10/26/11

Growth Through Career Development

Growth Series (Part 10)

The Growth series will posted on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through the month of October 2011.


All of these companies share a problem that can challenge their vitality and stunt growth, in some cases right at the point of recruiting.
  • Broker Barb has great plans for her company’s growth. She is building a multi-state enterprise with an impressive offering of services. Her company has been built from the ground up and about half of her associates have never been in another company.
  • Broker Tina has a very small boutique company that serves a niche market and does not see growing large in her future.
  • Broker Herman has a medium size company with a lot of family members involved.
  • HVAC company owner, Sam, is known as one of the best in the business and is always, in essence, a one man band.
  • Franchisor Opportunity Brand has some great staff but a pretty limited growth ladder.
  • Country Club of the County has minimized staff so career opportunities are pretty flat.
  • Association Members Now works with member volunteers and a limited staff. Small and efficient is the objective.
None of these have a career development plan or program in place.  Career Development Plans are not only a recruiting tool, but are one of the most effective retention and business development tools you could put in place. Best of all, there's very little cost and they can be opened to all in the company and those considering joining the company.

Each of these companies, within our consulting meetings, mentioned recruiting challenges and retention challenges. All were recruiting for what exists in their companies today with few opportunities of a tantalizing future.  A future that could be more than the opportunity for which they were hired. By default, they were saying “if you want to grow, you will need to leave the company.”

Career development plans should be built to develop the person and not specifically targeted toward developing one person for one position. That approach is full of problems as it is too narrow and the person may not be interested or might not work out. Great plans offer opportunities to all but promotion to steps only to those who achieve the requirements and stay on track.

Plans must also offer easy transition between tracks should the person find that their interests are different than originally thought. That does not mean that they go back to square one, but are recognized and given credit for the skills and achievements attained entering the selected track at the point where specific skills and requirements have not been met on another track. All transitions must be without any tag of embarrassment or failure.

If you look at the sample plan in the download center, the first thought that pops into mind of most looking at it is that everyone will want to be on the management track. Guess what, that is OK. It also does not mean that you are getting ready to replace someone. The plan requires meeting many requirements including recruiting enough people to need the management position before they can be considered for a management position. They must complete all of the skill development, training and production steps required. Many may state they want to be on that track but most will change their mind fairly quickly after the pure production step and initial entrée into recruiting on the first rung of the management ladder.

It is important within the career development plan to have paths and options for producers to grow and achieve status. Without that option and a way to transition, many will see your company as a dead end for their career and leave.

The published career development plan and options in a company should always be general. Since no two people are alike and many come with skills, it is important that the career development plan built for them be individual, with an assessment of strengths, skills and objectives aligned with those of the company. Individualized plans are always customized within the basic structure of the published plan.

Should you find the need to add tracks, it is fairly easy to do as long as you do not forget initial components that must be common to all tracks and then build the skills and production attainment that must be on each rung of the ladder and accomplished before moving forward.

It should also be remembered that time and compensation may vary significantly and can change in any of the areas of the plan especially as applied to an individual.

A career development plan can be built for any company of any size, including those where an exit strategy is desired, and creates an important part of your company’s value proposition. A sample real estate Career Development Plan and Career Development Plan Overview can be found in our download center. Should you need assistance in structuring a Career Development plan, please contact us.

Related blogs on career development:
  1. Opportunity Drives Growth
  2. Talent, Timing & Turf
  3. The F.B.I. Interview
  4. Growth Through Risk Control

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