The Five Signs of a Struggling Career Culture

In our experience, organizations often miss the warning signs of a struggling career culture. Are you heeding the signs?

Career development is one of the most powerful levers you have to engage and retain critical talent. Our research shows employees want opportunities to do exciting, challenging work and to learn, grow and develop. And, when they do, engagement goes up, productivity increases and turnover goes down. Even so, employee surveys, exit interviews and hallway chatter reveal you’re still not harnessing the power of development.

In our experience, organizations often miss the warning signs of a struggling career culture. Are you heeding the signs?

No foundation

Even the strongest of structures requires a solid foundation. Organizations with no career development framework and philosophy about what it is or is not will quickly find themselves on unstable ground.

No consistency

When there is no clear direction and a lack of foundation, it’s not uncommon to see an abundance of information all designed to help people manage their careers. People in the organization work to fill the gaps by developing their own career philosophy and resources. It ultimately creates a lack of consistency and confusion. And, when managers and employees don’t clearly know what to do, they may do nothing at all or be paralyzed by all that’s available.

No direction

The lack of strong foundation leads to a lack of direction. Ask two or more people in your organization, “what does career development mean here?” If you get multiple answers, you may lack the clear direction needed to create a career culture.

No commitment

Culture is a set of shared attitudes, values, goals and practices that characterizes an organization. Establishing a career culture won’t happen overnight. It requires long-term focus and a strategy to sustain and grow. Organizations that “let up” once they start to see positive results will soon see old mindsets emerge. Know that you are “in it for the long-haul” and plan accordingly.

No partnership

Career development is a partnership between the organization, the manager and the employee. Do each understand their role and how they support each other? Focus on only one and you are missing the ability to leverage the power of an aligned partnership focused on a common goal.

“Culture is a set of shared attitudes, values, goals and practices that characterizes an organization. Establishing a career culture won’t happen overnight. It requires long-term focus and a strategy to sustain and grow.”

This post is written by and posted on Career Systems International.

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