Topic 8: Employee Development ( Approaches to employee development (Job…
Topic 8: Employee Development
Strategic implications of employee development
Noe et al. (2017, p. 406) define development as ‘the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and
behaviours that improve an employee’s ability to meet changes in job requirements and in
client and customer demands’.
The concept of ‘boundary-less careers’ has emerged because employees:
typically move across employers or across professions
may identify more with their profession than with a specific employer or job
are now more influenced by personal or family needs when making career choices
are more likely to pursue personal life goals through their work, rather than just
pursuing company goals.
Approaches to employee development
Formal education programs can be conducted on-site or off-site. They are focused on specific areas of need within the company and cover operational, managerial and strategic levels.
Corporate universities involve a company establishing its own business school staffed by its own faculty. Corporate universities can be established in their own right or in association with an existing university or private education provider.
Developmental assessment is also a growth area in organisations. This involves a range of techniques that gather information from employees about their preferences, attitudes, skills, management or communication style and behaviour.
Psychological testing or personality profiling continues to be a popular approach to employee development.
Assessment centres have grown in popularity as both a selection tool and a manager development approach.
Performance assessment often takes the form of 360-degree feedback because this approach overcomes individual assessor bias, provides a more complete and fairer assessment of an individual, and provides specific information in specific areas to enable personal and professional development.
Job experiences are the most common form of employee and management development. It is through performing their work that employees learn the limitations of their knowledge, skills, and attitudes, as well as their strengths.
Projects that stretch an employee and take them into new areas of knowledge and skill.
Promotion to a higher level to increase challenge, responsibility and accountability.
Overseas postings to build competence in dealing with diverse cultures, processes and distribution systems.
Downward move to reduce responsibility and authority to enable an employee to
concentrate on some critical area of development.
Transfer to a different job in a different function/area of the company.
Job rotation involving periodic moves to other jobs to widen an employee’s perspective on the organisation and develop new knowledge and skills (e.g. three monthly rotation through production, marketing, accounting and HR management roles).
Secondment or externships that involve temporary transfers to another organisation.
Job exchange where people from different organisations swap places/jobs.
Job enlargement involves adding new tasks or assignments to an existing job.
Sabbatical that allows an employee to take time out of the organisation to pursue new skills or gain new perspectives – often on a paid basis.
A mentor is usually a more senior or experienced employee (often a manager) who helps to develop a less experienced, junior employee; the employee then becomes their protégé.
A coach is a skilled person who is assigned or contracted to work with an employee on a specific area of development.
Special issues in employee development.
Noe et al. (2017) in Table 9.11 on page 407 (page 439 of the 9th edition) discuss the process used to develop a succession plan:
Identify what positions are included in the plan
Identify the employees who are included in the plan
Develop standards to evaluate positions (e.g., competencies, desired experiences,
desired knowledge, developmental value)
Determine how employee potential will be measured (e.g. current performance and potential performance)
Develop the succession planning review
Link the succession planning system with other HR systems, including training and
development, compensation, performance management and staffing systems
Determine what feedback is provided to employees
Measure the effectiveness of the succession plan.
Succession planning involves creating a pool of employees who are capable of filling higher level positions when they become vacant, or are created through company expansion. The pool is established through the identification, development and tracking of high-potential employees who demonstrate the capability to perform at the higher levels of management.
Some companies institute affirmative action to ensure that members of these groups are represented in the succession pool and related development processes.
Melting the glass ceiling
The glass ceiling is a way of describing the often invisible barrier to advancement to higher level jobs experienced by women and members of minority groups.
Career management and development planning systems
Goal-setting–the goals are focused on the employee’s desired position or role. Goal statements are often incorporated in a development plan.
Action planning–determining how the employee will achieve their short-term and long-term career goals, as explained above, is often included in the development plan.
Reality check–this enables the employee to check how they are currently assessed by the organisation.
Table 9.2 on page 384 of the textbook (page 412 of the 9th edition) identifies the design factors of effective development systems which are as follows (Noe et al. 2017):
System is positioned as a response to a business need
Employees and managers participate in the development of the system
Employees are encouraged to take an active role in career management
Evaluation is ongoing and used to improve the system.
Business units can customise the system for their own purposes (with some constraints)
Employees need access to career information sources (including advisers and positions available)
Senior management supports the career management system
Career management is linked to other HR practices such as performance management,
training and recruitment systems.
Self-assessment–involves the use of psychological tests or other instruments to help employees determine their career interests, values, aptitudes and behavioural tendencies.