For many years, the responsibility for a worker's professional development fell to his or her line manager. However, Cornerstone's report “Ready, Set, Grow: The Building Blocks for High-Impact Talent Mobility” highlights how, in reality, there are options other than manager conversations around development that allow the worker to explore opportunities themselves, whether they be vacancies, projects or available training courses.
A true story
When the HR team of a healthcare company with 7,000 employees processed the data of the candidates that they collected through their employment website, they would get an error from their HR registration system because the person’s social security number would match that of an existing employee.
Upon investigating the issue, the cause of the problem became apparent. It wasn’t identity theft or fraud: it was a creative workaround to a company policy. Current employees were looking at the external career site for other jobs within the healthcare company. When they found one, they would apply on the external career page using a variation of their name (John for Jonathan, Suze for Susan, etc.). This was all traced back to a common company policy: employees had to get manager approval before they could look for other jobs within the system.
Employees came up with a creative workaround that met their personal needs, but the company realised that it had to re-examine its policies to respond, in good time and in an appropriate manner, to the concerns of employees with regard to their career progression.