Because the organization and the individual have joint responsibility for career planning and development, both will suffer significant consequences if the planning isn’t done successfully. Individual employees go through a series of career stages as they progress through their work life.
Within each of these stages, the employee has different needs that the organization must meet so the relationship between the two can remain stable and the worker will continue to be motivated to produce for the organization. Organizations must respond successfully to the individual employee based on the employee’s current career stage.
The first career development stage, called the exploration stage, is the period of time during which the individual is identifying the personal needs that will be satisfied by a particular type of work, the types of jobs that interest them, and the skill sets necessary to be able to accomplish those types of jobs.
The second stage, called establishment, is the period when the individual has entered into a career and becomes concerned with building a skill set, developing work relationships, and advancing and stabilizing their career.
In the maintenance stage, the individual typically continues to advance but begins to seek personal satisfaction in the jobs that they perform for the organization. This is the phase where we see individual employees begin to act as mentors or trainers to their younger coworkers and to act to improve the organization and its processes and policies because they see a need to do so.
During the disengagement stage, because of the desire to balance nonwork with work activities, the individual may begin to choose to work only on efforts they feel are necessary or worthy of their attention.
Employee development is a critical piece in the organizational puzzle in order to provide long-term success.