Employee Career Development

6 Ways to Employee Career Development that Managers Love

When it comes to career development, managers need to understand their team’s needs and help support the team’s career development. It can be challenging to track down all the resources and support that a team might need – which is where a manager can come in handy. A manager can help team members develop their skills and reach their career goals by providing support and resources. This blog post explores six tips on how a manager can help support team members in their career development. So let’s start by understanding what employee career development is.

What do you mean by employee career development?

At its most basic, employee career development refers to the actions and processes team members take to grow in their careers over time. It can include receiving feedback, taking career development planning and training courses, consistently looking for potential career opportunities, and reading industry publications.

Employee career development is essential because it helps members stay up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices. It also allows them to identify areas where they need to improve and work on those skills. By supporting the team in their career development, managers can ensure that their employees are constantly growing and learning, leading to a more prosperous and cohesive team. But how to go ahead with it? Let’s find out in our next section.

employee career development by risely

6 Tips for Managers to Support Employee Career Development

Identify and communicate gaps in skill and performance

As a manager, it is essential to identify and communicate any gaps in skill and performance among your team members. This way, you can help them address these gaps and enhance their skillsets to reach their full potential. These gaps will allow your team members to understand what they need to focus on. By doing so, you can help them achieve their career aspirations and exceed your expectations. Additionally, by regularly communicating the gaps with your team, you will eventually see a significant drop in these gaps, and you’ll slowly bring your team close to perfection. It will ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals and that the team can function smoothly as a cohesive unit.

Employee career development survey questions are a great way to understand your teams’ employee career development goals. Some examples of such employee career development survey questions that managers can use are: 

  • What are your short-term career goals (1-2 years) within the company?
  • What are your long-term career aspirations (3-5 years) within the company?
  • How do you see your skills and expertise aligning with the company’s future needs?
  • What training or development opportunities do you believe would benefit your career growth?
  • Are there any specific skills or knowledge areas you feel you need to improve to progress in your career?
  • How do you envision your ideal career path within the organization?

Create a Employee Professional Development Plan

Regularly encouraging and supporting your team’s professional development is essential for enabling them to grow in their careers and reach their full potential. Not only will this help them improve their skills, but it will also help the entire team keep up with the latest changes in the industry and stay ahead of the competition. You can help your team achieve this by developing an employee development plan emphasizing learning, growth, and development. You can keep them up to date with the various professional or career development opportunities in the market. Doing this will ensure that your team is equipped with the skills they need to succeed in tomorrow’s workforce.

An employee professional development plan covers the following areas: 

  • Information about the employee’s current skillsets 
  • Career Goals and Objectives 
  • SWOT Analysis for their strong and weak areas
  • Different training methods and pathways available 
  • A timeline defining milestones and aligning the plans with the team
  • Information about the accessible in-house and external resources, along with specified budget 

Help employees identify and plan their career paths

It’s not enough to give your team the necessary resources and support. There may come a time when you can’t accommodate a person’s career ambitions in your team or even in the company. At that time, managers must be selfless in helping the person find the best possible opportunity outside their team or the company. Managers can help employees identify and plan their career paths out of the various career options.

It means facilitating regular career discussions and providing resources, such as internal job postings, external resources, and project opportunities, to help them in their career planning. Managers can also facilitate networking opportunities for their team members. It will help them connect with other professionals following the same or similar career paths. You can help your team members reach their full potential and build successful careers by guiding them in the right direction.

Find an interesting resource with free template here: How to Create Strong Individual Development Plans (With Examples)

Be a mentor

Managers play an essential role in supporting employee career development. Mentorship is a critical aspect of career development. Managers must get involved as mentors early and often in their team members’ professional lives. Managers can help team members develop the skills, competencies, qualities, and capabilities needed to reach their full potential. They can do it by providing close guidance and support as mentors. Additionally, by setting an example of successful employee career development, managers can help shape the future professional trajectory of their team members.

Read more: 5 Benefits Of Becoming A Mentor In The Workplace For Managers

Promote from within

Reviewing and promoting employees from within is one of the most effective ways to support employee career development. It also keeps your team energized and motivated. When you promote an employee, make sure to do it respectfully, supportively, that recognize their hard work and achievements. These promotions should be fair from all angles. Only then will it motivate other team members to aim for the performance that can extract a promotion. Otherwise, managers may be considered biased and corrupt if the promotion is unfair. It may either demotivate other team members or lead them to resort to malpractices to get promotions.

Read more: The talent pipeline advantage: How it boosts employee retention and engagement?

Be an active champion for them inside and outside the company

Another effective way to support your team’s career development is by being an active champion for them inside the company. It means advocating for their skills and abilities and helping them secure opportunities to showcase their talents. It also means being a consistent helping hand for them as they navigate their careers. 

Further, managers can initiate various employee career development activities such as: 

  • Training Programs: Offering workshops, seminars, and online courses to develop specific technical or soft skills relevant to the employee’s current role or future career aspirations.
  • Mentoring and Coaching: Pairing employees with experienced mentors or coaches who can provide guidance, feedback, and support in their career journey.
  • Job Shadowing: Allowing employees to spend time observing and learning from colleagues in different roles or departments to better understand the organization’s operations.
  • Cross-Functional Projects: Assigning employees to work on projects outside of their usual responsibilities, exposing them to different aspects of the business and fostering collaboration among functions.
  • Industry Certifications: Supporting employees in obtaining relevant industry certifications to enhance their credibility and expertise.
  • Book Clubs or Learning Circles: Establishing groups of employees who read and discuss books or articles related to professional development topics.
  • Internal Conferences or Workshops: Organizing internal events where employees from different departments share their knowledge and experiences.
Outside the company, you can support employee career development by connecting them with resources and contacts to help them further their careers. It might include networking opportunities, industry events, or professional development resources. By championing your team’s career development, you can help them reach their full potential. It will also ensure they can continue contributing value to your organization long into the future.

an illustration showing various employee career development activities by risely

Why should managers focus on Employee Career Development?

Increased productivity and motivation

Employee career development is an essential aspect of any organization. They become more productive and motivated when you help team members grow and develop their skills. They will be able to provide superior services to the company and be better equipped to take on new challenges. In addition to increased productivity, team career development leads to a happier workforce. This is because team members feel appreciated and supported.

Improved morale

Employee career growth also has a positive impact on team morale. When team members feel that their managers and the organization they work in care for their careers, they become more enthusiastic, confident, and disciplined. It will add to the team’s morale and help them work productively under challenging circumstances.

Improved customer experience

When team members are well-equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary for a successful career, they tend to provide a superior customer experience. Their enhanced knowledge allows them to understand customers’ needs better. They can then meet or exceed their expectations. In addition to providing excellent customer service, team members who have developed careers feel more confident in dealing with inquiries from clients. They often take on additional responsibilities within the organization, making the manager’s work easier.

Greater engagement

Developing careers for your team members create a more engaged and collaborative workforce. It leads to increased productivity and encourages team members to think outside the box, take the initiative, and be creative. In addition to these benefits, an engaging and motivated team is much less expensive and time-consuming. This is in comparison to one that is disengaged and unmotivated.

Reduced turnover

One of the most significant benefits of career development is its impact on employee turnover. The vast majority of employees who are unhappy with their job cite dissatisfaction with their career as one of the reasons for their discontent. When team members feel that they have a meaningful and vital role in your organization and consistent upgrades in their position, it significantly reduces the likelihood that they will leave in search of greener pastures.

Read: Your Team Needs Ongoing Training To Progress: Here’s How To Do It

Increased loyalty to the manager

When team members are engaged in their careers, they are likelier to feel loyal and dedicated to the organization. As a manager, you no longer have to expend extra energy trying to motivate or engage employees who may not care about or understand your mission or vision for the company. In addition, if your team is constantly evolving and learning new skills, they have a greater sense of pride and ownership than if they stay stagnant in their roles.


Managers play a crucial role in the success of a business. By ensuring that their team members have the opportunity to progress and grow, managers can help their team achieve its full potential. This blog post has outlined six tips to help managers support their team’s career development. So, what are you waiting for? Start promoting team advancement today and see the positive effects it has on your team.

Practice active listening to understand what your team wants.

Download the free active listening toolkit to get frameworks and assessments that make you a master communicator.

Employee Career Development FAQs

Why career development is important to an employee?

Career development is crucial to employees as it fosters growth, boosts job satisfaction, and enhances skills. It empowers individuals to achieve their goals, stay motivated, and adapt to changing job demands. Continuous development also increases employability and opens up new opportunities for advancement and success.

How a manager can support career development?

Managers can support career development by conducting regular one-on-one discussions, identifying employees’ aspirations and strengths, and aligning them with suitable opportunities. Providing access to training, mentoring, and challenging projects helps employees grow, while clear feedback and recognition encourage their professional advancement.

How would you manage your team’s professional development?

To manage your team’s professional development, you can start by understanding their career goals and skill gaps through discussions and assessments. Then, you can create personalized development plans, provide access to relevant resources, and encourage peer learning. Regular check-ins and feedback ensure progress and address any obstacles.

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