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How Technology Can Enhance Your Career Development Strategy

Written by: Orlaith O'Mahony
Published on: 16 Feb 2024

How Technology Can Enhance your Career Development Strategy

B Log I Magr

Has there ever been a more volatile job market? Post-pandemic work shifts, talent shortages, and the growing need for new skills have employees and organizations alike wondering how to best plot their next steps for future growth. Emphasizing internal career development is the ideal way to engage and retain valuable workers to maximize performance.

While 95% of company leaders are investing in training and continuous learning opportunities to help employees build skills, many don’t understand how to effectively use the right technologies and tools to help assess capabilities, facilitate career conversations, map out career paths, or match individuals to suitable coaches.

Understanding and using technology for career mobility doesn’t have to be a challenging puzzle. Here’s how the pieces fit together.

Jumpstart career conversations

With the rapid pace of digital transformation hitting organizations today, the only way leaders can get ahead of the curve is through a well-prepared and skilled workforce. To achieve this, managers need to speak with employees to understand their capabilities and motivations as well as identify any gaps to be filled. These conversations should help managers pinpoint what individuals want so they can target opportunities within the organization. Yet 38% of employees have had no or limited career conversations, and 31% say they do not have a career plan in place.

Many managers hesitate to engage in these conversations, mainly because coaching is a skill they have not mastered, and they believe having these discussions will lead to expectations they are unable to fulfill. Online career coaching platforms like RightCoach can resolve these issues by improving manager communication and problem-solving skills through easy-to-use virtual sessions, helping leaders to build the confidence they need to support career development.

Wells Fargo, a financial services company with 8,700 locations in 36 countries, is committed to using coaching in a “learn and grow” management program, which prepares employees at every level to succeed. Managers learn and then teach best practices, adjust approaches to accommodate individual personalities, and motivate staff to keep learning to quickly advance careers.

Jan Blomstedt, who manages Well Fargo’s Global Talent Acquisition digital presence, credits her 35-year tenure with the company to its “collaborative, diverse environment that ensures your voice is always part of the conversation.”

Support career progression

Despite the head-spinning number of people leaving organizations daily, nearly half of employees would consider a position either at their current organization or at a new organization equally. Many workers, though, are in the dark when it comes to when and where they might move internally or how the transfer may benefit their career goals, if they have even considered them.

Career management software tools such as RightMap can help managers and HR professionals map out competencies and skills needed for each position in the organization to enhance visibility to internal career progression opportunities. Thereafter, they are able to benchmark their current workforce against these competencies and align employees with the roles that best match their skillsets. A number of these tools use artificial intelligence technologies to help pave career paths for employees, which is especially challenging in large organizations where opportunities can be difficult to identify. The process may involve self-assessments, the exploration of open positions that align with an employee’s skills, and the determination of necessary training to ensure the employee is well-positioned to move forward.

Stretch your team through upskilling

Writer and poet William Butler Yeats once said, “Education is not the filling of a pot but the lighting of a fire.” Leaders should embrace this kind of passion for learning when structuring career training programs, as it’s clear that upskilling and reskilling talent pays off. While 93% of CEOs who introduce upskilling programs see increased productivity and retention, 47% of employees say they spend less than 3 hours a month training. In fact, most feel that they could benefit from much more.

As hybrid work environments continue to increase in popularity, technology is becoming more vital to providing flexible, on-demand training employees can benefit from at a time and location that works best for them. It is essential for training programs to not only guide employees through everyday situations in which they need direction but also to prepare them for stretch assignments that take them outside their comfort zone.

Dropbox, a leading global cloud storage and collaboration platform with over 500 million registered users across 180 countries, has developed a collaborative work environment that is constantly upskilling and reskilling its team members. The company created Hack Week, which allows team members to drop their regular work and pursue another professional or personal interests for an entire week. According to Giancarlo Lionetti, Head of Digital Demand Generation at Dropbox, the program has gained enormous traction with employees. “Seeing the company grow has been awesome, but I’ve also seen myself grow since I’ve been here- whether by learning from other Dropboxers or expanding within my role.”

Learn more about how the right technologies can benefit your career development strategy and positively impact retention by visiting ManpowerGroup’s Workforce Career Management.