Career Development Programs on Rise

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<p><strong>St. Petersburg, Fla. &mdash; July 12</strong><br />When it comes to career development, many companies have a mindset of &ldquo;it takes a village.&rdquo; </p><p>According to a just-released study conducted by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), 60 percent of the 382 polled companies have a career development program, and 41 percent of those use in-house coaches and/or mentors to drive development. </p><p>The study also suggests people who want coaching and mentoring are better off working in the rich and diverse &ldquo;villages&rdquo; of large corporations.<br /><br />&ldquo;We asked about career development outside of skill-based training and found that this kind of thing is a community effort,&rdquo; said Jay Jamrog, i4cp senior vice president of research. &ldquo;By far, the most common type of development programs are mentoring and coaching. People aren&rsquo;t relying on trainers &mdash; they&rsquo;re relying on one another, tapping into each other&rsquo;s experience and expertise, especially in larger corporations.&rdquo;<br /><br />The study findings showed use of coaching/mentoring programs rises along with company size. </p><p>For example, 48 percent of companies with fewer than 500 employees use coaches and mentors. That rises to 58 percent for those firms with 3,000 to 5,000 employees, and it peaks at 65 percent for companies with 10,000 or more employees.<br /><br />The study also found that career development programs are an up-and-coming trend. </p><p>Of the companies that presently do not have such programs, four-fifths plan to implement one within the next two years.<br /><br />&ldquo;There are a couple of possible reasons for this,&rdquo; Jamrog said. &ldquo;First, a lot of companies are complaining about talent and leadership shortages, and these programs are one of the best ways of addressing those shortages. </p><p>&quot;Second, younger employees attach a great amount of value to these kinds of programs. If they don&rsquo;t feel they&rsquo;re getting anywhere or learning anything, they&rsquo;ll just leave. So, these are retention, as well as development, programs.&rdquo;<br /><br />Among other findings, the study showed more than half of companies (53 percent) select career development candidates by manager referral, although a number did say they use a combination of manager referral and employee self-selection. </p><p>Also, the majority of companies (76 percent) integrate their programs with talent management goals, and 81 percent say career development is integrated with business objectives.<br /><br />&ldquo;That just shows good sense,&rdquo; Jamrog said. &ldquo;Development is as important for the organization as a whole as it is for the careers of individuals.&rdquo;<br /><br />The Career Development Practitioner Consensus Survey was conducted by i4cp, in conjunction with HR.com, in June 2007.</p>

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