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Human Resources: Career Management and Self Development - ensuring value for your money from training programmes

Beatrice Attrill

Most organisations have a formal approach to training and development as well as personal development plans in place for their staff. However, experience has shown that many personal development plans are merely a "wish list" of courses which an individual has selected from a training menu and which management has signed off to comply with the HR Department's annual request for input into the annual skills development plan!

What has become apparent is that those organisations whose strategic intent revolves around becoming a high performance organisation are beginning to differentiate between training for competence and development for future growth, to the mutual benefit of the individual and the organisation. They believe in "lifelong learning" and successfully link their human resource development strategies to some form of career development process, as well as to accessible knowlege sharing networks. Yet many such organisations bemoan the fact that they cannot seem to entrench a culture where people take responsibility for their own learning and growth, and that this is still very much a management driven process.

The Career Management and Self Development Programme is specifically designed to address this issue. All modules and practical activities are underpinned by the following fundamental principles which research suggests assist the process of taking ownership of one's training, development and career path:

  • People need to understand the competencies required of them, now and in the future

  • In today's world of work, remaining employable is the only job security

  • People need to have insight into their development training and be responsive to developmental feedback

  • Individuals need to engage in lifelong learning

  • Staff need to steer their career paths in the direction of what they are passionate about and love to do, bearing in mind that the organisation may or may not be able to help them reach their ultimate career/life goal

  • Having a personal training and development plan means getting involved in things that are not your job, and acquiring skills that no training course can teach you, as well as being exposed to formal training opportunities

  • Building your profile and working on your visibility are key to career advancement

  • Career advancement is about personal mastery, not just about competence

  • Your personal career, training and development plan is only as good as the action plan that supports it

  • Engaging with your manager around career management issues is as much your responsibility as it is theirs

This programme has been very successfully run as an in-house intervention where it is offered to targeted individuals who have been identified as high fliers or as candidates for an accelerated development programme, where it forms part of a suite of developmental programmes which the targeted group attends. The training programme has been particularly effective where the Human Resource Development Manager and the programme facilitator work together to ensure that the material is aligned with that organisation's career management framework, and where participants are encouraged to return to work with a comprehensive career training development plan which they can discuss with their managers.

For more details on the Astrotech Training and Development Courses