employees plan their careers and develop themselves for career progression in the organization.
The role of counseling in career development is as follows:
1. To Provide Guidelines for Self-Understanding:
One Chinese philosopher has said long back, “The most critical problem with us is that we don’t know ourselves. As a result, either we overestimate or underestimate ourselves.” Since employees are human beings, this statement holds good for them.
As a result, they tend to choose a career path and related development techniques which do not suit them or are not worthwhile for them in the long term. Career counseling tries to overcome this problem by suggesting them how to assess themselves objectively and what career paths and development techniques are best suited to them based on their strengths and weaknesses.
2. Develop Positive Thinking for Development:
Career counseling helps employees to develop positive thinking for development of their careers. Positive thinking refers to the persistent tendency to feel and behave in a favourable way towards any object or event including career development. With a positive thinking, employees may take various development programmes in a positive way. They may pick up the valuable contents from these programmes and, with positive thinking towards themselves, they will apply these contents to develop their careers.
3. To Help Employees to Understand Organizational Dynamics:
In an organization, there are forces and dynamics continuously operating in its day-to-day operations such as meetings, other forms of group discussion, informal get together, etc. These provide learning opportunities to employees. Employees can develop themselves if they are aware about how to capitalize these opportunities.
Through career counseling, employees can be equipped to use these organizational dynamics to develop interpersonal skills, communication skills, and cognitive skills which contribute significantly in the long-term success of the employees.
4. To Help Employees to Enjoy Greater Personal Satisfaction:
Workplace is most enjoyable provided one is ready to take it in right perspective. When it is not taken in right perspective, workplace is treated as one of the worst places; it remains only a place for earning livelihood, and not a place of learning and development.
Workplace is the best place of learning and development because most of the learning and development take place on the job. Career counselling helps employees to develop this approach by advising and guiding them how to derive maximum personal satisfaction out of the work performance.
In fact, the latest theory of job satisfaction is “job performance leads to satisfaction and better job performance leads to better job satisfaction.” When career counseling makes employees to understand it, it works as an energizer. The process is- performance leads to satisfaction and energizes for better performance; this induces to develop skills for better performance. This progression continues throughout the life.
B. Groups Needing Special Attention in Career Development Programme:
There are some groups of employees who need special attention in career development programme. These groups of employees are as follows- (i) woman employees, (ii) dual income families, (iii) scheduled caste/tribe employees, (iv) late career employees (v) ex-servicemen, and (vi) differently abled personnel.
These groups of employees need special attention in career development programme because they differ from other employees depending on the group to which they belong.
(i) Woman Employees:
Throughout the world, there is increasing role of woman employees, both in managerial cadre as well as in non-managerial cadre. In India too, this phenomenon is taking place.
Woman employees face the following types of problems at the workplace:
1. There is sexual harassment of woman employees at the workplace. According to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), USA, any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when- (i) submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of employment; or (ii) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or (iii) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
2. Another kind of problem that woman employees have to face is in the form of prejudices against woman employees. Though our Constitution provides that there will not be any discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, sex, or birth place, prejudices against women exist in the society as well as at workplaces. This is because of masculine or male-dominated society. A masculine society defines gender roles in more traditional way.
While the above problems are relevant for woman employees throughout the world, Indian woman employees are likely to face these problems more critically as India is a gender-biased nation. According to Gender Gap Index report 2016 prepared by World Economic Forum, India has only 68.3 per cent gender equality ranking 87th in the world.
On the four parameters taken for identifying gender equality — woman state head, political empowerment, educational empowerment, and economic participation and opportunity, India is still worse in terms of economic participation and opportunity. The economic parity index is based on four parameters — labour force participation, wage equality for similar work, senior officials and managers, and professional and technical workers.
Because of this gender inequality, Indian woman employees are likely to face tougher situation at the workplace as compared to their counterparts in developed countries with lesser gender inequality. In the light of this situation, they need special attention in career development programme.
This attention can be put on the following aspects:
1. Woman employees should be educated to fight against sexual harassment and male prejudices. This can be done through well-directed counseling.
2. Woman employees should be given career paths that do not require high degree of travelling and working late night/or throughout the night shift.
3. Woman employees should not be engaged in those careers which involve high physical risk like fire-fighting, hazardous machinery, etc.
4. The organization should develop a culture that provides equal status to women and men based on their performance. There should be equality of treatment based on performance and other objective criteria and gender should not come in the way.
(ii) Dual Income Families:
A dual income family, also known as double income or dual career family, is one in which both husband and wife are working personnel, either in the same organization or in different organizations.
In dual career families, where both husband and wife are working on full-time basis, there are two types of problems:
1. There is a problem in making adjustment in personal life and work life of spouse. The question is- if both are working, who will look after the household activities including taking care of children? Traditionally, this is the responsibility of woman more than counterpart because of the traditions practised through ages. Household responsibility often produces conflict between personal life and work life.
2. Since both are careerists, each of them over-emphasizes his/her career. As a result, there is a possibility of ego clash between them.
In the light of the above problems, dual career families need special attention in career development programme which can be on the following aspects:
1. If the spouse is working in the same organization, attempt can be made to engage both of them in compatible career paths. The compatibility in career paths may enable them in better management of their careers as well as the family affairs. If both are working in different organizations, they may be counseled to choose compatible career paths.
2. The spouse may be guided to develop interpersonal skills and empathy to appreciate the viewpoints of each other. This may reduce the anxiety for managing both careers and family affairs simultaneously.
3. To the extent possible, flexi-time or remote working system involving telecommuting should be adopted. This system will provide opportunity to members of dual career family to adjust their work and personal time suitably.
(iii) Scheduled Caste/Tribe Employees:
There is increasing emphasis on recruiting persons belonging to scheduled castes/tribes and economically and socially backward communities. In public sector, certain percentage of positions is reserved for such persons through legal provisions. In private sector, there is a move to put emphasis on recruiting persons belonging to such communities.
Persons belonging to such communities face the following types of problems at the workplace:
1. Persons belonging to scheduled castes/tribes are perceived as inferior as compared to other employees doing the similar jobs. The basis of perception of inferiority emerges because of lower scores of these persons in selection tests and other quantitative criteria.
2. There is a likelihood of class conflict between scheduled caste/tribe employees and other employees at the workplace. Therefore, the interpersonal interaction between two groups of employees may not be as cordial as it should be.
In the light of the above problems, scheduled caste/tribe employees should be given special attention in career development programme which can be on the following aspects:
1. Scheduled caste/tribe employees should be given additional opportunities and facilities to learn and develop skills which can put them at par with other employees. The efforts should be made to bridge the gap between two groups of employees.
2. Apart from the development of interpersonal skills, high emphasis should be placed on the development of skills in scheduled caste/tribe employees to manage inter-group behaviour, conflict, and cooperation.
(iv) Late Career Employees:
Some persons start their regular career late as compared to other employees in the same career. This may happen due to a variety of reasons like switching from a temporary career to regular career, discontinuation of studies because of personal, family, and other reasons and pursuing these subsequently, etc. Those persons who start their career late are known as late career employees.
Such employees face the following problems at the workplace:
1. Late career employees fall in higher age group as compared to other employees who have started their career well in time. Because of this difference, there is some kind of incompatibility between late career employees and other employees. This may affect interpersonal relationships between them.
2. The previous background of late career employees may put them in adverse situation to meet the requirements of their present career. If their previous career is not compatible with the present one, making adjustment with the present career becomes even more difficult because the way of working in the previous career interferes with that of the present career.
In the light of the above problems, late career employees should be given special attention on the following aspects in career development programme:
1. If late career employees have learned something which is incompatible with their career, they should be counseled and guided to forget this. After all “as important it is to learn for the future, it is equally important to unlearn the past and remove its baggage.” With this kind of unlearning, late career employees can learn what is required for being successful in their career.
2. Late career employees should be given emphasis to align their attitudes in line with the requirements of workplace. If they have inferiority complex that they are over- aged to learn the new skills or they are elder in their group and, therefore, more experienced and knowledgeable, such attitudes need to be changed. Such attitudinal change may put late career employees to see the things in right perspectives.
3. In many cases, late career employees are not expected to reach at the top of a career ladder. In such a situation, either late career employees should be put on a career path involving lesser number of ladders or they should be made to realize the reality of the situation that making at the top is not quite feasible for them. When late career employees realize this, they may not develop frustration unnecessarily.
Servicemen are the people who are employed in defence — military, air force, and navy. On the basis of their ranks, they may be classified into three categories—operatives, junior commissioned officers, and commissioned officers. Recruitment in defence takes place at two stages — operatives and commissioned officers. Some operatives are promoted as junior commissioned officers depending on their performance and promotability.
In the category of commissioned officers, there are two types of openings — short service commissioned officers and regular commissioned officers. Regular commissioned officers continue in the service for a long time while short service commissioned officers are appointed for a specified term, normally ranging between 5 to 15 years depending on the policy of recruitment applicable at the time of recruitment.
All defence personnel are known as ex-servicemen after their retirement. However, officers retiring as short service commissioned officers and some categories of operatives tend to seek further employment in non-defence sector as they have long years to go in their life.
When such ex-servicemen join an organization, they face the following types of problems at the workplace:
They are oriented to a career whose demands are quite different from the demands of the career they join afresh. Such difference may be in nature of job performed and nature of work environment. Therefore, they tend to experience difficulties in the new career.
Often, there is a mismatch between what they have learned and used in their defence career and what they ought to learn and use in the new career.
Like late career employees, they do not have enough time to learn and equip themselves to face the reality of the new situation. As a result, they do not have ample time for experimentation.
In the light of the above problems faced by the ex-servicemen, they need special attention on the following aspects in career development programme:
1. There is a need for aligning the past career of ex-servicemen with the proposed career. This alignment can be in two ways- (a) they are given a career which is quite similar to their past career, for example, if an ex-serviceman has worked in telecommuni-cations, he should be given this kind of work; (b) where this is not possible, an ex-serviceman should be engaged in a job which has some kind of matching with his past career such as security personnel with a provision of progression to higher level like security officer, security manager, and so on.
2. There is a need for changing the work styles of ex-servicemen in the light of the requirements of the new situation. They are used to work in highly authoritative structure with high emphasis on superior-subordinate differentiation, highly formal structure, and high level of routines. In the new situation, they may not encounter with such features. Therefore, their total approach of working has to be changed through behavioural programmes.
3. Like late career employees, ex-servicemen have certain limitations for vertical movement. This phenomenon should be emphasized so that they do not live on false hopes. Through behavioural training, this problem can be overcome.
(vi) Differently Abled Personnel:
Differently abled personnel (physically impaired/handicapped personnel) are those who have some physical disadvantages as compared to other personnel. They are also known as physically handicapped personnel. Physical disadvantages may be in the form of lameness, hand problems, or any other deformity.
Such a feature may exist either at the time of birth of these personnel or they may have been injured in accidents. Whatever the reasons may be, these physically impaired personnel cannot work like normal personnel.
Therefore, they face the following types of problems at the workplace:
1. Differently abled personnel cannot perform those jobs, either efficiently or at all, which require the use of those organs which are weak. For example, a lame cannot undertake journey comfortably.
2. Since physical impairment is a kind of physical deficiency, it can lower the self-concept of physically impaired personnel unless they develop strong will power to overcome this feeling.
In the light of the above problems, physically impaired personnel need special attention on the following aspects in career development programme:
1. Differently abled personnel should be put on career paths that do not require high physical exertion; they should be put on career paths which can use special skills developed by physically impaired personnel to compensate for their physical disadvantages.
2. Differently abled personnel should be counseled to overcome their mental inhibition which may exist in them because of physical disadvantages. Once they overcome this mental inhibition, they can use their special skills more effectively.
The various important suggestions for effective career development are:
(i) Challenging Initial Job Assignments – There is evidence indicating that employees who take up initial challenging jobs perform better at later stages.
(ii) Dissemination of Career Option Information – Mostly, employees lack information about career choices/options. The managers identify career paths and succession paths. This information should be made available to all employees concerned.
(iii) Job Positioning – Management should provide job information to employees through job positioning. For posting the jobs organisations can use bulletin board displays, company publications, electronic billboards and similar means.
(iv) Assessment Centres – The assessment centres evaluate the people regarding their ability to certain jobs. This technique helps to identify the available skills, abilities and knowledge.
(v) Career counseling helps employees in setting directions, reviewing performance, identifying areas for professional growth.
The content of career counseling includes:
(a) Employee’s goals, aspirations and expectations with regard to future career,
(b) The manager’s views about the future opportunities,
(c) Identification of employee’s attempts for self-development.
(vi) Career Development Workshops – Managements should conduct career development workshops. There workshops help for resolving misperceptions. Entry workshops help for orientation and socialisation activities. Mid-career workshops help the employees with the same background and length of service. Late-career workshops are helpful for the employees preparing for retirement, employees who are frustrated over unfulfilled career goals.
(vii) Continuous education and training help the employees to reduce the possibilities of obsolete skills. In fact, continuous education and development are highly essential for career planning and development. Competency- based training approaches are best for career development.
(viii) Periodic Job Changes – In the modern business, the proverb, “rolling stone gathers no moss” has a little relevance. In fact, the rolling stone gathers moss. The technique of job rotation helps the employees to acquire the organisational Knowledge, and Knowledge about different jobs and departments.
Ultimately, the employee gains confidence of working efficiently under any environment. The periodic job changes offer diverse and expanded range of experiences that the future job will demand. Thus, this technique prepares the employee for the future careers.
Solution to the Career Problems:
Employees can minimise the problems by- (a) improving the dissemination of career information in order to help the early process of career choice, (b) improving mechanisms for people to discover their own talents, needs and motives, (c) improving mechanism for career switching, and (d) introducing necessary educational facilities.
The organisation can also minimise the problems by (a) improving human resources planning and forecasting systems, (b) improving dissemination of career option information, (c) initiated career counseling, (d) developing effective internal and external assessment centres, (e) supporting educational and training programmes, (f) introducing more flexible reward and promotional systems and conducting career development sessions.