Career Management Practices in Organisations

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Career Management Practices in Organisations
Belay Gezahegn, Director, Ethiopia

Career management is about creating an environment where employees clearly see their future growth in the organisation they are working for. Employees are not only interested in what they earn today, but also about their future growth.
This means that professional progression ladders or career paths have to be clearly drawn so that employees can see how they can move upward, downward(?) and horizontally in the organisation (given they have competencies for the job).
This will usher in the need for Individual Development Plans (IDPs), in which employees develop their own individual vision and discuss with their supervisors what kind of developmental intervention they need in order to achieve their vision.
So career management includes career development plans, drawing career paths and identifying critical success factors etc.

Occupational Streaming
David Wilson, Manager, Canada
Hi Belay, I agree that organizations need to use career paths. In addition, medium to large organizations should also consider the use of occupational streams. This typical consists of an occupational level within a job stream within a career family.
In the information technology world, the occupational stream will typically encompass an entry, full working, advanced and senior level for a particular career stream, such as business analyst or programmer analyst.
It sounds simple to do, but it maybe more complicated, especially if the organization tries to build occupational streams for an entire job family.
Job competencies and short decriptions can also be developed for each occupational stream and level.

Career Management Practices in Organisations
Belay Gezahegn, Director, Ethiopia
@David Wilson: Thank you David for your comment. I agree with what you have said. Professionals that are employed for specific roles have often difficulty of developing their career. For example a lawyer in the banking industry has few opportunities of growth. Pilots in the airline industry have similar problem.
Therefore organizations need to distinguish these jobs and develop job specific career paths. For example junior lawyer, senior lawyer, and expert level lawyer etc. Did I get your point?

Levels Within the Streams
David Wilson, Manager, Canada
Hi Belay, yes. It helps to have the levels defined, but it does not mean every level has to be filled. The entry level is like an apprenticeship level, and the employee maybe able to advance automatically, based on education, experience and performance to the full working level. The senior level would typically be have a supervisory role.
I developed the concept and definitions back in 1994 for the Province of British Columbia. The civil service in the State of Washington has also some standard definitions.
In a large organization, you might have different streams of jobs for somewhat similar jobs, for example HR professionals could be split into different streams (e.g. employee services (including recruitment), job evaluation (including compensation), employee relations, employee development, OH&S, etc.).
In the information technology world, the business analysis (BA) stream - entry level BA, full working BA level, advanced or intermediate BA level, and senior BA level.
A career plan (e.g. Workforce Model) would show other similar job streams a position could move to. Hope this helps. Regards, David.

Occupational Streaming
Belay Gezahegn, Director, Ethiopia
@David Wilson: Thank you David for the email. The note gave me a further insight to carrier management handling in big organisations. However, does this type of job categorization work in organisations where job rotation is exercised in order that generalist workforce is created?

Occupational Streaming - Any Size, Any Time, Any Place, Any Industry
David Wilson, Manager, Canada
Hi Belay: by creating unique (e.g., narrow job = specialist) specific streams you can actually build a job that crosses multiple streams (e.g., broad job = generalist).
As an example, in the information technology world, I could have a position that works in one or a variety of streams, such as help desk analysis, hardware installation, and network analysis. If you combined all three streams into one generalist IT job, you might call it a Technology Support Analyst.
If you had three employees, they could rotate from one stream to another. From a compensation persepective, I would typically pay these employees for the highest level of work assigned. There is an added cost to the organization, but the tradeoff is more flexibility and greater job enrichment.
You would also be more likely to find "generalists" in small to medium enterprises, whereas in large enterprises I would tend to find more specialists. I have worked with occupational streaming in organizations with as few as three staff and as many as 350 staff (for the information technology department). Overall one organization had almost 2000 information technology staff and 25000 staff.
The material that I developed has been adopted by the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) of Canada. The council started with 7 individual IT jobs in 1997, and with my materials they went to 22 IT occupational streams (encompassing 88 different jobs) in 1998. They know have over 50 ICT streams, including eHealth, Digital Techology, IT Software, and IT Hardware. Note, the streams are not technology specific.
Benefits include fewer unique job descriptions, greater equity in job evaluation and compensation, standardized qualifications and competencies, better links to training needs and competencies, etc. Occupational streams can also be used to better integrate HR functions: recruitment, job evaluation, training, etc.
The model does take time to create, but it will ultimately save money. As an example, in one organization it used to take up to 15 hours (900 minutes) to evaluate IT positions before the system was developed, after the new system was implemented, it took 15 minutes or less to evaluate the position(s). The one organization used a committee of 10-12 people to confirm any decisions made by HR, but you do not need to use a committee.
The concept can be applied to any job family in any industry in any organization, large or small. What specific streams are you looking for? Regards, David.


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