Career Development Strategies: How To Nurture the Future of Your Workforce

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and amid the organizational emergencies and layoffs, career development strategies have taken a back seat at several organizations, especially in the manufacturing and industrial world.

During these uncertainties, companies focused primarily on remaining in business, maintaining the payroll — and getting enough people to get the job done.

However, organizations should now focus on restoring their career development strategies to drive growth and profits.

Historically, organizations have emerged from uncertainties such as recession periods, facing challenges and resolving issues in unprecedented ways. Therefore, it’s now time you track these career development trends and kickstart your career development strategies even during these (still) turbulent times.

5 Ways to Enhance Your Career Development Strategies

1. Put a Greater Focus on Personalized Learning

Per research, 77% of learning and development professionals believe personalized learning is critical to employee engagement. If organizations want to enhance learning outcomes, personalized learning can be a great option.

Organizations are using data related to employees’ previous learning experiences and connecting them to new concepts. Here are some benefits of personalized learning for organizations:

  • Increased employee engagement
  • Better understanding of new technology and business trends
  • Enhanced knowledge retention

With ongoing technological advancements, employees are becoming more demanding and expect organizations to upgrade their training and development programs constantly.

2. Offer Regular On-the-Job Training

Changing career paths can be daunting in the professional space. Employees may be qualified or have skills to work in a specific role but may not be sufficiently experienced and equipped to be hired for a particular post.

To fill this gap, many organizations are offering coaching and mentoring on-the-job training programs as a part of their career development efforts.

3. Utilize Automation as a Part of Everyday Learning

Per a McKinsey report, artificial intelligence (AI) and automation are the future of work. Although most manual and physical skills will become obsolete, they will continue to be the most important category of labor abilities. For the past 15 to 20 years, demand for physical and manual abilities has been falling, and this trend will continue with automation.

However, while some organizations believe that automation will replace their workforce, a majority of organizations still think that their workforce will not get displaced by technology. Therefore, organizations are preparing for automation by making it a part of their career development programs.

Organizations are upskilling their workforce to ensure they can make the most of automation-based platforms, grow their careers and add value to their jobs.

4. Focus on the Growing Demand for Soft Skills

Per the current career development trends, soft skills are becoming increasingly important. The way you work is referred to as soft skills. Some examples of soft skills include:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication skills
  • Listening skills
  • Time management skills
  • Empathy

Soft skills are vital in almost every career. Therefore, they are among the top qualities organizations look for in candidates.

As demand in the job market shifts from technical skills (analytics, computer and software) to behavioral skills (adaptability, flexibility, time management, and prioritization), organizations will need to tweak their career development and training programs to fill these workforce skill gaps and best equip their employees to thrive in today’s professional environment.

5. Converging Priorities

You can also expect a consolidation of three factors as a result of the tight labor market in today’s time.

  • Greater transparency regarding professional paths, possibilities, and options
  • More internal talent mobility is needed to fill projects and fulfil the career promise
  • Higher investment in re-skilling—as organizations realize the value of their existing staff
6. Give More Opportunities and Challenges

In 2022 and beyond, two new subjects will be vital for employees, in terms of career and development:

Career-based conversations. As virtual and hybrid-first work models become more common, time spent in the workplace with co-workers is becoming more valuable. We all know how difficult it is for leaders to make time for career discussions. However, with requests for a more people-centric leadership style and personal development and professional progress becoming increasingly crucial to individuals, how can we ensure these dialogues are prioritized? Is a virtual discussion a viable substitute for face-to-face interactions?

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). DEI is a key part of an employer’s total “employee experience” in order to be seen as a wonderful place to work. Employees’ decisions to join or stay with an organization are increasingly influenced by the credibility of sustainability, environmental protection, equity, and inclusion policies, according to surveys. What role can innovative career development play in exposing employees to an organization’s green agenda? How can they foster a sense of belonging and trust among traditionally underrepresented groups?