How to Provide Career Development for Employees

4 Steps to Career Development for Employees

Are you in tune with your employees’ goals and aspirations? Today’s workforce expects more guidance and feedback than ever before. As their employer, you should be exploring plans surrounding career development for employees.

Taking this step can be good for everyone. Learn why career development is important to both your employees and your business.


Benefits of Career Development for Employees

Career development may be focused on employees but progress benefits everyone involved, including you and your business. Here are a few perks you can look forward to.

Boosted engagement

Employees who feel that management is invested in their future are more engaged on the job. This creates a ripple effect that improves productivity, work environment, and even mental health.

Reduced turnover

An employee is more likely to stay with their employer if they feel they are making progress. Less employee turnover saves resources and creates a stronger work environment.

Better job applicants

Employers have more competition than ever when trying to attract top talent. 42% of employees say development opportunities are more important than health care when searching for a job. Making sure applicants understand that you offer career development support can make you the best choice for top of the industry job seekers.


4 Steps to a Career Development Program for Employees

Maybe it was easy to climb your own corporate ladder but the idea of helping an employee do the same sounds difficult. Luckily, implementing a career development program consists of only a few open-ended steps. In other words, you and your employees can create the plan together, based on your specific needs as a team.


  1. Uncover their goals.

    Begin the process by meeting with your employees, individually if possible. If your team is large, hold a group meeting and allow employees to submit their responses on paper or through an online form.

  2. Determine a course of action.

    Now that you have an idea of what your employees are hoping to accomplish, how can you make it easier? Perhaps you can give them a day off to attend a conference or allow for shorter lunch breaks so they can leave early for a local class. It’s not your job to provide the education or development. Just don’t stand in their way of obtaining it. Additionally, regularly scheduled progress meetings are a great opportunity to give feedback to your employees, and hold both the employee and employer accountable to their development.

  3. Guide but don’t intervene.

    Pretend you’re a parent on a playground. Is it better to walk next to your child the entire time or allow them to explore and find their own way? Even if they scrape a knee, they’ll be better off having forged alone. The same approach should be taken with employees. While you know you can’t keep them from making mistakes, it’s better to let them slip and fall a few times as they develop on their own.

  4. Reward appropriately.

    You may be surprised at how ambitious some of your employees are. Make sure their efforts don’t go unrewarded. Whether it’s just a simple congratulations or a gift card for a nice dinner out, giving the occasional reward will help motivate not just the individual employee but your team as a whole.


Pitfalls to Avoid

Your career development program should be custom to your industry, business, and employees. But there are a few mistakes you should avoid no matter the blueprint you and your team put together.

  • Don’t do the work for your employee. Let them come up with the ideas for development while you help materialize their suggestions into progress.
  • Don’t make guarantees (e.g. raises and promotions) when discussing career development with employees.
  • Understand when your employee is no longer interested in furthering their development. Be creative when discussing the employee’s future with the company to keep them motivated in their current role.


Career development programs are certainly not required but should you add one, you’ll quickly see results. To boost your chances of having a happy and successful team (along with a better brand), consider adding a career development for employees program.


If you do not have an HR partner, Tandem HR is happy to help.
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