Career Development Programs Fail to Help

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<p><b>Princeton, N.J. &mdash; Jan. 26</b><br />Corporate career development programs fail to meet the needs of more employees than they actually benefit, according a new study by BlessingWhite, a global consulting firm based in Princeton, N.J.</p><p>Asked whether their employer&rsquo;s approach to career development meets their personal needs, fewer than one in three of the 976 executives and managers who participated in the survey responded affirmatively, while 41 percent disagreed. &nbsp;<br /><br />In regard to the statement, &quot;My employer&rsquo;s approach to career development meets my personal needs,&quot; the results are as follows:</p><ul><li><b>Disagree/Strongly Disagree:</b> 41 percent</li></ul><ul><li><b>Neither Agree/Disagree:</b> 30 percent</li></ul><ul><li><b>Agree/Strongly Agree:</b> 29 percent <br /></li></ul><p>&ldquo;Employees are clearly not benefiting from management efforts to support their careers,&rdquo; BlessingWhite CEO Christopher Rice said. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s been a major investment going on for 10 years now in such programs, but nonetheless, there&rsquo;s a disconnect.&nbsp; </p><p>&quot;Employees remain skeptical, indifferent or confused about their employer&rsquo;s efforts to support their personal career development. Whether it&rsquo;s published career paths, assessments, online resources or mentoring, employees aren&rsquo;t getting what they want.&rdquo;<br /><br />The study also turned up some more promising news for employers.&nbsp; More employees agreed their employer is committed to helping them achieve personal career goals &mdash; 40 percent versus 30 percent who did not agree.&nbsp; </p><p>Likewise, more believe their employer makes it easy to pursue lateral career moves, not just promotions &mdash; again, 40 percent agreed, and 30 percent disagreed.<br /><br />Among the study&rsquo;s other findings:</p><ul><li>Many employees, 38 percent of those surveyed, believe their employer provides career development only to &ldquo;high potentials&rdquo; or specific groups of employees. </li></ul><ul><li>Employees are evenly divided, 36 percent versus 36 percent, on whether talk of career development in their organization is internal PR and that few employees actually benefit. </li></ul><ul><li>Employees are sharply split on whether employees&rsquo; career aspirations are supported with a talent management system or initiative.&nbsp; While 26 percent think so, 44 percent disagreed. </li></ul><ul><li>Younger workers (29 or younger) were the most satisfied with their employer&rsquo;s approach to career development, with 50 percent agreeing that it met their personal needs.&nbsp; In comparison, less than one-third of Gen Xers and baby boomers were satisfied with their employer&rsquo;s career development efforts. </li></ul><p>The study&rsquo;s findings suggest management faces a formidable challenge in achieving retention and engagement through career development efforts, Rice said.&nbsp; </p><p>&ldquo;While it appears many employers surely intend to support their employees&rsquo; career development, they&rsquo;re just not scratching the itch,&quot; he said. &quot;Whether it&rsquo;s because of poor communication or resources that don&rsquo;t suit employees&rsquo; real needs and motivators, few employers and employees benefit.&rdquo;<br /><br />The BlessingWhite career development survey was conducted in December via the Internet.&nbsp; Of the 976 participants, 57 percent have leadership responsibilities, and 30 percent work in organizations employing more than 10,000 people.&nbsp; Thirty-three countries were represented in the study, with 75 percent being U.S.-based.</p>

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