Career Paths Outside the Organization: Why You Should Support Them and How to Execute Them
The benefits of employee career pathing are well known It helps to retain workers and attract top talent; it contributes to a more diverse age range within the organization, and perhaps even more important, employee career pathing creates more knowledgeable and engaged employees. (Read more here at SHRM.)
The modern workforce is adapting, and so, too, must our career paths. One idea that’s had some success is career pathing outside of the employee’s organization. It may seem strange, but there have been benefits realized for both employee and company using this method.
For example, a manager at a manufacturing company may take a break from his or her position to go to work for one of the businesses that builds their machines. Learning the ins and outs of mechanics that contribute to the original business they would bring knowledge of the end consumers to the machine company, benefiting them, and then when they return to the original business, they will be bringing information to help them as well.
A person could also work down the line, by taking a job at a business that sells or stocks their product. For example, if your original job produces portable snacks, you could look for a job within a company that stocks snack machines.You could learn a lot of valuable information about the way your product moves and is displayed.
There are many options that can be pursued. Some important things to keep in mind, however, is this should not be done in secret. Employees should work with current management teams to plan it out. They are not going to other companies to steal trade secrets but to learn about the best ways to work with them. Treat this as a regular career path.
Management should discuss goals with their employees. What are they looking for in a career? They don’t have to have an exact position to work toward, but there should be an understanding of what kind of job they eventually want to have.
Once that’s understood, examine all the different roles and opportunities within your company to help them move toward achieving that goal. Encourage them to search out training and other learning opportunities that would contribute to their goal.They should not be afraid to look outside the organization.
A good career path will likely include positions in various departments within your company. With the understanding gained from each department, the employee will be more well rounded as an asset to your organization.
Also, as discussed earlier, don’t be afraid to create a step in their path that takes them outside the organization.They will return more knowledgeable, and loyal, than they were when they left.
Judy partners with executives and leadership teams to engage and inspire employees in a way that delivers sustainable strategic results. She brings deep expertise and creative ideas to solve organizational effectiveness issues and closely collaborates in a way that builds internal capabilities. Judy has spent over 25 years consulting in a variety of industries, bringing her expertise in behavior to a wide range of organizational issues including organizational behavior change, leadership, change management, culture and engagement.